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A poem sharing a lived experience of anxiety


We met when I was just a teen

You were like nothing I had ever seen,

Hearing the buzz of conversation blurring out around me

As I entered what felt like a terrifying daydream,

Knowing that never again would life feel quite so easy

I felt you beating rapidly in my chest and didn’t know what to believe,


And here you are eating away at me

You have never been a stranger indeed,

Subtle in your presence yet boasting in your might

Knowing that the thought of you alone is enough to terrorise,

Invisible to the world but ferociously loud inside my mind

Asking me the old age question – fight or flight?


Anxiety, now that I can truly see you

I must ask you a question or two,

Toying with me for so long

I want to know what made you feel you belong,

What made you prey on me

What about me makes you believe I am a target so easy?


For years you have haunted me

Manifesting in my daily routine even leaving me unable to sleep,

With nowhere left to hide as daylight dawns bringing with it a new reality

Years by my side it is now time for you to say goodbye,

I have survived the worst of you

There is nothing left for you to do,


Freedom at last, I am now able to breathe

I can feel the gravity of my surroundings and truly just be,

Without second guessing my every move

Wondering what I would do if found again by you,

Now even if I catch myself overthinking

You will not define me, nor will you leave me sinking.

By Aisha Ahmed

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