Thank you to everyone who participated in the social anxiety poetry contest. I have chosen the top five entries that were submitted by December 31st, 2017. Now it is time to vote for your favorite! Read through the following five poems and then cast your vote in the polling box at the bottom of the page. Voting closes January 31st, 2018.
Update: The grand prize will be a Humble Bundle digital book package worth over $150 including a digital copy of my book “The Anxiety Workbook” as well as the books “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in 7 Weeks” and “Real World Mindfulness for Beginners.”
Update: We have a winner! The grand prize winner of the poetry contest was Elisabeth Porter for her poem “Hold On,” with 67% of the vote. The runner up was J Michael Wright for the poem “Social Anxiety.” Thanks for participating everyone!
I feel trapped in a box and tightly sealed, traveling on ship across the sea
Everything in me wants to say “Why ME??”
It’s a claustrophobic atmosphere with many hours of feeling sick
It’s a claustrophobic atmosphere with not much room to think
It’s a claustrophobic atmosphere where anxiety seems to be the only food to eat
But you know what?!? —
The box can be a blessing, the ship can be your guide, the box can be your blessing—do you know the reason why?
The box is a protection,
the ship leads a specific direction,
and the anxiety is being used to make you into a better you.
So though your feeling sick, and everything feels hopeless— hold on.
He wanted to scream at the passersby, yell that they were trapped in cells designed by digital walls and arbitrary, archaic Patriarchal rules.
You’re not welcome if you fit the following: fat, gay or trans, a person of color, female, pregnant, mentally ill, if you’re eccentric, and the list goes on.
You must be “This” white, male, straight, physically and mentally fit to ride this ride.
All others may exist until they no longer provide a use, and then it’s curtains on your goals, dreams, aspirations, bills, your ability to exist – until you find a new place – but the clock is always ticking and it’s only a matter of time before the bell tolls for thee, and the process starts over again.
Money and materials are the only ways to prove your worth, and people only look if you’re pretty based on their standards.
Screw the Golden rule; let’s adopt Platinum instead: “Treat others how they want to be treated, not how you want to be treated.”
But the cacophony of voices demanding that he conform overwhelms him, and his pleas begging people to wake up are ignored, so he crawls into a ball and wishes the World away.
It never goes away.
The harshness of this fake reality chips away at his steely constitution until there’s nothing left, and he cries from being berated by people on-line, people at work, his friends and family, drained by their desperation of being successful in this fake world.
So, he quits, and he starts the clock over and over again, but the years pass and fade, and “You’re not getting any younger, babe,” so he stresses about his future and what kind of partner can he be if he can’t properly provide.
He feels ugly, feels misunderstood, feels alone despite being surrounded by people, and all he can do is face the day, one at a time, and take things in stride because he’s not giving up, just giving in.
Mind succumbed by familiar loneliness, dark, empty, distant
Hands dripping like a facet, cold, wet, tremors
Heart pounding to my eardrums, thump, thump, thump
Breath escaping my body faster than my mind, labored, unsheathed, arrhythmic
Swallowing, quickly, last night’s dinner before heads turn, pathetic, unnatural, anxiety
Another t-shirt stained brown with sweat, bleach, money, disposal
Laying next a pillow collecting tears for decades, obsession, restless, fear
Dated sweaters to hide drenched shirts daily, insecurity, emergency, desperate
Laptop in bed, lying awake with chocolates and television, safe, peaceful, home
My Coma Has Come
by K. A. Kumi
My coma has come.
Wide eyed, stiff necked, pulse flooded,
extremity trembled, mind muddled, sterility.
My coma has come.
Tongue spun, shame bathed, function failed,
cringe caressed, mired mood, aridity.
My coma is coming.
I’ll puke & piss & pill & pace &
pine & ponder & pray in preparation.
My coma is cold.
It sees me shivering in sun shunned of warmth universal,
yet sweating in sight of their every iced gaze.
My coma is king.
And I shall crucify myself for all witness,
ne’er shown whole, but hung of my own hand.
When my coma has come.
There’s Always Tomorrow
by John Doe
I could have been great
I still could be
I could have been free
I might still be
I could have found hope
Then I should see
That I’m no worse
Than those around me
That I too can grow
And be my best me
I’ll do that tomorrow
Today I anxiety