I Need to Relax

I need to relax.

Right, left, right, left.

Step on every single crack.

Right, left, right, left.

Stumble.

Stumble purposely on the other foot.

Now up the stairs,

Right, left, right,

Skip one,

Left.

Relax.

 

When I was 14,

My mother took me to a psychologist.

My inner workings had become so spectacularly unbearable

That school and work and relationships

No longer consumed my time,

But the patterns I created in my mind,

Right, left, left, right..

Left, right, right, left.

Left, right, right, left.

Right, left, left, right.

Literally consumed my mind,

Eating away at the remaining mental energy,

The energy I previously subconsciously reserved for vital parts of my day.

And then the panic would set in.

I need to relax.

 

I knew I had a problem

When I auditioned for a song in a show at a local theatre.

Against the director’s favorite.

My fingers begin to twitch,

And my heart rate elevates.

The unfairness of it all

Banging and crashing

Against the inside of my skull.

Her seven solos against my two.

Even though we are equally matched.

And it’s like the dam inside my mind burst.

My quickened heart rate elevates yet again,

Pounding through my chest,

Which feels hear

And heavier

And my throat is tighter

And tighter

And images of every upsetting thing keep

Flashing

Flashing

Flashing

Through my mind

And I begin to scream,

Screaming at innocent bystanders,

Not words,
But my own obscenities,

Unintelligible to their listeners.

 

Relax.

Breathe.

But how can I breathe

When there’s two tons of bricks on my windpipe?

And how can I relax

When I can’t see two feet in front of me,

And the room is getting smaller

And smaller

And smaller

And I can hear myself screaming,

As if I’m not myself anymore.

 

I need to relax.

 

This is far more

Than the organizational mind game

That is its stereotype.

In my mind

There is black and white.

Obsession and oblivion.

Optimism and Pessimism.

 

Love and hate.

I do not fake my way through anything

Because my mind will not rest

Until the door is locked five times,

And the car is definitely, 100 percent in park,

And three alarms are set for the morning.

And that is why I have slept with the

Same exact teddy bear

Every single night

Since December 28, 2011.

And that is why I still care about Taylor Swift,

Because even though that craze began eight years ago,

I cannot “un-care” for someone who unknowingly changed my life.

And that is why when I care for someone,

I don’t just “fall in love,”

I fall. in. love.

Because I cannot let things go.

My mind becomes a mosaic of shattered memories

That will inevitably flash across my mind

Constantly

Until the day I die,

Because even if I’ve locked the car door three times,

There’s the slightest glimmer of potential

That something could happen.

 

So I cannot relax

Until everything is neat

And orderly

And just

And fair

And perfect.

Guide that inspired this poem: 

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