Brenna Twohy – "Anxiety: A Ghost Story" (NPS 2015)



we have got to talk about the kids in all those Goosebumps books for example if your family vacation is to an amusement park called HorrorLand and your station wagon explodes in the parking lot upon arrival maybe shrugging it off buying an extra large popcorn and heading directly to the deadly doom slide is not your best possible course of action or if you steal a weird camera from your creepy neighbors basement and all the pictures you take show bad things happening like decapitation and also tofurkey and then all the bad things from all the pictures start happening stop taking pictures or if you move into your new house and there are a bunch of small children already living in your bedroom that your parents cannot see maybe don't just grab a juice box and go to play in the cemetery that is in your back yard or when I tell you about the ghosts that live inside my body I tell you I have a cemetery in my back yard and in my front yard and in my bedroom when I tell you that trauma is a steep slide you cannot see the bottom of that my anxiety is a camera that shows everyone I love as bones when I tell you when I tell you that panic is a stubborn phantom she will grab on to me and not let go for months this is the part of the story when everyone is telling you to run to love me is to love a haunted house it's fun to visit once a year but no one wants to live there and when you say tell me about the bad days sounds like all the neighborhood kids daring each other to ring the doorbell and you love me like the family walking through horror land holding hands you are not stupid or careless or even brave you've just never seen the close up of a haunting darling this love will not cure me this love will not scrape the blood from the baseboards but it will turn all the lights on it will bring basil back from the farmers market and it will plant it in every windowsill the kind of love that gives me goosebumps when you say to the ghosts if you're staying then you better make room and we kiss against the walls that tonight are not shaking so we turn the music up and we dance to Miles Davis we turn the music up and we dance to Miles Davis and you say my god this house the way that it stands even on the months that no one goes into or comes out of it how reckless the way that I love like the first chapter of a ghost story like a gentle hand reaching out of a grave [Applause]

33 comments

  1. Anxiety is almost like a person always there to remind you what could go wrong. They make little things so much bigger to the point where you feel trapped. Like you can never get out of any situation, like you want to give up. Its horrible

  2. this poem still hits me hard. anxiety is so hard to explain to people who dont struggle with it like i do and this did it beautifully.

  3. I love this so much this piece is so heartfelt and inspirational as well as relatable she is an inspiration and an amazing woman keep writing this piece is outstanding.💕

  4. I took this so deep this speaks to me BC I have anxiety I don't go out unless I'm forced BC im scared of social interaction I'm scared of what people will say when they see me I am SCARED people ask me WHY I'm so quiet I reply "uh idk" when in my head there are a million different answers they could give a million different things they could say "your weird" "wth" "whats wrong with you" no one understands WHY family members tell me "hey go outside get off they phone" I say no they then proceed to ask why I reply BC I'm scared
    They ask why I'm scared I don't reply and start thinking millions of thoughts "what would they say if I told them" "what would they think" "would they send me to a mental correction facility"
    Will they take me to a therapist to "talk"

  5. Anxiety: A Ghost Story

    We have got to talk about the kids
    in all those Goosebumps books. 
    For example,
    if your family vacation 
    is to an amusement park 
    called HORRORLAND,
    and your station wagon explodes 
    in the parking lot upon arrival,
    maybe
    shrugging it off, 
    buying an extra large popcorn,
    and heading straight for 
    The Deadly Doom Slide
    is not your best possible 
    course of action.

    Or,
    if you steal a weird camera 
    from your creepy neighbor’s basement
    and every picture you take 
    shows bad things happening,
    like decapitation 
    and Tofurkey,
    and then all the bad things 
    from the pictures 
    start happening,
    Stop Taking Pictures.

    Or,
    if you move into your new house
    and there are a bunch of small children already living in your bedroom
    that your parents cannot see,
    maybe,
    don’t just grab a juice box
    and go play in the cemetery 
    that
    is
    in
    your
    backyard.

