The Alarm of Anxiety

May is Mental Health Month, which includes National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week.

Throughout the day, we will be sharing posts on anxiety. We’re coming out from hiding – shedding light on an all-too-often dark subject.


I live in my head because the light is always on. It’s confusing and loud with dark cobweb corners. But it is home, familiar, and calls me when I am lost.

It’s blaming AND forgiving in here and then blaming again. The light seeping in through worried lashes sharply bounces around, changing everything in its path.

The alarm of anxiety, the beat-beat-beat pounding of my heart, pushes me into the cobwebs. I claw at the corner like a robot with a tightly wound key sticking out from my back. I turn and turn and turn and turn, continually bumping into walls on the left, then the right, then the left again. There’s no escape. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide from anxiety’s blaring speakers.

My lashes close, like blinds, quieting the light. Darkness creeps praying to go unnoticed and blanket it all, calling the quiet like a cover on a bird cage stills the song.

Just before the quiet, on the edge of consciousness and sleep, the alarm sounds: “WAIT! One more thing! You forgot to buy milk. Is the oven is on? You should check the locks again, make sure the crated dog has water, cover the baby—but not too much—because she could smother. She could spit up, turn into the cover, blocking her nose and making her cry, but you’d never hear her.

LOOK! The dry cleaning is still hanging on the door with the plastic wrap covering her daddy’s jacket. The ceiling fan is turning, turning, turning. The plastic could blow off the jacket, up off the hanger, over to the baby, and block her nostrils and her mouth. She could die without a sound while you slept. And then, then…

EVERYONE would know what a HORRIBLE FAILURE OF A MOTHER you really are!”

Voices of anxiety screaming through my brain, I get up. Stumble to the locks. Oven off. Dog watered. Now, will it stop? Wait—jacket removed, hung in the bathroom where there is no ceiling fan and the door is shut. Weary bones, back to bed. “Go ahead, close your eyes,” sweet shrill anxiety lures. Once again, on the precipice of awake and not awake, drifting, floating, slipping into sleep…“WAIT! How could you forget MILK?”

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