Poetry & Art

A Party with my Social Anxiety Invited

I hug the wall in a room full of strangers,

in an apartment as familiar as a song I’ve never heard.

The one girl I know flutters like a monarch in the field where it was hatched,

and who am I to cling to her wings?

No, let her fly, I stand back. 


I scan the room to see who pricks the part of my skull.

that says stay far far away.

I do not always know why I must stay far far away,

but I’ve learned that this feeling will never lead me astray.


I am dumbfounded by the ability of people to speak,

when it feels like there is not a thought in my brain.

And I cannot comprehend how they respond so effortlessly,

while I am still trying to decode each word internally.


My brain halts at the why did they said it?

The what can I figure out about them because they said it?

The did they mean literally what they said? or did they mean to imply something else by what they said when they said it?


Was it a slight to me?

Was it a slight to someone else?

Is it safe to respond?

Is it time to disengage?


If I stay here in this conversation will they grow tired of me?

Is it time for me to walk away before they walk away?

If I do walk away who is safe to approach next?

Should I pretend to need a drink for a time-out at the bench?

by Kelly Waters

I am a 26 year old that lives with bipolar 1, anxiety, and ADHD. I love to write poetry and music. I also love to create art. I run a podcast called “Shining Through” where I talk about my experience with mental health and what has helped me.

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