Anxiety Questions

A poem about the grip of anxiety and mental illness and the doubt it causes.

Note: Watch this poem as a music video below.

Anxiety Questions

Cold hands grip tight
My frozen chest
Wild thoughts feel right
This hero’s quest

Drops of cold sweat
Upon my back
The pattern set
Betrays the lack

The running beads
Enclosing walls
With begs and pleads
My conscience falls

Hunting safety
An old man-child
Beliefs shaky
All fears compiled

What have I done?
Questions echo
Which end the one?
Reap what I sow?

Things were stable
Though stress was high
Cards on table
Should I ask why?

Should I have stayed?
Accepted fate?
Let angst parade?
Fastened the gate?

Now tomorrow
Shrouded in fog
Smiles or sorrow?
What will it log?

How will I live?
Run left or right?
Return and give?
Put up a fight?

How should I act?
Fierce? Combative?
Leave love intact?
Condemn? Forgive?

I’ve tossed aside
My steady world
Chased love outside
My heart still furled

I’ve jumped off board
Falling unmasked
Plunging forward
Ignoring past

Cast in shadow
Pathways unclear
The ground below
Grows ever near

Peace I must find
Fight through the doubt
Push from my mind
All monsters rout

This war of spin
It can be won
Not all will win
But I am one

  • February 29, 2020

Anxiety and panic attacks can make you doubt everything. Add another mental illness into the mix, and you may literally run away.

This poem has been a work in progress for many years, but I finally finished it today. Too many times, I have let anxiety send me running. I’ve left jobs, friends, romantic partners, and my family. Still, I fight on. This poem is about that fight.

Anxiety is a terrible beast, but you can fight it. With time and effort, you will succeed.

Keep fighting.


The poem as a music video. Watch all my poems on my YouTube channel.


This poem originally appeared on Medium on February 29, 2020

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5 thoughts on “Anxiety Questions

  1. What a powerful and profound to describe anxiety. This was well-written and absolutely on point. I do appreciate that you said at the end that winning is possible. But it is an ongoing battle in the mind for sure. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Hi Scott,
    Your poem has captured exactly what anxiety feels like especially “enclosing walls.” Anyone who never had anxiety just cannot grasp the intensity of that panic, that moment when everything closes in, and breath is sucked out. I can truly relate to your poem. Thank you for those words in the poem that says that it is possible to win, to move through anxiety. My anxiety hits me at night. I have learned to just anticipate it, take a deep breath, accept the fact that my heart rate will increase and I will feel that sweat coming-that fear-at night. I keep a set of water color pencils and a sketch pad near me and focus on drawing, sketching. My beagle-dachshund is my best friend. He can sense when I get anxiety. He will curl up next to me. I do manage to push through the panic, the anxiety, by reminding myself that it is not permanent, that I will be fine, that I am safe. Dealing with anxiety is an ongoing process. Thank you for reminding people that we are not alone and that there is a path out of the darkness.

    1. Night is the hardest time for me, too, especially those after-midnight hours when the rest of the world is asleep. I think I need a dog. Yours sounds like a wonderful companion.

      Thank you for commenting.

      1. A dog is so comforting, Scott. It is that unconditional love, non-judgement that is so wonderful about a dog. At night, just knowing that my dog BoBo is near me makes me feel so safe. I definitely recommend a dog, especially a dachshund or beagle. They are my favorites. My dog is a dachshund beagle mix and just pure joy.

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