A poem on anxiety — The Cage

Trigger warning: This contains mild representations of an anxiety attack & chronic anxiety. Please do not proceed to read if any of that is a trigger for you.

Arushi Tandon
2 min readOct 10, 2018
Photo by Andressa Voltolini on Unsplash

Little by little

Ounce by ounce

I crept into this space

That kept me renounced

It renounced me of my ability to think rationally

It renounced me of my ability to function normally

What is normal, you might question

Only if I knew

Could I educate you

For I myself am yet to experience

This normal

Where everything is nice and rosy

Where it doesn’t rain

And pockets are full of posy

Where apparently your emotions don’t stop you

They strengthen you

And the ability to do something

Isn't a miracle

It’s habitual

You know it isn't easy

Feeling like you’re constantly lesser than you are

You know it isn’t easy

When someone wants to blame you despite getting this far

It’s restricting and frustrating to feel like you’re so small

So insignificant

That you could dissipate into thin air

That you could cease to exist

And nobody would care

But why, oh why did people think I wanted it this way

Why, oh why was I constantly told

“Just get over it, your despair

Your despair is invalid, you’re overreacting”

Well, tell that to my brain

For it is constantly brimming

It is filling me up with thoughts of negativity

It is filling me up with worthlessness and everything

But serenity

It’s taken me so long to get to where I am today

That sometimes it still scares me

It keeps me up at night

The sheer horror of what I went through

When my mind wasn’t my own

It was an entity unknown

It was my own worst enemy

Fueled by angst, sadness and rage

My mind was nothing but a cage

Nothing but a cage

But that was the past

And i have come way, way beyond it

It’s not to say i don’t have my bad days

I still have to hold on and stand unfazed

It won’t happen overnight

It won’t happen suddenly

It’s painful and ugly

But when it happens

It’s worth all the pain and scars

Because suddenly the animals inside the cage

Have become gloriously lit stars

— Arushi

This World Mental Health Day, I wanted to share a poem I wrote a short while ago about anxiety and how it affected almost the entirety of my teenage years. It’s been a struggle but it has made me stronger than I was before and I still have my bad days but it’s gotten easier.

Lastly, I just want everyone who is struggling or suffering in any way to know it doesn’t get better, you get better.

Much love & strength! x

Follow me on Twitter, if you’d like to- @arushiwrites