Greatest Fears

Dealing with depression and anxiety
Talking with a friend
Thinking out loud
To work my way through
And the truth hits
Staggeringly hard

I list the projects
And obligations
Of time and attention and money
Then I begin the process
Of breaking it down
Figuring out
How to allocate my resources
Allocate me
One step at a time

All the while reminding myself
To just breathe

I can schedule this
I can handle that
I formulate a plan
And take another breath

Until he says, “Just do your best”.

And it hits me
What if my best
Isn’t good enough?

And I can’t breathe

It feels like I’m drowning
With the water closing in
I use the phrases
“Keeping my head above water”
Or “I’m treading water”
Because that’s how life feels to me
That feeling of struggling
To get to the surface
To gasp a lungful of air
Is a panic with which
I’m all too familiar

And still I can’t breathe

What if my best isn’t good enough?
Then what?

What if I can’t really write
And the essay sample
I have to produce for work
Truly sucks
And I don’t get this promotion?
What if it’s merely mediocre?
I’m more terrified of that.
What if it’s fine
But all my other character flaws
Come shining through?

What if I let my family down?

Oh, my god, I need to breathe!

What if I everyone figures out
That I’m making it all up
As I go along?
What if they find out
I’m a fraud?
What if my words
Are just my insecurities
Laid bare for all to see
And they end up helping no one
Least of all me?

Breathe, damn it!

What if? What if?


My best may not be good enough.
But good enough for what?

Maybe not good enough
For a better job
But I’m surviving
Doing a job I love

Maybe not good enough
To quit that job
And work for myself
But I can feed my family
And myself

Maybe not good enough
That my words ever matter
To anyone else but me

But I’m writing

And more importantly
I’m breathing again

And I’m going to keep doing both
While I just do my best


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