    Or,
    when I tell you of the ghosts
    that live inside my body;
    When I tell you
    I have a cemetery in my backyard
    and in my front yard
    and in my bedroom;
    When I tell you 
    trauma is a steep slide 
    you cannot see the bottom of,
    that my anxiety is a camera 
    that shows everyone I love as bones,
    when I tell you 
    panic is a stubborn phantom,
    she will grab hold of me
    and not let go for months–
    this is the part of the story 
    when everyone is telling you to run.

    To love me
    is to love a haunted house–
    it’s fun to visit once a year,
    but no one wants to live there,
    and when you say,
    “Tell me about the bad days,”
    it sounds like all the neighborhood kids daring each other to ring the doorbell, 
    you love me
    like the family walking through Horrorland holding hands–
    You are not stupid,
    or careless, 
    or even brave,
    you’ve just never seen 
    the close-up of a haunting.

    Darling,
    this love will not cure me. 
    And this love will not scrape 
    the blood from the baseboards,
    but it will turn all the lights on,
    it will bring basil 
    back from the farmer’s market 
    and it will plant it in every windowsill,
    it is the kind of love 
    that gives me goosebumps,
    when you say to the ghosts,
    “If you’re staying, 
    then you better make room,”
    and we kiss against the walls 
    that tonight are not shaking,
    so we turn the music up
    and we dance to Miles Davis,
    and you say, 
    “My god,
    this house.
    The way that it stands
    even on the months 
    that no one goes into 
    or comes out of it.”

    How reckless, the way that I love
    like the first chapter of a ghost story. 
    Like the gentlest hand
    reaching out of a grave.

  6. Anxiety: A Ghost Story
    We have got to talk about the kids
    in all those Goosebumps books.
    For example,
    if your family vacation
    is to an amusement park
    called HORRORLAND,
    and your station wagon explodes
    in the parking lot upon arrival,
    maybe
    shrugging it off,
    buying an extra large popcorn,
    and heading straight for
    The Deadly Doom Slide
    is not your best possible
    course of action.

    Or,
    if you steal a weird camera
    from your creepy neighbor’s basement
    and every picture you take
    shows bad things happening,
    like decapitation
    and Tofurkey,
    and then all the bad things
    from the pictures
    start happening,
    Stop Taking Pictures.

    Or,
    if you move into your new house
    and there are a bunch of small children already living in your bedroom
    that your parents cannot see,
    maybe,
    don’t just grab a juice box
    and go play in the cemetery
    that
    is
    in
    your
    backyard.

    Or,
    when I tell you of the ghosts
    that live inside my body;
    When I tell you
    I have a cemetery in my backyard
    and in my front yard
    and in my bedroom;
    When I tell you
    trauma is a steep slide
    you cannot see the bottom of,
    that my anxiety is a camera
    that shows everyone I love as bones,
    when I tell you
    panic is a stubborn phantom,
    she will grab hold of me
    and not let go for months–
    this is the part of the story
    when everyone is telling you to run.

    To love me
    is to love a haunted house–
    it’s fun to visit once a year,
    but no one wants to live there,
    and when you say,
    “Tell me about the bad days,”
    it sounds like all the neighborhood kids daring each other to ring the doorbell,
    you love me
    like the family walking through Horrorland holding hands–
    You are not stupid,
    or careless,
    or even brave,
    you’ve just never seen
    the close-up of a haunting.

    Darling,
    this love will not cure me.
    And this love will not scrape
    the blood from the baseboards,
    but it will turn all the lights on,
    it will bring basil
    back from the farmer’s market
    and it will plant it in every windowsill,
    it is the kind of love
    that gives me goosebumps,
    when you say to the ghosts,
    “If you’re staying,
    then you better make room,”
    and we kiss against the walls
    that tonight are not shaking,
    so we turn the music up
    and we dance to Miles Davis,
    and you say,
    “My god,
    this house.
    The way that it stands
    even on the months
    that no one goes into
    or comes out of it.”

    How reckless, the way that I love
    like the first chapter of a ghost story.
    Like the gentlest hand
    reaching out of a grave.

