A J.E. Skye Poem – An Anxiety Poem

This poem is the latest version of A Little White Pill that I updated in my poetry class a couple of months back. I wanted to share this newest version with you today. I think this one is going into my memoir, but I haven’t fully decided. When I start my Master’s in October, one of my focuses will be on poetry writing since I enjoyed writing so much. Please share your thoughts on my poem!

Always keep Fighting!


A Little White Pill

A little white pill,

it means the world.

When you fail to take it,

it attacks your will to live,

makes you feel things no human should.

Reminders of a constant feeling—

hopelessness. Panic. Fear. Uneasiness.

It begins.

I can’t breathe or focus.

My mind races— dark thoughts dot my mind.

‘I am going insane.’

‘I am losing control.’

‘What will people think?’

Oh, so many thoughts.

Worst case scenarios playing out in my mind.

—People. Gathering around me as I sit on the floor,

panic consuming. People pointing. “What is wrong with this man?

He needs help! Someone call 9-1-1.—”

Will I survive? I have to stay home,

it is safe here.

Panic, as if death were right outside the window,

Pushing glass and— it is only a matter of time

before the glass shatters.

I can’t go out, I have to stay.

My panic chases me like the bee I am allergic to.

It’s safe here. “Stay, just stay.”

There is a whole world out there—

no please stay.

My mind is winning.

I can’t do this.

“How can someone live like this?”

Spinning out of control,

my chest tightens like a wet towel tightened

but all the water dissipates with each breathe.

—I can’t breathe.

Why is this happening?

I must sit. No, I can’t sit. You must.

A tingling sensation consumes my hands.

First at the tips and before long,

it is engulfing my hands.

“Stay calm,” they say.

I feel so cold, “Why am I sweating?”

What is this?

Numbness takes over as if I am nothing.

I get lost in it, I do everything I can.

Nothing helps—

wait, what about that little white pill.

A new dosage. More powerful than before.

I take that white pill.

Time—it moves slowly.

Yes. I can feel it now. It’s over.

It’s finally over.

I should have done mindfulness breathing.

Who knew a little white pill, was the answer?

I wonder. Was it the cause or the cure?

Like the doctor said, take as prescribed.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: rawpixel


70 thoughts on “A J.E. Skye Poem – An Anxiety Poem

  1. I relate to this a lot it’s like reading how I feel when I get into a state of depression, when I forget to take my medicine.. I specifically like the last line where you said I wonder if it’s the cause or the cure, because I am constantly thinking the same way, would I still be like this or is it just this is the way I am and I never realized

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I relate to this completely, and it’s beautifully said. Panic attacks have plagued me for years, and I used to have PRN’s for it, but since ditched them because I was worried about becoming dependent on them. I’ve learned to manage the attacks other ways but still have a fear of them coming back the way they did years ago. Anyway, beautiful poem. I remember a while ago I wrote a similar one in relation to the antipsychotics I’ve been taking. Who knew something as small as a pill could cause so much conflict within a person? Ha!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know what you mean. I am at the point where I believe I have become too dependent on my anti-anxiety pills and my antipsychotics. But I don’t know if I can get off of them because I have been dependent for so long. Doctors don’t care about those type of things at least in my experience

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh yes, that ugly pain in the chest called anxiety. This is a very accurate description. I’ve recently realized fear and anxiety appear the same sometimes, but, anxiety is often what leads to irrational thinking.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: A J.E. Skye Poem – An Anxiety Poem – The Bipolar Writer Blog – A Mental Health Blog – International Badass Activists

  5. I’ve always thought myself lucky to live in an age when there are medications for these disorders. Former therapies including burning at the stake, you know.

    By the way, did you intend to subtly reference the terrorist attacks by spelling the 911 number 9-11? If so, that was interesting.

