What People Tell Me

That I’m just being stupid

That I’ll grow out of it

That I need to calm down

That I’m ‘overreacting’

That it’s just a meal

That it’s just a dance floor, ‘what’s the big deal’

That other people don’t care

That it’s nonsense, ‘it’s all in your head’

That everyone feels this way, ‘it’s not just you’

That it’s just a ride, ‘there are kids on them’

That I need to grow up

That I should read aloud

That I must read aloud

That it’s just a presentation, ‘no big deal’

That this is a ‘friendly’ environment

That ‘you know everyone here’

That it’s just a classroom

That it’s an excuse

That it’s all make believe


That it’s all okay



This poem came from a class exercise where we looked at, ‘What the Uneducated Old Woman told me’ by Christopher Reid. He writes about what a woman told him, noting everything she said regardless of how minor or unimportant. I decided to use this technique to fit into my anthology theme, anxiety. I wanted to record the reactions I have had to telling people about my anxiety. It is interesting to see how people react to mental illnesses whether they have experienced it themselves or not. I was quite happy with how it turned out because it made people see what I can hear and how I feel. It means a lot to me this poem, so feel free to let me know what you think.

Feel free to share, like & comment.


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