By JFarrell



“What if…?”, starts the web

One thought, one tiny feeling of doubt

Screams with such deafening force

The echoes ricochet back

Pummelling you with the shrapnel of anxiety

Suddenly, your mind is racing

From “what if…?” to “WHAT IF…?”

The thousand fears that instantly flood you

Are corrosive, adhesive, sinuous, entangling

Beguilingly wrapping themselves about you

Tighter and tighter, crushing the breath out of you

Gossamer tendrils of fear cling to all your thoughts

The more you struggle the tighter they constrict

Ensnared, rooted, trapped

Like the fly thrashing about in the web

Trying to break free

Your misery only serves to be the appetizer

For the spider approaching from your soul


Author's Notes/Comments: 

here ends the web



by Jeph Johnson


I have PTSD

But for me the P

Stands for pre not post.


It's AKA anxiety.

The past is behind me,

Why worry about that?

Creative memory

Can easily help me

Control that.

I worry about

What isn't so easy

To control:

The future.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

circa 2013

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Dominating the Future

by DaddyO 


I have PTSD, but for me the "P" stands for "pre" not "post."


Yes I have...


Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder


It's also known as anxiety.


No one can control the past, all any of us can do is hope to control our memories of the past. My selective memory does a fairly good job of that. I am also very inventive and analytical, so with a little creativity, I can sift the golden memories from the sands of my past. In doing this my mind (which is in the present) often feels better about the past than the future.


I love to reminisce and revel in my many successes.


I have lived a life devoted to pleasure that many would envy. Since embracing hedonism at the turn of the 20th century, I have strove for or had fun every single day of my existence. I have lived my life on my terms, steadfastly holding my own (or saying "fuck you") amidst critics, adversaries and down-right enemies!


But I also wish to learn from my many mistakes: I call it "growing up", and I certainly have a lot more of that to do than most men my age! As my body matures, the rest of me holds on to those selective positive memories.

In short, I created a world for myself that is very foreign to what other men my age experience by avoiding the responsibilities most men my age have. A life intent on having as few responsibilities as possible:


By foregoing a college education I avoided tuition debt. Sure I took a few electives, but they were just classes I wanted to take!


In working at jobs where the most I ever made was $10 an hour, I learned skills that were "fun" rather than practical. Still I attended over 300 free concerts, met countless rock stars and collected enough compact discs to open my own store as a hobby!


In getting snipped I produced no "junior", but I never had to discipline an unruly child or forego a party because I had a kid at home.


In short, I find myself with the responsibilities of someone in their early 20s, (complete with 22 year old girlfriend at the time of this writing). That's the bright side. But on the dark side I no longer have the youthful enthusiasm, health or hopefulness to go along with it.


I have the bone creaks, lightheaded dizziness and stomach cramps of an ageing overweight diabetic man, yet my present needs are few.


I am clever and self-contained so I can derive enjoyment and entertainment from otherwise mundane things and situations. My mind keeps me busy enough to not require expensive hobbies. Hell, I don't even need video games or an entertainment budget above that to maintain a portal to the world wide web,


All my enjoyment comes in these simple pleasures: Writing, music, internet, fantasy sports and seeing my girlfriend's eyes light up when she smiles at me! And I like them as much for the simplicity as I do for their pleasures!!


I don't need a luxury car, tropical vacation, designer clothing or fine dining.

I just want to be healthy and wealthy enough to not be bedridden or hungry and able to wear practical clothing. I want a warm bed and shelter from the elements for myself, my girl and our modest belongings, as well as transportation to and from work and the store.


That's about it!


When other people get triggered, all logic and reasoning seem to fly out the window. I guess it's the opposite for me. When I am triggered is when I start using logic and reason.


The way I look at triggers is a person can rest easy, for the gun is no longer loaded!


But this thing we call "the future" scares the hell out of me. The idea that we indeed can control our future is what riddles me with so much anxiety.


People with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and triggers seem to have a difficult time putting bad experiences behind them.


People with anxiety have a difficult time navigating the experiences ahead of them.


My desire to be "dominant" stems from this happy place I find myself in when I have control of my present (and presumably future) surroundings.


Do submissive people generally have a tougher time dealing with the past?

From my experiences, yes.


I envy a submissive person's ability to give up control of the present, yet am frequently frustrated by how much influence triggering memories of the past seem to be for them.


I have few regrets for most of the things I've done along the way. Instead I regret a lot of what I didn't do.


Which is terrifying when you find yourself careening down the opposite side of the "over-the-hill" analogy and looking back at what you've done is much more difficult. All that you've done is obscured from view. There's that damn hill in the way!


All the things you didn't do stay with you forever, however.