    Good poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow so powerful, the bit towards the end really got me…. Is it the cause or the cure… Well done for putting your stuff out there as well that takes courage and it’s real, raw and beautiful, I believe you can and will conquer your anxiety attacks 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow! That was powerful…I could feel my chest tightening as I read this. I have been coping with one of my favorite forms of anxiety recently; agoraphobia has been dominating my life for about 2 weeks. Definitely better to stay inside, although I did manage a bike ride today which was huge. You did a great job of writing down an anxiety/panic attack….excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is to point. Especially about the scenarios. Often playing them out thinking all possibilities of what might happen the worst case the good case how to prepare yourself for each outcome. It’s exhausting. Thanking for liking mine. 👍🏻

    Liked by 2 people

  9. This is an amazing poem, it made my chest hurt! I felt the anxiety rising as I was reading but then calmed at the end. You have an amazing gift, keep writing! Also, thank you for checking out my first blog, I really appreciate the support 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi James,
    I can totally relate. I’ve never gotten to the point of using medication (got very close a few times), but panic attacks and anxiety have been a part of my life for a long time. Your poem clearly expresses what it’s like to have a panic attack, and anyone who has experienced it will know exactly what you’re talking about (it’s such a relief just to know that other people have in fact experience it, makes it seem not quite as terrible). A strange but liberating insight that I’ve had in the last year really caught me off guard because it was not what I expected. One of the biggest causes of my panic attacks and fear was a terrible fear of what other people think about me. The line in your poem, “People pointing. ‘What is wrong with this man?” hits it dead on: I was terrified that people would find out how terrified I was! Like the most embarrassing shameful experience that could happen, because you’re so afraid but there is no external reason why (irrational fear) and so know one else can understand what is happening to you. The invisible aspect of fear and anxiety (and all mental illness) makes it the most challenging. It wouldn’t be so bad if someone could see you had a broken leg, etc.

    But here’s the good news of what I learned: a huge part of my panic and anxiety was not about something sinister, dark, and unknown. It was just I was so terrified of what other people thought about me! Such a strange thing to realize, and pretty embarrassing too! Long story short, I learned (and am still learning) to be compassionate for whatever feelings I have (even irrational ones). This makes a huge difference. And now that I know that most of my fear (maybe all?) is caused by an obsessive concern about what other’s think of me, it is easier to overcome the anxiety because I know what is happening. This has led to a journey of accepting myself for who I am, and becoming less and less dependent on other people’s approval. What a real freedom! I’m still working on it and getting better day by day, but at least now I know what is going on!

    This last bit is spiritual, and so if you’re not into or don’t relate to advice from a spiritual angle, please feel free to disregard this last bit. There were a few times when I was driving and started having panic attacks. Once I was actually on the on-ramp to a highway and the traffic was stopped so there was literally no where I could go. As you know (and anyone else who has had panic attacks knows) this was the worst type of situation. I was literally trapped. I was thinking, “This is it, this is the time when I’ll lose my mind, I’m not going to make it this time…” But since I was at the end of my rope and had no other choice, I just called out desperately with everything in me, “Please Jesus, please help me! Help me Jesus please!” You won’t believe what happened. All at once, IMMEDIATELY, my panic attack stopped. Completely stopped. I felt so peaceful and relieved. Then I was just sitting there in my car, still in traffic, still PHYSICALLY “trapped,” but I didn’t feel trapped anymore MENTALLY. Everything felt totally fine. Nothing outside had changed, but inside I was no longer going crazy, I felt totally fine. I learned something really important that day: The panic and fear and anxiety is only IN MY MIND. Usually that would be terrible news because that’s why it feels so hard to overcome. But what I realized is that traffic jams, being outside, talking with people, don’t actually cause the panic attack (even though they seem to trigger it). If they did, then how could I all of a sudden still be in the car in the traffic jam, feeling totally fine? I’ll never forget that day, because I realized that there is POWER in being humble and asking for help. Therapists and medication are very helpful and important, but I realized there is also another place we can go to for help, just in case we don’t have a therapy appointment that day or if for some reason we don’t have medication.

    I know this is probably the longest comment in blog history, but I just felt I had to share what worked for me, because I know what it’s like to go through the unimaginable fear and torment of a panic attack, and to be plagued with anxiety. I don’t want anyone else to ever have to go through that, but if they do I want them to know there is a way out, and it doesn’t have to be our destiny.

    peace and love James, and stay strong!


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