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(Contains: strong language)
Fuck.

It was coming back again. It always came back. You beat the monster until it was bruised and bloody and ducked its head away. You pounded against it until your fingers broke, twisted and crooked and sticking out at all the wrong angles.

But it kept coming back.

You had to fight it, because you couldn't run. Running made things worse. It would come, its form obscured by the darkness that follows it. You run from what you can't see, but it always finds you. It wraps around you, suffocating. Your throat closes, your lungs collapse, suffocating. It squeezes its long fingers just a little tighter around your neck. Your heart pumps nothing but fear until you wish it would pump nothing at all. Anything but this. Squeeze a little tighter, monster. Suck the life out of me, fiend.

So you can't run. Running is giving in. Running is handing yourself over to the monster. Running is your death sentence

I know that now. I know standing to fight is harder. Your body shakes like Haiti. The ground rolls under your feet while you square your shoulders and take a deep breath. You stare it down. Eyes glare back at you. Not red or yellow or any color—just eyes. Staring. Waiting. And you charge before it can put you in its toxic grip.

I start with a kick, with a strength that doesn't belong to me. It's been borrowed from someplace else: a friend, a song.

And sometimes the kick lands. The monster's claws disappear. Then come the punches. They come from yourself, from your strength, and you know that the monster is no match for you. It howls and slides back into its darkness where it lived before. You step out of the arena. Bruises color your skin, your swollen lips bleed, your blood mixes with your hair. But they heal and harden and turn into scars, and your scars are your pride. From them, you become stronger. The more you have, the better you can fight.

And sometimes the kick misses and your punches shatter your bones instead of the monster's. You stumble away and wipe the tears and snot off. You look in the mirror, look at your face—your nose, your teeth, everything—and everything is wrong.

No, you don't know how I feel.
I have an anxiety disorder, and after a lifetime of struggling against it, I thought I finally conquered it. Unfortunately, as these things are wont to do, it came back and the usual stuff I did isn't helping nearly as much as it used to. I've been trying to put everything I feel into words for such a long time, but poems never seemed to do this inescapable fear justice. After a particulary bad night, I just started writing, hoping it would be theraputic. And, actually, it was.

The second reason for writing this is because of that stupid line, "I understand" or "I know how you feel". Few things piss me off more than that. No, you don't understand. Unless you've ever had a panic attack in the middle of class caused by the THOUGHT of talking in front of everyone, unless it takes you an hour to write a one paragraph e-mail because you're afraid to get a response, no, you don't know what it's like.

I also joined a creative writing group on campus and didn't have anything to share. I'm long-winded and really uncomfortable sharing my writing with people face-to-face. I think I would like to bring this in, though.


EDIT: adnfmda;lfeo HOW?! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?! ikandf;adsnfads;nf :iconohnoesplz:

I am so humbled and honored that simple, raw piece got a DD. I'm really...wow. I'm just blown away. I'll try to respond to everyone's comments. And a huge-ass thank you to :iconneurotype: and espcially :iconcionie: and :iconnecrotiger:, two more brave and talented individuals. Give them some love!

I feel like I should give some sage advice to others who have problems with anxiety, but there's no easy fix for anything like this. Just know that you are not alone, and YOU ARE FUCKING AWESOME.


EDIT 2: I wasn't expecting so many people to tell me their personal stories, or just saying that they were glad that they didn't feel alone anymore. I wrote a journal entry for those struggling with anxiety, going through the different types, techniques most commonly used to treat it, and my own tips and tricks: [link]
:iconyouareplz::iconallowedplz:
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Daily Deviation

Given 2013-03-05
~QuixoticApricot "passionately describes the struggle with social anxiety disorder" in I Know How You Feel (suggester's words). ( Suggested by Penis-Jam and Featured by neurotype )
:iconmistresslegato:
MistressLegato Featured By Owner May 19, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
I do understand - I've been out of work for almost 2 months because of my shitty anxiety keeping me tap-dancing on the border of having an actual heart attack.

Thank you for writing this. It's really difficult to explain to people what it feels like to know that logically, there shouldn't be a reason why you're freaking out and shaking, or have the sudden NEED to leave someplace as immediately as possible. I hate to say that I'm glad I'm not alone because it breaks my heart that other people are going through the same shit. It really sucks. I'm a pretty tough girl, too, so to imagine more fragile people trying to deal with it - guh, it has to be so fucking horrible.

I hope you can find some medicine, or counseling that will work for you. I'm still in the middle of medication adjustments and temporary disability. Feeling so useless just makes the anxiety and depression that much worse.
Reply
:iconquixoticapricot:
QuixoticApricot Featured By Owner May 20, 2014  Professional Writer
I'm very lucky to have a great support system, and I can't imagine how hard it must be for those who aren't as fortunate as me. 

This was written during my senior year of college, when I was dreading leaving my home and my friends in a few months. I'm doing tremendously well now, and most people I meet now would never guess I have an anxiety disorder.