So I feel I have gotten a lot out of this world in this era I've lived. Death doesn't scare me, but the road leading there does!


I still have a few bucket list items. None should require money but all require stability. And because stability requires money I'm screwed.

Author's Notes/Comments: 


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I liked us,

We always had each others back,

I can remember looking at your smile

Thinking I could see it carrying on for miles into some world of bliss,

Your little brother would look at you,

As if having more knowledge of that rich, expansive kindess,

Of what I assumed was at your core,


Now I know,

There is a demon who dwells inside of you,

I hear its stomps and roars,

Its shackles whipping and bending at its will,

Putting cracks in what I once thought,

Was a friendship sturdy as marble,

I feel the screams of your wrath,

I'm shocked how low they moaned,

When you created so many elegant distractions,

But now I see what lives in you,

And I fear it waits for me,

To throw my bones with all the rest,

Of the sorry fools that ever bought your act.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

I know I haven't posted in a while but a certain person has managed to make me so incredibly irritated that I am back to writing. Hope to have a few more posted by the end of the week. Enjoy!

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Living In My Shell

I can hear the busy city life right outside my window,

People rushing around to get where they have to be.

I remember when I was always moving and on the go,

Things are different now that the anxiety has taken over me.


The fear of what’s out there has consumed my brain,

Every waking moment is a struggle for me.

No one knows the depths of my pain,

I have locked it up and thrown away the key.


Feelings of no one understanding what I go through,

Thinking the worst will always happen, without a doubt.

Hiding in my home has become what I do,

I’m living in a shell and keeping everyone out.


How do I get away from this, I just want to be free,

It’s got a hold on me and I’m trying to let go.

I want my life back; I want to be happy.

This fear I feel just continues to grow.


Maybe one day I will get the happiness that I crave,

Until then I will continue to fear all.

Staying in my shell and trying to be brave,

 Continuously living behind my built up wall.

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Anxiety Alive

Racing thoughts taking over my brain,

My head and heart in so much pain,

Thoughts of impending doom fill my head.

Feelings of wishing I were dead,


“Just make it stop!” I scream inside myself.

Feeling as though nothing will ever help.

Knowing that the thoughts will stay in my head.

No matter what anyone has said.


I just want to have some normal thoughts,

And not always feel so out of sorts.

Feeling no one can ever fully understand,

Always seem to have my head in my hands.


The tears flow steady as I write these words,

Wishing I could fly real high like the birds.

Just get away from the racing going on,

Just get away, just be gone.


This is something beyond my control,

Why am I alive, what is my role?

How did I get like this, when did it begin?

Feeling as if I will never win.


So each day continues the same as before,

The racing feeling beginning to soar.

I wonder how will I get through another day,


Trying to keep these feelings at bay.

my dad

He is so happy and so enthused


he plays his violin and is very amused


everyone tells him how good he can play


but he says he cannot play that way everyday.


People wonder how that could be


when obviously he can play, you can see


but when he is sober he is scared and afraid


that he will not like the song that he made.


Even though it is beautiful, and even though it is pure,


he says he needs the alcohol, and that is for sure,


to help dull his senses just enough


and make playing the violin a little less tough.


I hope that one day he will learn to play


the violin in a less threatening way


so that he too can hear the sound


 without all of his other senses bringing him down.

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I'm Not

I'm not.
The words I would always say to myself as an excuse.

I'm not.
The excuse that removes any sort of responsibility from me.

I'm not.
Not what? Not capable? Not worthy? Of course I am.

I'm not.
I have a soul strong enough to bend the world,
I have imagination to do anything I want,
The world is in my fingertips.
Of course I am.

I'm not.
But when my mind grips a hold and the nightmares of
Memories beyond that imagination of mine wash over me,
And all I can remember is how I felt when I held
Broken bones of the person who had saved me so many times over.

I'm not.
Not young? Not without pain? No.

I'm not.
But I can sure as hell still stand with this sky on my back and
Say to the world with pride “I am!”
Because what I'm not means nothing to me.
What I am not doesn't define me.
What I am is what shapes my soul,
And gives me the strength to move forward.

I'm not.
And at the same time,
I am.

Fearful Indulgence

Is it better on fearful feet

To run from my ghastly ghouls

Who maliciously haunt my innocuous mind?

Or to turn and try a fight

In which I will most certainly succumb

To my ever living enemies?


Enemies of the mind,

Their variety endless,

Just as their abilities

To shatter and destroy,

Fragile and unlike alike,

To fragments of former reality.


Is it so noble

To fight demons undefeatable

Rather than choose a simple flight

Away from tormentous anxieties?

A decision quickly made by a courageous and fearful few,

And pondered upon for lifetimes by others,

Will haunt me alike to the fears

Who proposed the question initially.

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