Her Name is Anxiety

I’ve lived with a mental disease in my mind for years. When I was a little girl, I didn’t know that she was deep in my mind, sealed away and unknown. But, I grew up. And as I grew up, she started slowly coming into my view. Seeping into my thoughts, into my everyday thinking. I grew scared of her, not knowing what she was making me become. I tried to control her, but she was too strong. She took over my whole mind, I couldn’t even control myself anymore. I couldn’t be myself. She took over everything about me and I was a whole new person. A scared, paranoid little girl. I was so weak, letting everything about her consume everything about me. She was the one who controlled my body, not me. I was a nobody anymore, all you saw was her.

Her name was Anxiety and she nearly killed me. She knew every single weakness about me and I knew none about her. I never wanted her here with me. She took over all control without permission. I didn’t know what she wanted, she never said. I just wanted her to leave but how could I ask her when I knew I couldn’t live without her? I hated every single fiber of her being but I couldn’t let her go. She was the biggest part of me and I didn’t know if I was ready to live without her. All I’ve learned to know is to live with her, constantly being by my side. Was I even able to leave her?

I tried to leave. We were apart for awhile, a couple months actually. My parents started making me take little white pills to help with her. Everything was going great. I didn’t see her, I didn’t think about her, I didn’t speak about her. And even though she wasn’t mentioned, I could still feel her there in the back of my mind, watching everything I was doing. She was lurking in the background, waiting to see what I was going to do next. And then one day, she just came back.

She hit me like a wrecking ball. My whole world was turned back upside down, like she was giving me all the wrath that I missed of hers while she was gone. The little white pills weren’t working anymore and I didn’t know what to do. She was starting to control my life again and I didn’t want her to. She was impossible to escape. Four different kinds of pills later and I was still begging God that she would go away. My thoughts were hers again and my life wasn’t my own anymore. I couldn’t escape what world she had made her own. She was my own personal leech, feeding off my demise.

I went through months of this, having her always there. My life went slowly in a dwindling spiral, not knowing what I was doing with my life anymore. She took over everything. I didn’t have a control over my life anymore and everyday I just wanted to explode. I was done with having her in my life. She was an uninvited stranger living in my own body, completely taking over every ounce of my being.

And then something changed in my life. Slowly but surely, she started going away. No not completely, but she did change. She stopped being so aggressive, her angry demeanor not as powerful as it was. It was like she was slowly fading out of my body, mind, and soul. She was still there, in the back of my mind, reminding me that she was still there. I wish that she was completely gone, but with months having her almost killing me, this was enough for me. And how I did it? A wonderful thing and a slightly horrible thing: friends and therapy.

My friends were there for me even when they didn’t know what was going on. I talked to them constantly, never once being judged or controlled like how she used to treat me. I could always count on them, knowing that no matter what time of day it was, I could call and they would be there. They were always there, kind of like her. But instead of being there trying to take me over, they were getting me in control instead. They made me remember that it was my body, not hers. My amount of bravery and self esteem peaked to its highest point that it has ever been at before. I was actually myself for once in my life.

And then there was therapy. No it wasn’t the worst thing in the world, but it wasn’t the best. The thing that I didn’t like about it was that it was therapy. When people think therapy, they think mental problems and difficulties. I just hated the stereotype. I kept it hidden from a lot of people for the longest time. I wasn’t comfortable with people knowing that I had a problem and had to go seek professional help. It saddened me knowing I couldn’t tell people the real reason why I couldn’t hang out with them or text them. I had to lie and it killed me. But then I finally realized, who the hell cares? Just because I go to therapy, doesn’t mean I’m depressed or have too many problems that it makes me go get help. I went to help myself become a stronger, more in control person. I was proud of my stereotype and I didn’t care who knew it.

And then there was the actual therapy part. To be completely honest, I loved therapy. My therapist would let me talk for our whole session without him saying a word or would give me questions that really made me think about my life. I would really think about my whole life with Anxiety and reevaluate every moment with her that I had. He made me feel better about myself after every session and it would just make me a happier person, knowing that I can actually live with her. I even looked forward to the session throughout the whole day. Who knew that something people judged so much was actually something really nice?

She still lives with me to this day. Always there, in the background. At times, she gets back in control. But I learned how to deal with her to where she goes back away, even if its just for a moment or two. I still hang out with the same friends and I still go to therapy every Thursday. And with everything I’ve been through while I’ve been living with her, I have learned so much about her and myself. Even though I hated everything about her, I’m glad I live with her.

