I’ve suffered from social anxiety my whole life, and in my process of trying to overcome it I thought it would be interesting to try and write a slam poem about it. Since slam poetry is a performance, generally in front of lots of people, and social anxiety pretty much prevents that from being a possibility, I thought I would face my fears and try to perform a slam poem about social anxiety disorder.
I wrote this poem about a year ago and finally have the courage to perform it – at least in front of a camera. I’ve made a lot of progress, and hopefully one day I’ll be able to perform this in front of a real audience. I hope you like it. (:
My self-titled album plays like white noise
Too scratched to spin on any machine
Unheard and unseen
Look at me
I am a poet who can’t find my pen
Overwhelmed by my curse to rehearse verse by verse
A conversation immersed
In my mind
Imaginary, that’s never conversed
Over and over and over the words course through my beating corpse
And I build up the courage to flourish
But the courage warps
And it thwarts my thoughts
Until finally untimely
Explosive eyeballs drop like bombs on my bullseyed face
Jagged hairs pop from my pale skin
Sweat wrings out my strangled heart
And I’m staring down a bullet in the barrel of a gun
And extracted I see myself
Blind naked and invaded by uncontrollable shaking
I absorb their words breaking
Taking me deeper and aching
Are you okay?
What’s wrong, why can’t you say?
It’s not that hard
You’re just afraid, you can’t be brave
It isn’t real or cute or pretty
You’re just a fake, a liar looking for our pity.
Do you have any idea how it feels to stand here before you?
Constantly terrified you’ll judge or laugh or disapprove?
Do you know how it feels to have your heart beat so hard that it hurts?
Ripped out by nothing but eyes?
I’d rather die than have your eyes untie
I abide in hiding, no seek
No receiving the trust you need to sneak a peek
I’m not an open book, don’t look, I’m locked
Blocked like a blood clot
Walked on by bodies overstocked with rot
So don’t talk to me about what’s in my thoughts
Ready or not here I
All I do is stay
What do I say?
My words spill uncaged on the page but in public are poison
Make my palms moisten
And I know if I can’t unlatch my lips at least I can listen
But the perks of being a wallflower are none
Withered in a cracked pot, no rain drops
I don’t have guts
Maybe the alcohol will wash down and vomit some
Liquid courage, my unnatural spring
Burns on the way down but at least it feels like I’m existing
There’s a reason social anxiety disorder acronymizes to sad
S. A. D.
I couldn’t even say it in a spelling bee
Quelling bees buzzing like hell
Unshelling my skin, stinging my vocal chords so I can’t even fucking spell
S. A. D.
But I’m okay
I could go out in the sun and meet some friends out of my head
Or maybe I’ll just read a book instead