I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling with this now, and I hope that things get better for you. Good luck, and if you ever need a friendly ear, don't be afraid to drop me a line. :heart:
Reply
:iconmistresslegato:
MistressLegato Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you hon! I'm glad you're doing alright now!
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:iconarrowdel:
ArrowDel Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Totally relate, I used to have to carry an inhaler around partially because I am asthmatic, but also because simply being asked a question in class and being expected to answer with everyone else there...would set it off. The thought of it still sets my heart thumping... I'm very lucky now that since I've gotten older I have friends that sort of understand what I go through and will actively cover for me now.
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:iconquixoticapricot:
QuixoticApricot Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2013  Professional Writer
My friends are pretty much my saving grace. This was written during my senior year of college when I was dreading leaving school and all of them. I'm glad you have friends that understand...I don't know how I would have gotten through the past six years without mine.
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:iconizzabelable:
izzabelable Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Perfect, thank you...l can tell that YOU know how I feel...and that's amazing..thank you
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:iconquixoticapricot:
QuixoticApricot Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2013  Professional Writer
:hug: Thank you.
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:icondoublethefun:
doublethefun Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013
spot on
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:iconquixoticapricot:
QuixoticApricot Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2013  Professional Writer
Thank you.
Reply
:iconcheshirecat521:
CheshireCat521 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I fear presentation so much. Just thinking about it can break me down to tears. It's like my whole world is going to dimolish... Thx so much for writing this and making me realize I'm not alone. My classmates are mean ppl. When I freak out, I was left alone in my tears and I felt so cold. Thx for warming me up. A well deserved DD!
Reply
:iconquixoticapricot:
QuixoticApricot Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013  Professional Writer
:hug:

I firmly believe that presentations are sent from hell to make us miserable. I've always tried to skip school on days when I had to present something, but I always found putting it off just made it worse. I'm sorry your classmates don't seem to understand. :( What's effortless for someone is sheer misery for someone else. But you're not alone, and I hope that you find something that helps you make it through, and people who understand.
Reply
:iconnightshadelies:
NightshadeLies Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013
I'm glad this got a DD, I hope more people will understand. I have an anxiety disorder too. I ge so annoyed with people who tell me it's just in my head. I'm in high school, and none of my teachers understand the disorder. They don't get why I shake so much presenting stuff. :P Thanks for writing this, though.
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:iconquixoticapricot:
QuixoticApricot Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013  Professional Writer
High school was...hell. I would try to skip school on days when I had to present something, I've run out of classrooms crying before, and I nearly failed chemistry because I couldn't attend the study group that everyone else in my school went to. Things got so much better for me when I got to college and made some of the most awesome friends I've ever had. Before a couple discussion classes I took, I explained to my professors that I have anxiety problems and just asked them to be patient with me. They were pretty obliging once I told them and helped me get through those terrible presentations. I hope you get through high school and find people who understand and accept you just the way you are. :hug: I've been there, and it's awful, but things do get better.
Reply
:iconnightshadelies:
NightshadeLies Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013
Thanks, I'm glad to know that someone gets it. I'll try talking to my teachers.
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:iconquixoticapricot:
QuixoticApricot Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2013  Professional Writer
Best of luck to you!
Reply
:iconcptjoe23:
CptJoe23 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Student General Artist
I don't know how you feel... but I know how I feel, and it's very similar. It's saddens and angers me that anyone but me should feel this emotional pain, should have to live with it.

It's a fantastic piece and you deserved that DD so very much.
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:iconquixoticapricot:
QuixoticApricot Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2013  Professional Writer
Thank you. :) I hope you can keep on fighting as well.
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:icontoshiroangel:
ToshiroAngel Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013
it is so just....sickening.....to feel like you need to hide all the time....and your are so lonely you hurt down in your arma...so you just do what you can to not feel and they when somebody does care...you run them off because you trust nonone and ont think anyone could possibly love you...its embarassing
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:iconquixoticapricot:
QuixoticApricot Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Professional Writer
It really sucks to feel like you have to hide, but believe me when I say that everyone has someone who loves them. :hug:
Reply
:icontoshiroangel:
ToshiroAngel Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013
i am making moves to see a more positive side of life. I have resolved that my life will not stop being the way it is, until I make the first move to change...and i have. I refuse to be made into something I am not anymore. I like me, and I do believe that someone out there does love me. And i'm going for it, it may backfire in my face....but i'm already linving in hell, how much worse can it get? (not much....lol)
Reply
:icontenor27:
tenor27 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013
It would be meaningless for anyone to say that she knows how you feel, because such a statement would require the sympathizer to experience every emotion, every facet of your inner self. Otherwise she cannot truly know what it's like. Unless she's from the planet Betazed.
Reply
:iconquixoticapricot:
QuixoticApricot Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Professional Writer
How do you know I'm not? =p
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:icontenor27:
tenor27 Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013
Curses. All these alien empaths invading our planet, taking our counseling jobs, getting us all shipped off to transport ships. When does it end?
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:iconquixoticapricot:
QuixoticApricot Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2013  Professional Writer
I know it sounds bad, but there's a recession going on here, too, and it's hard to find work. I really need to keep my job, and your fleshy human bodies are perfect for work in the scorpion mines. I'm sure you understand.
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:iconcionie:
Cionie Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Professional General Artist
No, you're awesome!!! :)
Reply
:iconaddoodler:
addoodler Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013
i have mild anxiety disorder, nothing like this. I randomly get nervous and feel sick at the thought of talking in front of people, although it fades quickly. You're amazing though. This was so raw.
Reply
:iconquixoticapricot:
QuixoticApricot Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013  Professional Writer
:hug: Things have gotten a lot better for me since I wrote this, and while the future is pretty daunting right now, I hope they only keep improving. And thank you. :)
Reply
:iconjohnvichlenski:
JohnVichlenski Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Professional General Artist
A visual for your words [link]
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:iconchelseasonamish:
chelseasonamish Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you, thank you for writing this. Anxiety disorders are a bitch and I loved this piece. It made me think a lot about my own experiences with anxiety.

