Jae Nichelle – “Friends With Benefits” @WANPOETRY (TGS 2017)


so my anxiety and I have what some
people might call a friends-with-benefits relationship we
have no love for each other but she still just like fucks with me sometimes y’know
we moved in together some years ago we have inside jokes like when I say I’ma
go talk to that person over there my anxiety looks at me and is like bitch
please my anxiety is the reason I didn’t talk to you
she’s possessive she doesn’t like me talking to other people she’s irrational
because of her I’ll take the long way to my building to avoid someone I already
passed by twice because I don’t know if it’s acceptable to say hey a third time
because of her I don’t correct people at restaurants who get my order wrong I
just eat it because you know maybe a sweet potato fries are what I wanted but
the broccoli you gave me is what I needed thank you because of her I take the long way to my building to avoid someone who kind of looked like my ex-boyfriend because
whenever I hand her the aux cord she makes sure to play back all the times he
told me no one else would ever want me because of her I still think no one else
will ever want me I constantly wonder what happens to a black girl who was too
anxious to ever feel like magic can she still fly can she still be fly with
wings that tremble can she forget the lifestyle of an ant that feeling that no
matter what she does she is in danger of being crushed and my anxiety doesn’t
like to be made into metaphors but what I’m trying to say is she is constantly
reminding me of how easy I am to crush as I speak I am pushing against her weight
on my shoulders and that is why I shake sometimes I have to fight to stand up
straight stop rocking she and I picked out this outfit together something that
drives fast if I am sweating it is because doing this poem feels like
fighting a boxing match that you can’t even see and I am determined to knock her out I have been fighting her for control of our house for
years fighting not to crack stop rocking don’t shake breathe I think the reason my
relationships don’t work out is because no one knows they’re signing up for a
threesome I understand I know how hard it is to live with both of us when we
don’t like feeling out of control when we don’t handle conflict well when we
don’t handle being yelled at well when everything you say to us will be
repeated and deconstructed and analyzed in our head a million times after and if
I am silent for a while it is because I have to fight with her before I can
fight with you I’ve tried to cut her off before I cannot we do not handle
separation well because of our parents I mean our ex I mean our friends breathe
so I guess my anxiety and I have just learned to live together
she’s the longest relationship I have ever had and as everyone leaves she is
the only relationship that I can count on

100 thoughts on “Jae Nichelle – “Friends With Benefits” @WANPOETRY (TGS 2017)

  1. Thank you for sharing. It made me cry and feel vulnerable. Thank you for finding the words that I could not to explain it.

  2. This poem literally gave me life ! This poem was a reflection of me. Thank you for taking the painful experience that many people face and turning it into some beautiful!

  3. I’m a 45 year old father of a 22 year old princess. I just heard this for the first time. I fucking shed tears. Why you ask? Because now I know exactly how our princess daughter feels and I can’t help her but just be here for her. (Sigh) That anxiety friend is a bish!

  4. Event tho it's a female speaking but,,,,,,this speaks volumes, I saw myself on that stage, understanding that there is different levels of anxiety, people dealing with it can relate at all levels. Phenomenal spoken word👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾,makes me want to pick up the pen again.

  5. I've never related to something so much. This is exactly how I feel.

  6. This was brilliant. To all of you struggling, your struggles are valid and you are strong.

  7. This poem resonated with me on such a deep level. My anxiety fights me daily and nothing is more frustrating or exhausting than trying to explain to people every single day "what's wrong" with me. Thank you for articulating my struggle. You did something that I probably never will be able to do. Thank you

  8. This just isn’t poetry. It follows no cadence not even near rhymes. Stop calling it poetry. You’re just talking

  9. My anxiety and I have what some would call a friends with benefits relationship.

    We have no love for each other but she still just

    fucks with me sometimes you know?

    She and I moved in together some years ago.

    We have inside jokes.

    Like when I say “I’m gonna go talk to that person over there”

    my anxiety looks at me and is like “bitch, please”

    My anxiety is the reason I didn’t talk to you.

    She’s possessive.

    She doesn’t like me talking to other people.

    She’s irrational.

    Because of her

    I’ll take the long way to my building to avoid someone I’ve passed already

    Because I don’t know the limit on how many times you can say “hey–”

    Because of her

    I don’t correct servers who get my order wrong at restaurants I just eat it

    because maybe sweet potato fries are what I wanted

    But the broccoli you gave me is what I needed? Thank you.

    Because of her

    I’ll take the long the way to my building to avoid someone

    who kind of looked like my ex boyfriend.