Anxiety taught me that I can overcome her and actually live in my own body. She taught me that even though I can be at my lowest point where she almost killed me, I can be stronger than her. That I can be in charge of myself for once in my life. And even though I know that I still haven’t overcome all of her, I’m happy about it because it’s better than what I used to be. I know that she can possibly come back one day, but I will overcome her again. Anxiety taught me that I can always be stronger than her. No matter what happens in my life, she will not take over my life again.

I know that Anxiety will always be with me and for now, I welcome her to be with me. I will conquer her one day, and until that day happens, I will be here, being the stronger person. Anxiety really changed my life for the good and the bad, but I am glad that she is here. I hope other people learn how to control her too and know that they can be strong like me. And I know that I’m not the strongest person in the world, but for what I’ve been through? It’s good enough for me.

-Alexandra Drake

Everywhere and Nowhere

I am from the city and the rural

I am from where the fields are plenty and the sky is blue

I am from where the traffic is a buzz and the nights are make do

I am from the the lingering smell of manure

I am from the air that wasn’t so pure

I am from the nuts, the weirdoes, the odd ones

I am from the evenings filled with long runs

I am from drives to see the other parent

I am from the group that was quite apparent

I am from the land in the East, not the West

I am from school that wasn’t quite the best

I am from the friends who stood by my side

I am from deeds of pride

I am from everything that brought me to now

I am from everyone who asked me how

I am from the world with many limitations

I am from the boy with large expectations

I am from a battle with Aspergers

I am from the people that carried me further

I am from the boy who was raised with good morals

Aching Beauty

There is an incredible amount of pain in this world.

I’ve been to the point where my heart aches hollow and unwanted.

A deep extreme gut-wrenching pain that hurts like hell with every single breath.

A terrifically sad feeling that buries you alive and seems to slowly crush your soul.




But I’ve also realized that there is beauty,

so much damn beauty,

 in this horrific world.

And that although there is ravishing, heart-wrenching hurt in this world

that there is much,

 much much much more beauty.

And that I want to be here to capture the absolute biggest amount of it possible.

That I want to be here to watch the stars.

And hear the birds chirp through trees as the branches

sway in the wind.

That I want to dance to the latest songs on the radio with my sister and girlfriends.

That I want to giggle hysterically for no reason.

I want to go on road trips,

swim in the waves,

sob into my mom’s arms as we watch the latest chick flick.

I want to run miles with my midcalfs and Adidas sneakers.

Listen to endless hours of music ranging from rap to oldies to pop to classic rock.

I want to be able to hang out with my boyfriend

 and be a bad-ass and make-out with him in the middle of a store

and then giggle about it later.

I want to be able to make sloppy sushi with my best friend and then eat until our stomaches feel like they are going to explode.

And harmlessly make fun of my mom with my older brother slapping high fives with every BURNNNN

I want to be here.

To see my sister grow up.

And hear my dad come home from work everyday with a goofy grin on his face and a booming HEYYY I’M HOMMMMMMMMMMEEEEEEEEEEEE

To smile at the simple beauties

And throw pebbles into a lake,

snuggle into my boyfriends embrace

look into my loved ones eyes.

To blast the radio and scream out the windows as my mom drags us along to stores

to tan and talk about life with my friends

to ask questions

fall asleep cuddled against my fluffy dog.

God, I just want to be here.

Part of this universe.

And yes there’s pain.

A shit load of sickening horrific utter deep aching shattering pain.

But it’s worth it.

Don’t you think so?

 –Maddy Marquez

From Wales

I’m from a goof that is stupidly smart.

I’m from fear of not failing.

I’m from a dysfunctionally functional family.

I’m from “Just go for it”.

I’m from the smell of Mexico.

I’m from the keys of my piano.

I’m from the vineyards of Italy and the football of Wales.

I’m from “Nah, your good”.

I’m from Wayne Wesley Wales or W3 for short.

I’m from “Forget about the past, and keep moving forward”.


I’m From My Old Home

I’m from a city named Hampton, Virginia.

I’m from Mark, Lyn, Uncle Bobbie, Bobbie and Chase.

I’m from pets, past and present.

I’m from being the only one to being the oldest one.

I’m from the music of Aerosmith and ACDC.

I’m from “Home is where the heart is”.

I’m from where enemies are friends and friends are family.

I’m from sweet smelling apple pies in my Nana’s oven.

I’m from memories held within the binds of scrapbooks.

I’m from generations of cancer, sickness and strength.

I’m from friends that help me when going through tough times.

I’m from separation and coming together.

I’m from a place left, but never forgotten.


That’s When You Know You Love Her

She’s dancing in the kitchen singing her favorite old country song in only his flannel shirt.

