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Witness Post: Anxiety Attack [1]

In the new age of anxiety

The tranquilizers hiss and buzz

Demons encourage us to pop those pills and swig the shooters

Sanity has been hijacked by spent nerves and failed counseling

“My therapist sez…”

Frazzled and frayed feelings are splayed on the cracked sidewalks.

Markets have panics and recessions and depressions

So does the human spirit.

Loneliness and stress kill

They eat away at our souls

Especially in families in Roseburg fretting about foreclosures

And lumber unions mired in neurasthenia.

The age of Americanitis rules

With prozac and xanax on tap.

There is no rush to optimism

In this age of make America isolated again

No clamor for clarity and charisma

Only the faint echo of Freud and Maslow

Driving despair in search of deeper social needs.

But we cannot hear about them now.

Our tolerance too thin

The deafening sound of the siren

Tied to the mast of oblivion

Tied to anxiety, procrastination and fear.

Americans are neurotic, psychotic, Lunesta-fed, and asleep.

What will force the attention off of ourselves

And on to vital matters?

What will shake us from our lethargy, our opioids, our weed?

Perhaps it will take an explosion outside our heads

An attack on our values.

Have we not felt it already?

Do we need something bigger

To shock the system and draw us to a cause

Greater than our current self-centered pain?

The grains of sand flow at their own pace on matters like this

No matter how anxious we may be.



[1] This poem was inspired and informed by an article in the New York Times Magazine by Nitsuh Abebe, entitled Panic Attack, April 23, 2017.