You know stress?
That panic that grips your chest and rips you apart in the middle of the night?
Because thinking about the future incites this feeling of needing to explode because you're not ready.
I’m not ready in the least.
I need to get a job
But I know how lazy I am so what if I lose it?
I know how bad I am with words
And I can’t interject an opinion or observation into a conversation without fucking it up
I need to pay for school but I can't find anything relevant from my high school days to fill out the scholarship forms.
And mom and dad can't house me forever.
It's so cliché to say
But life was so much simpler as a child.
No worries but getting in trouble for a fib
No stress about jobs and taxes and school
No pressure to do well when it's your first time and you're not even sure how to go about it.
Reading was an escape that can’t last as long as it used to since I’ve got responsibilities now.
See I've gotta write a poem
But I can't remember my high school GPA worth a damn
And these scholarships can't fill themselves out.
I can get the letters of recommendation but my family just switched churches and honestly
I'm terrified to drive
I'm bad at it
I still don't have my license because I'm afraid to practice
Yet I have to learn because I can't spend my life just taking the bus everywhere because the bus doesn't go everywhere I need to go and I can't walk uphill for long
Because I have asthma and a slew of disorders like Tourette’s,
Which reminds me
What am I going to do about my medicine?
And going to the doctor?
What am I going to do?
I can feel the panic again
Right now while I write this
Because thinking about it is too much
And I'm using words over and over and too often and that's a problem.
So the panic grows
And it's a pressure,
And now I know why they call it carrying the world on your shoulders
It's like a weight hanging around my neck and pushing down on my chest
The anxiety is a sandbag tied to my soul
And somehow writing lets it all out and helps to contain it because God forbid
That I speak my mind
Or let my emotions show through completely
Because there's always someone who's had it worse
Someone who's going through something that overshadows this problem
Because the intensity of a problem someone else has gone through in the past makes my issue entirely irrelevant
And I should be ashamed for even bringing it up
I should be embarrassed for bothering you with it
For burdening you with my all-consuming panic
And I make too many excuses.
But I'm angry as well
And I can't be openly irritated with people because everyone is so goddamned sensitive
And if you hurt someone's feelings you're an awful person
So I present myself as calm
I paint myself as a terrible person in my head to make myself feel better
Pretend I'm sadistic
A vengeful entity with the power to do something
To change the world around me
To live in a universe where I can fight monsters and be a hero
A blood-soaked savior
But still be the pretty princess
But I know I can't
And the pressure keeps building
Bottle it up
But the pressure grows and expands inside me and it almost hurts to keep it in but I can't say a word because it's not my place
So I quietly explode
Until I crumble
And try to cry it all away because someone once told me that tears cleanse the soul
And the implosion is silent
But it's there
And I glance at the red numbers on the clock with the little dot that says it's AM now and sigh
Because I'm an insomniac
It’s the middle of the night
And it's only been five minutes since I started thinking.
So I start again
There's nothing more I can do.