She’s cooking him supper, cause she knows when he comes home he’ll be covered in dirt.

He opens the front door as she’s dancing around like their ain’t nobody watching her moves.

He picks her up and sets on her on the counter, gives her the biggest kiss, and says “I know you make me the happiest, girl you got nothing to prove.”

Suppers on the table and it gonna be ready.

This is a sure sign now she know’s they’re going steady.

That night she is in a cuddly mood.

He comes over to the couch turns on Netflix, holds her in his arms, and gets her food.

She hasn’t moved a bit.

She’s just gonna lay there watching him until he finally falls asleep and then he’ll throw a fit.

From the Countryside

I’m from the back roads where everyone knows your name.

I’m from the everyday meals at my grandparents– cherished memories.

I’m from “don’t hit your sister” while playing outside.

I’m from sitting in the road, finding monkey gold.

I’m from the old bridge we cherished until they tore it down– the most excitement for the road.

I’m from the two-strokes going everyday of the week except Sunday.

I’m from the fear of fire and losing your house and everything you love everyday.

I’m from the smell of manure being fresh everyday.

I’m from the district in Germany who settled in York, and a district in Greece which is now in Southern Lancaster.

I’m from the moments when Flashback Friday is an annual thing.

I’m from having a new movie is not just a goal anymore, but an addition to the collection of more than one thousand.

I’m from moments when riding our bikes were one of the only freedoms we had.

I’m from a time when we did not need phones to be happy because we thought of something better to do and electronics were on a limited time.

I’m from when sneaking up the road to your grandparents’ was a crime, but the food was delicious.

I’m from where the memories are hung on the wall instead of packed away until you find them again.

I’m from a time of which you love to go to an attic to find something old to someone else, but a new treasure to you.

I’m from the mud in between your toes was a good thing.

I’m from the dirt roads that were barely ever traveled.

I’m from racing up and down the field to see who was a better rider.

I’m from fixing cars with my dad and brother everyday after school.

I’m from amazing genres of music and bands- Panic! At The Disco, Fall Out Boy, Kongos, The 80s, 90s, and Today’s.

I’m from “Dude you hit the garage, you’re not touching my fourwheeler again”.

I’m from the country which is where I was born and raised and it shaped who I am today.


I Never Realized This was All Just a Dream

“We were watching fireworks when he kissed me for the first time.”  She was staring at her feet, not wanting to meet those eyes that seemed to turn everything into honey; she wanted to be able to say this and still be able to move.

“The whole world dropped out from under my feet and I thought ‘oh my God this is what it’s supposed to feel like.’”

She could feel him staring at her, wondering what she was telling him.

“I thought I loved him.  I thought that he loved me.”

She let out a small laugh, her lips twisting into a cruel smile.

“But I woke up one day, and none of that mattered.

“You see, love isn’t going to solve all your problems and loving someone doesn’t mean that it’s enough to save them, or you.  Whatever the heck is up there, they’ve got some plan for you and it doesn’t matter if his lips feel like fire and every touch seems to rip you apart and put you back together at the same time.

“So I was destined to meet you.  I was fated to fall for you.  And we were cursed to part ways too soon.”

She looked up then and saw that a smile was playing across his lips and those green eyes had turned into a shade of almost yellow.  He pulled her close and through all of their layers, she could feel his hands freezing her waist.  He whispered to her, so close to her mouth that his lips ghosted over hers.  “You’re an idiot.”

And then she woke up.

I’ve Grown Tired of Trying to Change for You

      She looked at him, at his green eyes and that mouth that she would have done anything to turn into a smile.  She shook her head, smiled this little smile like she knew some crazy secret and whispered,

     “I would have loved you, you know.”

     She said it so quietly she wondered if he hadn’t heard, but she knew, she knew with all of her that she had, he had heard.

     He blinked.  Once.  His eyes, she realized, weren’t a candy apple green.  They were the woods in the summer.

     She smiled that smile and shook her head again.  She laughed a small laugh.  “I’m sorry.”  She turned away, wanting so badly for him to say, wait, I would have loved you too, there’s still time.  But she knew that he wouldn’t.  She knew there wasn’t any time.  She had wasted it all on watching him smile that day, when the sun came through the window in the empty room, turning his eyes into the most beautiful things she had ever seen, and he had laughed when she had left and her friend had taken a picture and showed her and she vowed she would make him laugh like that again.  She wasted it that day, the day she realized that she liked him, she had wasted it making a promise to herself she couldn’t keep.  And here she was, a month later.  There was no more time.  But she knew she wouldn’t take back that day for anything.  She knew he would never like her but she had something of him.  She had that memory of his eyes and they way the corners of his mouth turned up.  And that was enough, whatever it was worth, it was enough.