    Because when I hand her the aux cord,

    She makes sure to play back all the times

    He told me no one else would ever want me

    Because of her

    I still think no one else will ever want me

    I constantly wonder

    What happens to a black girl who is too anxious

    To ever feel like magic?

    can she still be fly

    with wings that tremble?

    Can she forget the lifestyle of an ant?

    The fear that no matter what she does she is in danger of being crushed

    What I’m trying to say is

    My anxiety doesn’t like to be made into metaphors

    but she is constantly reminding me of how easy I am to crush.

    As I speak,

    I am pushing against her weight on my shoulders

    and that is why I shake sometimes.

    I have to fight

    To stand up straight

    To stop rocking

    She and I picked out this outfit together. Something that dries fast.

    If I am sweating

    It is because standing on this stage

    Is like fighting a boxing match that you can’t even see

    and I am determined to knock her out.

    I’ve been fighting her for control of our house, for years.

    fighting to not crack

    Stop rocking.

    Dont shake.

    Breathe.

    I think

    the reason that my relationships don’t work out

    is because no one knows they’re signing up for a threesome

    I understand.

    I know how hard it is to live with both of us.

    When we don’t like feeling out of control.

    we don’t handle conflict well

    we don’t handle being yelled at well

    everything you say to us will be repeated and deconstructed in our head a million times after

    and if I am silent for a while,

    it is because I have to fight with her before I can fight with you.

    I have tried to cut her off before.

    I cannot.

    We do not handle separation well.

    Because of our parents,

    I mean our ex

    I mean our friends

    Breathe.

    So I guess

    My anxiety and I just learned to live together.

    She is the longest relationship I have ever had.

    She is the only relationship I can count on.

    Beautiful💗

  10. Anxiety keeps me from being me at my best because I'm afraid of being too much. You are amazing love!

  11. This shit is so true… I’m crying… living with anxiety is so hard it’s an every day struggle..

  12. So souls can be twins? Coz she literally described me af😥😥

  13. 😂 "Sweetpotato fries are what I wanted but the broccoli you gave me is what I needed… Thank you"

  14. Living with anxiety is horrible..I'm so happy I saw this video..this is what I go through daily…"I HAVE TO FIGHT WITH HER,BEFORE I CAN FIGHT WITH YOU" …powerful

  15. Wow! I felt it in every fiber of my being. Amazing how someone I never met could feel the exact same way.

  16. fuckkk this hit hard not gonna lie… probably the purest description of anxiety ive ever heard – even tho its been kinda ok lately. cept now my eyes all filled up with tears at the sheer accuracy lmao god damn

  17. I love this so much. So much of this hit home. When she was speaking I started to tear up.! Absolutely amazing.! 💕

  18. see, THIS is possibly the MOST accurate representation of a person with anxiety, or how it feels like

  19. Maybe meditation would help you, or getting away from all those people who make you anxious. Try spending some time in nature with a horse or take a dog for a walk in a nice park. You don't have to be around people with problems all the time. You may need time alone meditating or reading. Other humans can be demanding and use up all your energy. Or sit by a river and just watch the water go by, notice the birds and bugs and grass. You need some alone time. Not everyone is a party person. Go and get a personality test to find out more about your personality. You may be an introvert who hangs out with people who like to party. Maybe you are more a scientist who would enjoy studying and learning about plants or biology. Find out who you are. Best to you.

  20. This is very inspiring and informative. I wish more people saw this

  21. Ok but who else got a vibe that this reminded them of that poem by Patrick about his depression

    Still overall good tho

  22. This poem should be sold in Pharmacies, it has,a healing effect!!

  23. I felt this on a spiritual level 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍

  24. Omfg😭😭😭😭 absolutely beautiful 😇 #breath it's extremely tough to deal but life's life.

  25. "She is the only relationship I can count on…." Powerful words, indeed.

  26. I didn't think i had anxiety but after hearing this poem and relating to almost everything she said i think i might

  27. This is one of the most realistic things I’ve ever seen.
    I’ve watched it so many times because it speaks so much truth. Anxiety is awful, I hate it so much, it’s taken so much of my life and left me broken so many times💔

  28. Now that's some utter bullshit. 'Friends with benefits' gtfo with that kindergarden bullshit.

  29. this is the only way i can truly describe what it’s like having anxiety then ofc you have the people who are like “jUsT cAlM dOwN”

  30. i’m in literal tears this summed everything about anxiety up perfectly. having anxiety is so mentally exhausting and people don’t realize just how exhausting it is and you’ve captured that. thank you.

  31. By far the most articulate description of what happens in us that I’ve heard in a minute. Beautiful. Chilling.

  32. I skipped a piece in the start and now I'm half way in and very confused

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