A Letter to Anxiety

You have led me to believe that I do not fit into this world. That no matter how hard I try to be something, I will never be good enough. That I should give up again and again, because I am a failure. Because the people in my life see my failures. My boss. My coworkers. My family. My friends. They keep me around to appease me, not because they want to. The truth you lead me to believe is; I am dragging them down.

You also tell me that I am not fun unless I am drinking. When I drink too much, you come out more and make it worse. Sometimes I am angry and raging and other times I am sad and cry. Sometimes I even do stupid things for a momentary high, to feel released from your grasp and that I am invincible. Of course, it always comes crashing down and I am left flooded with regret and even more assurance that I am the loser you peg me to be. I’m an idiot. Everyone knows, they are only being pleasant to my face because they don’t want to be tangled up in this web of madness. You trick me into thinking that everyone distances themselves from me when it is I who keep them at arms length for fear of them knowing that I am affiliated with you, for if they knew the truth they would surely leave anyways.

You have led me to leave things that brought me joy. You made me believe that it would be better if I started over rather than continue on the path I face. That new people and new opportunities, even though they are equally as scary, allow me to be a fresh face where nobody knows me or my mistakes. They can’t judge me, yet. But when they do, I can leave again.

The real kicker is that I have begun to realize I am not alone. Not only in the holds of you, but in life. I have friends who care. I have family who cares. Every time I try to push them away and make them see me for the failure you try to trick me into thinking I am they remind me that nothing I could do could make them go away. They remind me that I am good enough. That I am loved. That I am deserving.

So when you creep up on me and try to fool me into thinking that I should hide myself away and quit trying… I have them to lean on. To help me understand that you are a lie and I am the truth. They help me accept that I have made mistakes, but it’s okay because everyone makes mistakes and nobody should spend an eternity of sleepless nights worrying about something they did last year or 10 years ago because nobody else remembers it. Only you do, Anxiety. You only bring the worst out in me. But despite everything you have put me through in this life I also want to thank you.

Thank you for making me more understanding of people around me. To give me the empathy to know that when someone else does something they may be ashamed of that they too may be suffering from your wrath. To know that my view of others is distorted at times and only a reflection of my own fears and that I should not act or react on my immediate feelings of rejection. I should sit with them until I understand where they come from and why… and usually they root back to the familiar culprit, you of course.

I may not be able to explain to everyone at every time why I am quiet or excessively loud, exhausted or hyper, content or struggling to feel okay about anything at any time. But I know that when the negative sets in, I can release it. I can be okay. Maybe not in this moment, but soon it will pass, it always does. What used to send me into spirals of panic and upset can be seen for what it is and dealt with accordingly… for the most part. I am still human and I still succumb to my emotions. Sometimes you get the best of me and I have to remind myself that I am stronger. In the end, I know I am.

So this is my letter to you. Or perhaps, it is my letter to me, to remind me that despite everything I am okay. I am good enough. I am loved. And most importantly, I am strong enough to recognize challenge is not the same thing as failure.

Sincerely,

Your Host

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A Letter To Me

Dear Self,

You do not have to apologize for who you are, who you thought you were or who you are becoming.

You don’t have to feel ashamed of the mistakes that litter the path you have been following. Do not perceive them as mistakes, pick up the pieces and acknowledge that each of them have brought you here.

You don’t have to explain to the people you think you have let down, those that do not understand do not matter and those who do are your supporters. Cherish those ones.

You don’t have to know everything. In fact, you don’t have to know anything.
It is simply enough if you go on with your life experiencing and feeling – knowing is a lie that the Ego tells the Mind.

Do not feel afraid of what is, what was or what is coming. Breathe deeply and with understanding that life brings change and that change brings a plethora of joy and difficulty.
Trust that you are capable (and deserving) of joy and adept at making your way through the difficulty.

You can ask questions, to yourself and to others, but understand that there are no right answers.

You are exactly who you should be at this very moment and the same will be true tomorrow and the day after that, no matter what comes your way or how it changes you.

There is nobody that exists that could do a better job of being you.

Breathe in this moment, this emotion. Breathe out the thoughts attached to this moment, this emotion. Then, just breathe.

Oh, and don’t forget to smile.

Love,
Self

A Moment of Consideration

Where have you been?

The question was asked

A simple one

Wait for reply

A shrug and a look turned down to the ground

Causes he to wonder why

Where did the stillness come into your veins?

Where did the voices all go?

How did you drown in a sea full of doubt?

Can’t you hear me?

I want to know!

Seldom a place is as quiet as this

Rarely a word loudly uttered

Never does one wander and wait

Always one wants and one wonders

Where did you go? Asks he again

Where and why, oh why?

Come back to me please

I beg on my knees

Return or at least bid good bye.

A Poem With No Name

 

All that is sought. All that is beautiful.

Is rare. Is fleeting.

For if it were always there when you wanted it.

You would not seek it out.