     She walked away.  The cold wind bit into her cheeks, but for the first time, it didn’t bite into her bones.  She didn’t look back.

     And he watched her go, her brown hair swinging down her back, and he wondered what she could have meant.  What he had just lost.

The Dream of Books

Hearts stone, hero’s life

light in darkness, fire in ice

adventure everlasting

oh the dream of living in books


conquering fears,finding true love

so simple and free

just you and the world

thats where i’d die to be


possibilities as far as the seas

such fun and fear for thee

brave cowardice, vicious peace

oh, what a life that would be


if only it was a simple task

to live in this wonderful land

maybe i just need a helpful hand

or maybe it’s just a childish dream



  • Shane Shirk



Again and Again

Again and Again I get up in the morning and go to school.

Again and Again I eat the same breakfast, drive the same route, and look at the same things.

Day after Day I sit in the same classes, and hear the same things.

Where are you going to college? Do your homework! Always be the best. Who will you be in the future?

If there even is a future…

But do you ever think to yourself, what is my purpose?

I do the same thing every single day just like everyone else, but who cares?

As long as we get good grades, are successful in our activities, and are “normal” and not “weird” then we have nothing to worry about Everything will take care of itself from there and we will live long happy fulfilling lives right? Who really knows.

–Collin Whiteside

Life Goes On

People die

life goes on.

Lives are started

life goes on.

Theft and murder is committed

life goes on.

Terrorism and natural disasters

and yet life continues to go on.

Friend starts a rumor at school

time stops.

Game over, life ruined, I can’t believe it.

We live in a world where the smallest, most meaningless things have the biggest impacts.

And I just think to myself, why are we even here?

–Collin Whiteside


My thoughts, though so silent, might flow so violent;

no more peaks, means no more climbing.

Higher than this is space; not personal;

it’s publicly caged and

Imma take it back now

it’s theft to my name.

By: Chris Sherts

Simply Me

With brown hair that falls in frizzy waves,

Hazel eyes hidden behind glasses that hide how she feels.

With a kind heart,

But a damaged soul.

She hides away from the world

Not allowing them to see her pain.

She cares more for another than herself,

Not really believing she can be saved.

She cause me more misery than most,

But she is the one I care for deeply.

Her kindness has helped others.

She has knowledge others refuse to understand.

Her loyalty as kept secrets since she learned to speak.

She has never done a person wrong by choice.

Her bravery has stood up for numerous,

Even her enemies.

This girl is known by many as a weird girl.

Shy with odd habits,

And many other labels.

But the truth cannot be seen.

This girl has no one label.

She is the cause of my misery,

She is the one with so much to love,

But so little hope inside her that she gives it to others,

Saving none for herself.

She is simply a teenage girl.

She is simply,


—Michala Harvey

Fall Out Boy

Just one yesterday

We were alone together

The mighty fell

For centuries


Sugar we’re going down

The phoenix has risen

From death valley

Young volcanoes explode


Love will tear us apart

My heart is the worst kind of weapon

This is the calm before the storm

My songs know what you did in the dark

—Ally Moyer

Just One Yesterday

Just one yesterday, I was looking through clear glass at stars. Today, a smog filled sky. There are no stars where I stood. And I doubt there will ever be again. My thoughts were a jumbled mess. I thought of so many things, but couldn’t focus on any. Then your eyes came to mind. Big and bright and so full of hope for a better tomorrow. My heart lay shattered in a thousand tiny pieces, ready to float away with a slight breeze. I let the note you left me drift to the ground. On it inscribed “Hope you have a better tomorrow.”

—Ally Moyer

I Am From

Where i’m from, the birds wake you up with chirping.

Where i’m from, you wake up to a nice made breakfast.

Where i’m from, you will see stink bugs everywhere.

Where i’m from, you have to work hard for the things you want.

Where i’m from, the smell of farms is all around you.

Where i’m from, is a place with insanely slow speed limits and many fast drivers.

Where i’m from, you grow up watching Tom and Jerry and Scooby Doo.

Where i’m from, is the most perfect place for a kid to grow up and become a man.

Lightning Memories

As a woman sat alone in her rocking chair,
She glanced out the window while twirling her hair.
She saw how the lightning lit the sky,
As seconds and minutes passed on by.

The woman did not always enjoy thunderstorms,
Until one day she watched one from her college dorm.
Now she sits and thinks of going outside,
But cringes from the memory of the day she cried,

When her parents were struck by lightning and died.