  7. This is a transcript of "Anxiety: A Ghost Story" by Brenna Twohy. This is a public service and I am not in any way associated with this artist or YouTube channel. Forgive how long it is but this is how I write the lyrics for my spoken word poetry music videos about mental health awareness and other topics on my own YouTube channel. Enjoy! 💓

    "-We have got to talk about the kids
    in all those Goosebumps books.
    -For example,
    -if your family vacation
    -is to an amusement park
    -called HORRORLAND,
    -and your station wagon explodes
    -in the parking lot upon arrival,
    -maybe
    -shrugging it off,
    -buying an extra large popcorn,
    -and heading straight for
    -The Deadly Doom Slide
    -is not your best possible
    -course of action.
    -Or,
    -if you steal a weird camera
    -from your creepy neighbor’s basement
    -and every picture you take
    -shows bad things happening,
    -like decapitation
    -and Tofurkey,
    -and then all the bad things
    -from the pictures
    -start happening,
    -Stop Taking Pictures.
    -Or,
    -if you move into your new house
    -and there are a bunch of small children already living in your bedroom
    -that your parents cannot see,
    -maybe,
    -don’t just grab a juice box
    -and go play in the cemetery
    -that is in your backyard.
    -Or,
    -when I tell you of the ghosts
    -that live inside my body;
    -When I tell you
    -I have a cemetery in my backyard
    -and in my front yard
    -and in my bedroom;
    -When I tell you
    -trauma is a steep slide
    -you cannot see the bottom of,
    -that my anxiety is a camera
    -that shows everyone I love as bones,
    -when I tell you
    -panic is a stubborn phantom,
    -she will grab hold of me
    -and not let go for months–
    -this is the part of the story
    -when everyone is telling you to run.
    -To love me
    -is to love a haunted house–
    -it’s fun to visit once a year,
    -but no one wants to live there,
    -and when you say,
    -'Tell me about the bad days,'
    -it sounds like all the neighborhood -kids daring each other to ring the doorbell,
    -you love me
    -like the family walking through Horrorland holding hands,
    -You are not stupid,
    -or careless,
    -or even brave,
    -you’ve just never seen
    -the close-up of a haunting.
    -Darling,
    -this love will not cure me.
    -And this love will not scrape
    -the blood from the baseboards,
    -but it will turn all the lights on,
    -it will bring basil
    -back from the farmer’s market
    -and it will plant it in every windowsill,
    -it is the kind of love
    -that gives me goosebumps,
    -when you say to the ghosts,
    -'If you’re staying,
    -then you better make room,'
    -and we kiss against the walls
    -that tonight are not shaking,
    -so we turn the music up
    -and we dance to Miles Davis,
    -and you say,
    -'My god,
    -this house.
    -The way that it stands
    -even on the months
    -that no one goes into
    -or comes out of it.
    -How reckless, the way that I love
    -like the first chapter of a ghost story.
    -Like the gentlest hand
    -reaching out of a grave."

    Thanks so much for taking the time to read this, and I hope it was helpful. If you did, please check out my own YouTube channel and let me know. ❤

  8. I had social anxiety and her line of 'no one coming in or out for months' is so true. I was able to function, but just barely. I was able to go to school everyday, but it is not healthy to plan in your head how you will stand up and walk off the school bus. It is not healthy to hold your breath in the halls for fear of making noise. It is not healthy to feel yourself detaching, it is not shyness that made my heartbeat increase, my limbs shake, and my palms sweat. It was an illness. But they only commented on how shy of a person I was. And that is also true, but that was not shyness that was a sickness. I lost friends, ignored at lunch facing aimlessly in front of me while they turned into each other discussing countless things. It is not fair to put blame or hate on them, but how lonely I felt was killing me. I tried to interact but it felt to helpless I felt the urge to go completely mute. I am better now, but anxiety slowly will build up throughout some days, and I feel like exploding. Things do get better though, never give up on yourself. You are your own home, even if it is a ghost home. It is the one home that will carry you through life and harber you to rest and recover from dauntless tasks. Good luck!

Leave a Reply

(*) Required, Your email will not be published