Anxiety is

Anxiety is: not catching your breath
Anxiety is: not wanting to move
Anxiety is: needing to move
Anxiety is: taking sugar in your tea, but not reaching over to lift it from the pot
Anxiety is: shaking so much that the whole world seems to move on its axis
Anxiety is: fingers placed in ears, on eyes, on neck
Anxiety is: digging nails into legs just to have something else to focus on
Anxiety is

 

One Day

You always told me, “One day…”
Trying in vain to prepare me for these days.

In the early days, I notice your hat is still there – I make a mental note to ask if I can keep it,
But then in the blink of an eye – it is gone.

I take your collection of ties without waiting for a better time,
Folding them up neatly in a bag.

I think of the sadness in your eyes whenever you spoke of a family who was long since gone,
Always preparing me for, “One day…”

I never expected ‘one day’ would feel like this,
Never imagined I would understand so accurately that sadness I saw within you.

Weeks later, we are standing outside our house,
We are all here, waiting.

Liz announces the arrival of the hearse with a deafening, “He’s here.”
Nic and I lose composure, eyes dropping immediately to our feet.

I sit in the funeral car, with your daughters – the magnitude of that moment hits hard,
I am the only grandchild in the car and I wonder, does that not speak volumes?

The house is empty,
I am showing prospective buyers around.

They want to change everything – strip it bare and start anew,
I want to drag them out but instead, I just remove myself.

“One day, I won’t be here anymore. You’ll be telling your grandchildren about me like I am telling you about mine.”

 

One Day

We had a conversation once, once.

Surrounded in a world where every single person was talking at me, loudly.

You spoke to me, calmly.

Of all the differences to be made, to me.

It was you who made one of the biggest, the loudest.

I heard you and I continue to hear you, always.

One day I plan to tell you, one day.

Trees

It is 1998, the house is warm – it smells like homemade pastries. Across the room, a family is gathered.
2 ft tall, green branches reach out.
“Do you want to place these chocolates on, sweetheart?” She asks with a soft smile.
They sit on the floor giving careful consideration of what gets placed where.

It is 2000, the house is happy – four friends sit together laughing. A knock on the door and a child joins them.
5 ft tall, green branches face the room.
“My mum says she can’t make it, the rabbit is sick.”  He tells the tree.
Confused looks are exchanged between friends, bafflement that will continue for many years.

It is 2017, the house is cosy – a family enjoy the peace. Love and laughter in their eyes as they observe their boy.
2 ft tall, green branches mock the cat.
“Don’t you dare!” She says, swooping him up with a ‘boop’ on the nose.
Content purrs surround the quiet room.

It is 2018, the house is silent.
5 ft tall, fibre optic lights brighten the room.

 

 

Immense

I had thought I was a nuisance,
An oddball,
The black sheep.

It took leaving,
A shot in the dark,
The result immense.

A letter sent out,
The response, “Do your best, it is all you can do.”
I felt my heart skip.

A phone call, later,
The words, “She says she loves hearing from you.”
I cry.

The letters continue,
A feeling so immense,
I had thought I was a nuisance…

 

Everywhere

There are carols
…everywhere.

There are trees,
with bows and bright, bright lights.

I am not ready yet
…never ready yet.

There is that feeling in the air,
it is here.

An empty chair, two of them
…empty arms.

The lights are there, harsh and blinding,
a watery perspective.

There is cheer
…everywhere.

JustMe.

I Know

I know I wasn’t what you expected,
I was never a girly girl,
Karate took precedence over dancing lessons,
I was rough around the edges
always.

I know I dashed your hopes,
I never fit into the expected box,
I saw people for who they really were,
I stood out
always.

I know I’m different,
I know I don’t fit,
I see people for who they really are,
I don’t want to fit into their box
ever.

I know my worth,
It took time to find my way,
I wasn’t what you were expecting,
But you loved me anyway
always.

Imposter

I am here. 
I moved,
to the big City. 

I am there. 
I made it, 
to the classroom. 

Here I am, studying. I am undertaking one of my biggest challenges – a BA (Hons) degree. I have been sitting in various rooms, listening to people talk about their experiences. 

Then a feeling that has always been well known by me, was given a name and a whole lot of things suddenly made sense. 

I should not be here.
How did I get here,
did they make a mistake?

I am not smart enough. 
What if I fail,
what if…?

Imposter Syndrome… So many things fell into place when I heard that term. As though before it had even been briefly explained, I knew it. I had met this feeling before, I KNEW it. 

 

The philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote: “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.”

( https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/19/fraud-impostor-syndrome-confidence-self-esteem )

What Does Depression Feel Like?

It feels like silence
It is smiling and laughing
It is acting,
Pretending.

It feels like white noise
It is emptiness and self-doubt
It is living.

There are dishes to be washed,
The wash basket is overflowing,
The bed is unmade because
I have not yet left it.

It is realising time is moving on
The day has gone but,
you have not.

~ JustMe ~

Reaching

You came to me as a bairn
I reared you with such joy
You forgave me my mistakes
and loved me through my journey.

By my side, you stayed,
My shadow, gracious and true.

A content gent, you grew to be
As the years came to calm me,
so they calmed you, too.

Bursting to the brim with love,
with despair
My soul carries on reaching
Constantly searching
Hoping reality was not
That you are not really gone;
Just temporarily absent.