Panic stricken in the wrong place,

There’s no escape.

As fast as I can, I run away,

Yet, as I run, I crave a slower pace,

My beating heart, I feel it race & race.

I need clarity, I need space.


Anxious mind, numb & nervous-

Blind to purpose.

Overloaded & worthless.

Emotions I’m unable to harness.

The hidden feelings come to surface-

Creeping out from the darkness.


Too many sounds,

Too many people around.

My lungs seethe, my head pounds.

I am drowning in everything that surrounds.

I wish I could be swallowed up by the ground.

Why can’t I just consume life, in small amounts?


Instead, it comes in waves,

To these feelings, I am a slave.

I cannot find the peace I crave.

In a way, I’m digging my own grave.

Hidden away in my cave,

Wishing I wasn’t seen as weak, but as brave.


Expectations everywhere I turn,

They make my stomach churn,

I cannot deal with oppression, disguised as concern.

If there’s any pressure, I cannot learn.

I feel like I’m stuck here, watching myself burn.

Can’t stop myself from dumping my own ashes in my urn.


There’s no joy in things that used to make me happy.

Everything I once enjoyed is now daunting & scary.

A small task becomes an unbearable weight to carry.

Lost in darkness, I grope for relief, aimlessly.

I’m losing sight of who I used to be,

And I can’t remember what it’s like to be me.


This is the steepest hill I’ve yet encountered,

And I just sit here at the bottom, frozen like a coward.

I’m paralyzed & numb as I’m being devoured.

I am weak & overpowered.

People don’t notice the struggle when your pain isn’t outward.

If your wounds aren’t skin deep, people can’t see that your heart is fractured.


Small changes I try to make,

But what already feels like a drop in the bucket,

instead feels like a drop in a lake.

I’m on the edge, I shiver & shake.

Even a feather could make me fall & break.

My mind is foggy & it’s hard to stay awake–

Yet at the same time, I cannot fall asleep because of the ache.


It’s no longer black & white, as they say.

Now, when I close my eyes, all I see is grey.

And when I open them, life is still colorless, to my dismay.

These swells used to be something I could keep at bay,

But, the riptide soon began to drag me further away, day after day.

And I do not have the strength to swim out of the way.


Everything is lukewarm–

It’s never a balance of sun & storm,

Just dull & stone-cold as more clouds form.

Before the emptiness, I was never warned.

There’s hardly any meaning, when it’s all routine & uniform.

Life is vacant & still in the center of the swarm.


I do not know exactly why I am hurting,

I tried to explain its strange complexities in simple wording.

I cannot justify the deep darkness that’s lingering–

For there was no way of knowing,

And I realize I still have some learning & growing,

But my pain is real & I am still healing & coping.

Author’s Note: This poem takes on many different meanings for me & I don’t often like to give much of an explanation behind my poems, because I’d rather the reader have to dig a little deeper & feel it. Yet, I felt that this one may warrant a little bit of clarification. I wrote this poem during a particularly dark bout of depression & anxiety. Like I said in the poem, I can never exactly justify the reasons why these feelings come because nothing ever directly triggers them; it just happens. So, I’d like to take this opportunity to speak to those of you who have dealt with or are dealing with depression, anxiety, or anything along those lines. You are not alone. Your pain is valid. Your pain is real. And finally…your best is good enough. I know these sayings may be overstated, but in all honesty, it’s those little reminders that get us through…and it’s those special people around us with the empathy & courage to give us these little reminders & stick by our sides that make the weight that much easier to carry. Remember, friends, you never know who around you is going through a similar situation. It is so healing to be received with a helping hand when we reach out and it’s equally as healing when we offer a helping hand in return. The power to heal lies within our willingness to connect. Keep on keeping on, everybody. You’ve got this! 💕


6 thoughts on “Numb

  1. Hello Elise, I stumbled upon your poem through TeamSawyer. My daughter is only 9 but has dealt with anxiety most/perhaps all of her life. As I read through your poem I could see her walking through your words. Sometimes it is hard for me to know how to help her but your beautiful words are a reminder for me to continue being a constant, loving, patient, non judgmental support system for her. It has been such a journey and it is a good reminder that none of us are alone.

    I can tell you are a beautiful soul, keep up your good work and know that you are touching people 🙂 Keep on Keeping on! Thank you 🙂


  2. Elise I know how hard it must have been for you to put this into words and share it. I don’t know if you know how important it is that you did so. For your own healing and for everyone out there who goes to that dark place where nothing matters. It occurred to me that perhaps you had to go through this precisely because there are so many suffering from depression who needed to hear it, to know they are not alone and not crazy.

    The fact that you are able to express it in words, write it down, almost as an observer of what you’re going through is a rare and precious gift. It is a way to release and let the love and light inside and around you be rekindled and overpower the darkness.

    I’ll ride the wave
    where it takes me
    I’ll hold the pain
    Release me -Eddie Vedder


  3. I remember feeling this sort of grey numbness you describe when I was young. I wrote my own poem about it although I was not and am not a writer. You describe it beautifully. But channeling these moments through expression allows us to experience our life without fight, and in this way we process, digest the moment so it can take its rightful place in our being.

    I will be in Marblemount for a final reunion of the Family of Three Lights commune, as the daughter of the founder is selling the property. I will send hugs and kisses your way as we pass through Concrete on Hwy 20.


  4. as I read through your poem my thoughts were drifting to thoughts of the author…it was feeling so personal, real, true, acurate, feelings that I have felt put in words, hidden intimate feelings surfacing..this author knows this well. Feelings that come from years..compiled..but no…in a very short time…Elise yes keep on keeping on


  5. Elise, you have such a beautiful heart! I sure hope you can put your poems in a book. Your poems bring me to tears as I have so many friends and family suffering, your words express ithe emotions so clearly to understand what these dear ones are going through. Your heart is so full of treasure which you are so courageous and generous to share. Thank you!


  6. Elise this is so powerful and dark. I can feel every word with such strong emotion. This would also be a great spoken poem. Thank you for sharing this along with your explanation. So many live with depression & anxiety. Talking about it publicly is so important. 💙✌🏼


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