Anxiety is a Train and I am Tied to the Tracks

I am three and I am shaking
Squeezing my eyes shut to the dust and the sun and the cold tile and
I am in the corner
Breathing heavy
I want it to stop

I am six when I tell my best friend I don’t want to wake up some mornings
She thinks I mean drowsy
I mean I’ve been alive for half a decade and I’m tired of it
I mean maybe my birth is a mistake
Maybe I’m not meant to be here, alive

I am nine and I am hiding
Behind boxes and under chairs and in dark rooms
I hide behind books and step inside them
I become invisible so I can disappear into my head
I hide my body so my mind can run and run and run and run

I am twelve but I don’t feel I really am
I am still nine and hiding and I am still six
And I still don’t want to wake up some mornings
I may still be three
Shaking in the corner

I am fifteen and anxiety runs through my body like a train
Rips through my chest and into my limbs
I can’t breathe for an hour in the toilet stall
I can’t make the noise in my head stop
The noise and the train and I can’t breathe

I am eighteen and the train made my body too tired
I am carnage, bent metal and black smoke
I am six and I don’t want to wake up in the morning
I am hiding behind boxes and praying I don’t wake up in the morning
I am three against cold tile praying

I am twenty-one and I began to reassemble the pieces of my body
I put together my arms and legs and made them stronger
I still hide in dark rooms and disappear into books
But this time I don’t let the train tear my chest in two
And I hope I wake up in the morning.


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