THE ANXIOUS CEO

It grips me when I wake

It’s voice beckons my name

I greet my friend with a glance

It’s already stolen my day

I take deep breaths to move

That’s what the psychologist

told me to do

Every situation whirls in my mind

Hold for four seconds….

then let the air go

I greet my staff with a happy smile

It’s not even 9am and the calls

come and go

My friend creeps up again

I remember to hold my hands still

People tell me

“pray and it shall cease”

Your comments are cute but non-effective

Take a pill it will make you calm

Your strategies are less

effective than my friend.

I see the room and get up to speak

My hands sweating like a pig

I smile glance and say hello

Ensure I air on the side of

humour and jokes

The politicians, police and other CEOs

all smile

Never has my friend left my side

I feel a fake in this room

Full of important people.

After the day is done

The decisions have been made

I return to the gym to

run off its weight

Yet when the sweat is dry

his yoke still holds

My friends name is anxiety,

he’s my enemy so I hold him close

He’s with me in the meetings,

the organisation changes and

the moments I choke

He makes me want to cry

when I leave a room

He ensures me that

I’m inadequate in what I do

Other humans would never know

The attacks I get that close my throat

Some understand. Others never do

When you have anxiety as your friend

you know how this is so true

In the midst of it all we know

there is hope

That this black shadow over

us doesn’t rule our soul

Understand, I understand

how this friend feels

How naked we stand

in front of our peers

This won’t last forever,

this attack will pass

Sure another may come

but like the sweat on your hands it

will fall away

A better day will come.

Hold on and hope with me.

If we got through the last day,

we can make it through a week.

Don’t give up,

the future is bright

Squeeze your friend powerless

with all your might

There will come a day when

that feeling in your throat won’t

be so strong

When the voices in your mind

won’t sing the failure song

My name is Hannah Taylor and I am the CEO of one of the largest Domestic and Family Violence organisations in the state. I have many accomplishments and letters after my name and have a large ever growing team and still, I have anxiety.

Some days it’s okay. Others it makes me vomit. Why am I sharing this poem? To give others like me hope, hope that we can get through today. Hope that tomorrow is a little better and hope that yesterday is gone and will stay that way.

Everyday I wake up and want to call in sick. People comment on my humuor, my motivational leadership and how successful I am at my young age.

All those words are sweet but really fall short of the constant choking around my neck and the sick feeling we feel when we make a decision that may or may not change someone’s life.

For all those who feel my pain know there is hope. Know that putting one foot in front of the other is an amazing achievement, please know you are not alone. We can do today and tomorrow is tomorrow’s issue, we walk this road together.

Let’s continue to empower each other so that we can continue to empower those around us. With or without this friend of anxiety we are amazing, we have hope and we will make history. I am here to walk through this journey with you, we can do this together, reach out, so together we can reach forward.

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