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Last Ride

Looking at it now you wouldn’t know, you couldn’t hear all of the memories that were held between the metal body and vinyl roof. You couldn’t, but he could.

Opening the door, the hinges creaked and groaned in protest. Nothing a little WD40 couldn’t fix. He slid into the drivers seat, the sun bleached two tone leather was cracked from so many years of sitting and waiting. He adjusted the metal rearview mirror, his view was obstructed by a window that was covered in dust from years of sitting in the garage.

He set his hands on the familiar grooves of the steering wheel and his feet against the pedals, his right hand moving by memory to the dashboard radio. His fingers turning the metal knobs and tuning it to his favorite station. No music played of course but he could hear it in his mind, that slightly muffled sound of the old speakers singing his favorite tunes.

Suddenly it was 1980 something and he was driving down Main Street. The windows were down on his black vinyl top 1962 Chevrolet Impala, the Roman Red exterior shone brilliantly in the sun. He could feel the warm summer breeze whipping against his sunburned arm that rested out the open window, fingers butting his cigarette ashes onto the street. He took another drag while simultaneously turning the radio up with his other hand, knees steadying the steering wheel. The song came through the speakers and he could hear the sound of the guitar intro to one of his favorites. He began to perform his personal rock concert; ‘You get a shiver in the dark, it’s been raining in the park but meantime…’ he sang along to the deep and throaty voice of Mark Knopfler.

His fingers played along to the rhythm against the steering wheel. As the musical interlude proceeded, he continued his solo against the wheel. Cruising down the road going a little over 60, the combination of music and driving giving him a sense of life like nothing else could. The Sultans of Swing ended as he returned home. He took a long drag of his cigarette and butted it into the metal ashtray on the dash.

Glancing into the rearview he caught a glimpse of his own reflection. Though his hair was much shorter, his glasses no longer tinted and there was no sign of a mustache left he still felt like the same man sitting behind the wheel. He opened the door, another creak and groan escaping the hinges, and stepped back into 1998. The buyer would be there soon. He would restore the old gal and give her new life, just like he had always hoped to do himself. He closed the door and walked away, thankful for his last ride.

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For my Dad. JTNicholson.

Trials of Life

You go through your life searching for moments, promising yourself you will be present.

You say that you will live as if you are dying, but we are all dying.

They say that some of us never really live, but we are all living.

How we live and how we die and everything in between is made up of moments of living or considering death.

There is nothing extraordinary about it. Except life itself.

You choose to seize the moments in each day or you do not.

You live or you contemplate death.

Lost In Thought

Searching for answers seemed to be the only thing consuming her thoughts at any given time. She always had to know, whatever it was, she had a need to know and to understand. Knowing and understanding are not the same, some think they are mutually contrived but she knows better. She stops her contemplation to sip her coffee, gone cold. So many thoughts, such little presence. Quiet! She shouts in her head. Stifling herself does not come easy. She stares absently out the window, she looks but she doesn’t see. She doesn’t notice the way the sunlight dances on the spiders web spun across the tree branches. She doesn’t hear the birds sing their song to the new day. She sips her cold coffee once more before deciding she’s had enough. She walks over to the sink and dumps her cup, watching as it seeps down the drain. That was how she felt most of the time, as if she were seeping towards an untimely demise. Perhaps, like her coffee, she too had gone cold.

Anti-Ode to Home Sweet Home

 

The sign tells you what you must feel,

Home Sweet Home.

But maybe, just maybe

Home is not the sweetest place one can be

Or maybe, perhaps, home is not a place at all

But a feeling we all have inside of us.

Sure, the warmth and comfort of a familiar place

can give us a sweet feeling of content

But it is fleeting

as with time goes the feelings of happiness

moment to moment

life goes on

we too go on

our places and our spaces change

we change

homes change

So perhaps it is not

home that is so sweet

but rather

time, space and place

in the very moment

where sweetness is captured.

 

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Birdsong

The bird that sings the sweetest song

be the bird that has it’s notes all wrong

the one who cannot match it’s peers

and hides itself away in fear

The lonely one who greets each day

with a song unsung

sings anyway

And cursed to those who do not heed

Its song for letting soul to bleed

© Kendra Urzada

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OkArt aka Okjungok

Self-Portrait Poem

Thank you to Poets&Writers for providing this poetry prompt to kick start some creativity.

Reflected

The girl she saw inside the mirror

Did not bear semblance to her soul

She was uncertain of whether she had grown this way

Or simply succumbed to life

Her eyes were searching for a sign of recognition

Her dark brows furrowed, creasing forehead

The windows to her soul a stark contrast to the pale of her skin

She lingered there

Those eyes, her eyes

Always seemed to be full of question

Uncertainty at the world surrounding her

What does it all mean?

Her lips pursed with skepticism

She wore not a smile nor a frown

Just a line

Undecided

Undecided

That was it

That was what she was

Perplexed by her own reflection

©Kendra Urzada