I wish you all the best with your continuing battle. March on :D
Reply
:iconquixoticapricot:
QuixoticApricot Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013  Professional Writer
Thank you! :)
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:iconsputnik58:
Sputnik58 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013
I'm really grateful for the daily deviations because without them I would miss pieces like yours. It probably doesn't help you any to say that your words have helped me, but I'll say it any way. YOUR WORDS HAVE HELPED ME <3 Imagine evrything you;ve written, but watered down like a cup of blackcurrant squash and that's how I feel most days. And I thought I'd conquered it, got over the (very mild) nerves, the fists in mt stomach pulling my innards into knots every time I press "post" on a forum, pick up the phone, open my mouth to speak. But I'm lucky. When I look in the mirror, I don't see any blood. This time. Ireally really hope you find a way to beat your monster. Once and for all.
Reply
:iconquixoticapricot:
QuixoticApricot Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013  Professional Writer
:iconhappytearplz:

This was written at a hard time for me, and things have gotten much better since then. I still get nervous in some situations (there is a reason I never venture onto the dA forums), but things are looking up.
Reply
:iconyamaha160:
Yamaha160 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The words that all of us know when fighting against the odds, the simplicity of it breaks barriers. Sometimes, one needs a reminder, that overcoming something is possible, anything is.
A well deserved DD, congratulations.
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:iconquixoticapricot:
QuixoticApricot Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013  Professional Writer
Thank you. :)
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:iconsmirkz:
Smirkz Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow that was fantastic.
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:iconquixoticapricot:
QuixoticApricot Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013  Professional Writer
Thank you. :)
Reply
:iconslayer-1412:
Slayer-1412 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Student General Artist
Best wishes in mind. All things can be overcome.
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:iconquixoticapricot:
QuixoticApricot Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Professional Writer
Thank you. :) I don't think this is something I'll ever 100% "cured" of, but it's a good goal to work towards.

"Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced."-James Arthur Baldwin
Reply
:iconsigma-echo-seven:
Sigma-Echo-Seven Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Student Writer
I can appreciate the simple candor in the speaker's voice. Makes it raw and truthful. Very well done!
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:iconquixoticapricot:
QuixoticApricot Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Professional Writer
Thank you! :)
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:iconnevilsnake:
NevilSnake Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I think that this passage was beautifully written, and included great imagery. I am truly sorry for all of the offensive comments I have seen posted on this work of art, and I hope that they do not discourage you as they would me, from what I have seen, you are an excellent author.
Reply
:iconquixoticapricot:
QuixoticApricot Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Professional Writer
Thank you! This is normally the point where I'd say "don't feed the trolls" and whatnot, but it seems I'm a little late for that one. If I let nonsensical comments discourage me, I would have never done anything.
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:iconnevilsnake:
NevilSnake Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
You are welcome.
Eh... yeah, you are a little late there...
I totally agree, if every time I got a negative comment I gave something up, I do not know if I would have any hobbies.
Reply
:iconindigo-serenade:
Indigo-Serenade Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is a very raw piece... I can see why it was featured. You've taken your pain and your fears and turned it into something that manages to express your thoughts perfectly... something not everyone can do!
Grats on the DD; it's completely well-deserved! :squee: :heart:
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:iconquixoticapricot:
QuixoticApricot Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013  Professional Writer
Thank you! :)
Reply
:icontheclockworkman:
TheClockworkMan Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013
I don't have anxiety disorder, but my ex did and it ruined our relationship. I wish she was as expressive and brave as you.
Reply
:iconquixoticapricot:
QuixoticApricot Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013  Professional Writer
It can be incredibly difficult to be with someone who has problems with mental health, especially if you're not able to talk about it. There was a long time when I couldn't share this sort of thing with anyone else. I'm very glad that I'm able to do so now.
Reply
:icondrmarat:
DrMarat Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Gay and no 1 carez
Reply
:iconayelid:
ayelid Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013
I think that you have a heart problem, DrMarat.
Reply
:icondrmarat:
DrMarat Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I think you have a gay problem
Reply
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