You see the smile upon my face

It hides 1, 000 things

Racing thoughts of impending doom

Worried what today brings

I can’t do this again today

Racing heart, am I ok?

Thinking through each possible event

Does everyone know?

Can they sense the fear in me?

Can they sense self doubt?

For even though I appear ok

Do they know what I’m about?

I’m not the doubting voice I hear

Questioning everything

I want to be free from this

And all anxiety brings

I just want to be able to walk the street

Without shakes, cold sweats, shortness of breath

Numbness, dry mouth, panic and fear

Not still or calm, how do I appear?

My mind is on overdrive

Constant whirling thoughts

Worries that control my mind

And my body does what it wants

I cannot leave the house today

Anxiety is in control

So I’m sorry if I cancel plans

I want you to know

That I am disappointed too

Frustrated, angry and sad

That this thing they call anxiety

Makes my friends think I’m mad

Some think I’m just selfish

Then there’s those who understand

Whilst I’m trying to get my breathing back

It’s hard to carry out plans

When I’m convinced I’m dying

Controlled by a panic attack

Yes, I’ve been through this before

But please have my back

Comfort, reassure me

I know that’s a lot to ask

But when each day is such a chore

It’s hard to keep on the mask

Please know that it’s exhausting

Constantly living on edge

For when I am not panicking panicking

Anxiety still fills my head

And sometimes it’s not safe in there

I can’t escape my mind

So when you tell me to get over it

It kills me more inside

I’m giving all I have to try

To try and get through each day

So when you see I’m smiling

I’m not always ok

And those of you who see

My thoughts upon my face

That shows I trust you

To see me in this place

The place of vulnerability

Of honesty, no hope

It’s no often I will show myself

For fear of what’s happened before

‘Have a bath’ or ‘take a tablet’

I hear the crisis team say

But that won’t fix the problem

Of what I face each day

Sometimes I cannot decide

Where I need to be most

To stay in bed or face the world

I’m getting rather lost

I feel it rising up in me

I cannot always stop

I cannot breathe, I can’t see straight

Dizzy and getting hot

It’s happening again

The panic taking over

My entire body completely tense

Shaking, palpitations

Then there’s the sleepless nights

Which just makes everything worse

But living with anxiety

Often feels like a curse

But know that it’s not over

The fight goes on and on

Each day I wake I try again

To push further on

To live my life and build myself

Ready for tomorrow

And those who criticise

You can live in my shadow

For it’s the small triumphs that matter most

Getting out of bed

Some days are good and some are bad

But it’s a mess in my head

And I’m not seeking attention

Really all I want

Is to be seen as me

Through the mask and anxiety