Thanks a lot, Anxiety.
YOU HURT ME.
You kept me from believing I could.
You made me believe that I would utterly fail, that I would get rejected, that I’d be laughed at.
You always kept me from being raw and honest, always making worry about what others would think.
You never told me I could, that it was ok to mess up.
You always told me failure was the unforgivable mistake.
Thanks a lot, Fear.
YOU HELD ME BACK.
You kept me from having a sound night of sleep, waking me up each hour with nightmares.
You made me believe that monsters would get me in the darkness, that I (or someone I loved) would get abducted by the creatures hiding in the shadows.
You always kept me from being brave enough to know that there weren’t monsters
under my bed or in my closet.
You never told me that I had courage, courage to make any monsters (imaginary or real)
run for cover.
You always told me that there might be something lurking in the shadows, making me
fear any darkness.
Thanks a lot, Loneliness.
YOU TOLD ME I WASN’T WORTH IT.
You kept me back.
You made me believe that I wouldn’t find any friends, “who would want to be friends with you?”
You always kept me from venturing out of my shell, to find new friends. You never told me that I just needed a few true friends, not a lot.
You always told me that the friends might see something in me they wouldn’t like.
Thanks a lot, Self-Consciousness.
YOU SHAMED ME.
You kept me from being my true self.
You made me believe that I was fat, short, scarred, awkward, too loud, too outgoing.
You always kept me from being who I was made to be.
You never told me that I was beautifully freckled, healthy, right-sized, extraverted and bubbly.
You always told me that people would notice fill-in-the-blank and think me weird, or whatever.
Thanks for everything you have done for me. Sincerely,
A confident, courageous girl, unashamed to be who she is.
Katelynn Balcom is a teen-poet who writes from the real world, either diving deeper into experiences, or emotions, putting words to the feelings she encounters in the day-to-day life as an adolescent. Author of debut novel “Koru: The Trainer I Used To Know” (KDP, 2023), she lives with her family in Tennessee.