the golden hour light passes through your window blinds
and into your living room
you're sitting in your home,
and it's quiet and safe

someone's knocking on the door
first softly, then a little louder
and louder after that
you wonder who it is as you open the door
and the second you do,
anxiety is the friend that walks into the room
disrupting what was once your peaceful sanctuary
they sit with you at first and you talk and converse
they start giving you ideas
ones you never really thought of
but how strange, you start to think,
that even as they haven't been inside for longer than ten minutes
it's almost like they know exactly
where you keep your box of insecurities
almost like they know exactly
how to attack you
anxiety is the friend who sits leisurely on that sofa
legs on the coffee table
arms outstretched
a territory

anxiety is the friend who'll keep on talking
to you, about you, against you
their words keep spilling out of those lips
into the air of your home
slowly it suffocates you, but first you think,
nah, i'm just too sensitive
they sit and ramble on
even when you're no longer sitting there
and as they finally leave
you find them coming back the day after
and again the day after that
some days whenever you're gone,
you find them by the doorstep once you arrive home

anxiety becomes the friend who not only sits and talks
but looks around and silently judges
your taste in home decorating
they suddenly get on their feet and paces around your living room
they're the friend who starts flipping through your calendar
"all these things coming up," they scoff,
"how will you survive?"
your mouth stays shut and you just realize
you don't know how to answer that
they're the friend who looks at your framed photos
the ones you took before junior year,
then they glance at you, up and down,
the words come right out as you're forced to hear them,
"so are you sure you don't need to lose weight?"
they pick on your flaws and they tell you what you need fixed
"let's start with those teeth, those thighs,
that nose, those hips, that hair!"
your mouth stays shut because you secretly agree

anxiety is the friend who skims through your photo album,
they point to that photo you took with your friends,
"most of them only pretend to like you, why bother?"
they throw at you only the most bitter words
anxiety looks into your bank account papers
their fingers still flipping through,
"this is how much you make?"
anxiety's the friend who asks about your love life
and tells you they don't think it's going to work
"you're high-maintenance, you know,
i mean who wants to love a mess?"

one day you work up the courage to call someone else
tell them about the uninvited guest that keeps entering your life
you stutter when you say it because you feel like you're losing your mind
but the other end of the phone just pauses then says,
"maybe you're exaggerating."

anxiety is the friend who wreaks havoc in your bedroom
leaves trash on your couch
breaks a glass in the kitchen and calls it an 'accident'
they come and go as they please
anxiety makes you panic about small things
like leaving the car door unlocked
or big things, like seeing your parents die
they watch you fretfully reach for your keys,
they watch you sink into fear
whatever happens to you, at the end of it,
they just watch you and laugh

anxiety feeds you lies
they feed you lies so often, you start to believe them
when they're not there, their words still linger in the air around you
like they'd diffused poison into the oxygen
so much so, you have trouble breathing
sometimes you find yourself suffocating
the warmth of your home has turned ice cold
inside you're numb, and outside you're shaking
golden hour light no longer comes in
you got rid of those blinds, you boarded up the windows
because anxiety told you to
strange, your home is no longer normal
your peaceful sanctuary now feels as
what it truly is without them

you can never un-meet a person
you can't know their name and face, spend time with them,
then tell yourself you don't know them anymore
too late, you do.
meeting anxiety felt the same
see, they're the friend who makes a mess
they leave footprints in the form of fear and worries
when they come the next day, they add some more
after a while, though, you start to understand
the importance of not letting anxiety
become that friend who bullies you in your own safe zone
the importance of knowing which things were true, which things mattered,
which things can and might kill you
and which things that, honestly, won't.

this time, as they knock on your door
you don't let them in
their presence you no longer welcome
you've cleaned up their mess, you finally opened the windows,
it is air that you now welcome, and finally, you breathe

but the truth is, there'll be times where they highly insist
be prepared for the days where they'll just let themselves in
because you see, anxiety isn't a friend you can un-meet.
so honey, here's what i did
i let them in
and as they start to say a few words
i stand in their way before they get to that couch
i grabbed them by the hand, so hard that i didn't care if it hurt
i took them inside and i didn't listen when they said they hated the windows
i found a rope and tied their wrist to my washing machine
you might be asking, why the washing machine?
the reason is because
nobody casually walks into a laundry room
i simply thought it'd be best to place them in the room least frequently used
i closed the door, locked them in, and i walked away
they're still in my house, i acknowledged the fact
but only in the smallest, most insignificant part of it
my days went by and the home was still mine
i stayed far from the laundry room, so i didn't have to hear them
i knew they were there, but i didn't have to look at them

but honey, one day, the day they've had enough
they'll scream.
when they scream, anxiety is the friend
who'll scream so loud you'll feel it sting
anxiety is the friend who will keep banging on that door
they'll even shout your name, they'll tell you they were always right
it was just you who couldn't handle the truth
you stand outside that laundry room, you hear their voice
their words were loud and clear, but from behind that closed door,
the poison doesn't get to you anymore

anxiety is the friend who never stops talking
so i hope as you finally open that laundry room door,
you don't offer them anything but a glance
you look at their powerless pride, straight in the eye, as you finally say,
"you were never my friend."