This Woman's Poem Perfectly Describes What It's Like to Date With Anxiety


In a video recently posted to YouTube from August's National Poetry Slam, poet Brenna Twohy gave an emotional performance recounting what it's like for her to date while living with anxiety.

The Portland, Oregon-based artist's poem, "Anxiety: A Ghost Story," begins with a number of cheeky Goosebumps references before she describes an even more terrifying experience: dating with an anxiety disorder. She likens herself to a "haunted house," warning potential partners that anyone who falls in love with her will inevitably have to deal with the discontented spirits roaming inside her mind. 

"When I tell you about the ghosts that live inside my body, when I tell you I have a cemetery in my backyard and in my front yard and in my bedroom, when I tell you that trauma is a steep slide that you cannot see the bottom of," she says in the video.

"[When I tell you] that my anxiety is a camera that shows everyone I love as bones, when I tell you that panic is a stubborn phantom, she will grab onto me and not let go for months — this is the part of the story when everyone is telling you to run," she says.


These feelings that come from dealing with anxiety will likely ring familiar for many watching Twohy's video. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the "most common mental illness" in the United States, affecting 18% of the adult population, or approximately 40 million people.

Twohy's tale ultimately has a happy ending, though. The poem concludes with her realization that love can coexist with her anxiety disorder. "When you say to the ghosts, 'If you're staying, then you better make room,'" she says, addressing the object of her affection. "And we kiss against the walls that, tonight, are not shaking." So for anyone with anxiety who's grappling with the ghosts inside their heads, know this: You don't have to deal with them on your own. 

Check out Twohy's new book here, and the full video for "Anxiety: A Ghost Story" below:

h/t Huffington Post