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Painted Brain | Fear Itself By Jane M. Engleman (anxiety Disorder)
We're bridging communities and changing the conversation about mental illness using arts and media.
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  • March 15, 2017

FEAR ITSELF by Jane M. Engleman (Anxiety Disorder)


My fear is not a man, he’s

not an animal, it’s

not a wicked witch, she’s

not alien robots on fourteen appendages, they’re

not a chemical attack;

fear is a feeling,


fear is a thing.

When the thing that is Fear comes

skulking to the door, when

I don’t recognize the character,

can’t place the gloom of the space,

can’t remember what the thing that

fear does does.

Does he burn,

does it bite,

does she hex,

do they fight,

am I oozed down screaming

in the acid?

What do I do?


There are two things to fear,

the fear and the Thing.

There are lobes and glands and skin and anatomy parts

squeamish to burn, be bitten, be cursed and beaten,

a repealing off these pink lips in the blackening.

I can handle the fear

every day; I just haven’t the feeling

what to do with

the Thing.

Thanks to Jane for this poem relating to anxiety disorder!

  • Categories:

  • Poetry

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