Adulting Habits of an Anxious Mind (spoken word poem)


Soft comforter forms a cresting wave,
curls around the sound of my sixth alarm, and washes my limp body upon the shore of a new morning. Some days begin with shallow breathing. Some days I resign to this curse –
a cycle of paralysis, then, panicked perfectionism. My eyeshadow looks best when I’m at my worst. And I blame the bus for never coming on time. And I blame the crowds and I blame the lines. And I blame the air for being too cold or too hot. And I blame myself,
I blame myself a lot for failing at the simple things. Everyone else has learned routine,
while I’m still stuck in broken old habits. And lack of confidence breeds incompetence. So though my to-do list is actually just
a to-live-like-a-fuctioning-human list, self-insults shrink me down so small
that whenever I greet a new task it seems enormous. I pretend the clothes aren’t dry yet
when I know they are. A dish is just one dish
but I’ll still leave it for tomorrow. And I don’t thank God a lot,
but when I do, it’s usually, “Thank God it’s just me.” And not me with a kid, or even a cat. I hear love can override anxiety,
but I’m not willing to test that theory now and I’m afraid I’ll never be. I was wrong to think that this would stop
when the homework did. And it’s possible that the only way out
of this ironically, is more studying. this time of myself. I’m learning that motivation, for me,
often comes in limited bursts. And I’ll never be able to do it all every
day and that’s okay. The laundry can wait. I’ll eat peanut butter for dinner. If I can’t do what I can’t,
I’ll do what I can. Maybe growing up isn’t just getting better
at doing adult things, but getting better
at loving yourself on the days you don’t accomplish all of them.

11 thoughts on “Adulting Habits of an Anxious Mind (spoken word poem)

  1. Im laying in bed at 14 listening to this trying not to hear my breathing because it makes me anxious knowing im alive knowing this is my life listening to your poetry is inspiring and makes me feel like i can breathe without thinking I'm not supposed to be here so thank you Erin for everything

  2. Thank you for existing. You’re doing amazing and helping more than you know

  3. “I was wrong to think that this would stop when the homework did”.

    I felt that.

    Thank you for sharing.

  4. I think I wasn’t breathing for these 3 minutes cause cause I caught every word cause every single one of them is speaking to me
    I feel it
    I never thought it can be expressed in the words
    Thank you

  5. This just called me out. I love this. I love your poetry. I'm laying in my bed in my freshman year of college and working towards a degree. It's hard but I'll survive it

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