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by Crystal
(Centreville, VA, 20121)

I wanted to share some free writing poetry I wrote about what anxiety feels like to me. Im 21 years old and anxiety runs in my family. Although I've been proactive in managing it myself, avoiding the need for medicine up to this point, sometimes anxiety can get really overwhelming. I've described below what I'm feeling in those hours and hours that I feel anxiety taking over.

It starts impersonal and gets more personal as it goes.

I would love to know if anyone relates to this!

Warm, peaceful, sunny, and quiet.
She’s floating, sailing, dreaming
Then it starts
It’s tugging on her stomach like nausea
She wants out of the ocean right now
Becoming alert, deep breaths, stay calm, stay calm
From miles and miles away, it’s starting
The water is turning black and it’s approaching her
Not black like ink, but black as in darker
Murky, unnatural, chilling
I’m okay, we’re okay, everything is okay
The black backs off
No matter what, she’s untouchable
I’m here, I’m okay, I’m strong
There’s a pit of fear in her stomach
A feeling of helplessness is erupting inside
The black water floods into her space
She sees it crawl up her fingertips first
And then invade her entire surrounding
She’s floating in black water
Rough waves hitting her stomach
It stings her skin
It’s a punch to the gut each time
Cold, cold, dark, ominous
What’s under? Where is land? How much longer?
No sign of safety, no sign of reassurance
All alone
Hold on, breath, I’m okay, I’m alive

Eyes shut tight
Arms folded over my stomach
Deep breathing
Eyes open
Eyes focused on one spot
Waves hitting my back, over and over and over
No emotion, heart pounding

And I just soak
I’m on the sand
I just want to be dry
Catch my breath
Lay and feel okay
Drenched in remains of the black water
Soak it in
Absorb it
Swallow it
Lay in it until its gone
Dry up
Take a deep breath
Feel new
Renter the water
Warm, peaceful, sunny, and quiet

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