Seeing My Anxiety Clearly For The First Time


Not too long ago, well it felt like forever ago,
I was unable to see ahead of me. Even on the clearest days,
with an outline of my future in front of my face,
I was unable to see anything.

When I was 16, I was taken to get my eyes examined.
I didn’t see the point in going somewhere
and paying money so a doctor could tell me something
that I already knew.

Yes, I can’t see anything in front of me.

I dropped out of school because I couldn’t see a future,
or apparently more than 3 feet in front of me.
What do you mean the average person can see a stop sign a city block away?
That’s preposterous,
I can’t imagine that ever being real.

When I got my glasses, I made my beast friend stand on the other side
of a giant food court and wave his hands,
Now I didn’t have super powers, but I knew he was there,
waving at me, trying to show me a future in which I am able
to take that step forward into what used to be the unknown.

When I was 18, I tried to dive into the waters of the future
without knowing how to swim.
It’s not like riding a bike,
Or instinctively being able to breathe without thinking of every muscle making it possible.

I had a teacher who asked me
“Alexis, where do you actually see yourself when society tells you
‘Congratulations, you’re a functioning, tax paying, newspaper reading, home owner never owning, adult’
Where do you think you’re going to be?”

I answered him as honest as I could, because I was taught there was no other way to answer those type of fear inducing questions.

“I don’t”

We didn’t know why I couldn’t indulge some idea that I would be a person,
we didn’t know that it would be diagnosed a severe anxiety
intense depressive
borderline bipolar
compulsion disorder.

Once upon a time I couldn’t see more than 3 feet in front of me.
But now I’m able to see at least 5.
I can answer the question of where I would be
when I’m a functioning, tax paying, news-paper reading,
home owner never owning, adult

the answer is still “I don’t” But I now know that I will.
Because I am currently 3 feet in front of 18 year old Alexis,
soon to be 5 feet in front of 23 year old Alexis who believes she is strong but fragile.

I wear glasses everyday, and obsessively clean the grease of the day off of them
as if that’s going to be the force that propels me into the future.

Not too long ago, well it felt like forever ago, I couldn’t see 3 feet in front of me.