I found the following piece of prose in a travel journal from 2001. These were dark days for me as I was suffering from bad depression and anxiety – I know that now. At the time I was overseas on my first European trip and loving it. I finally felt free – I was tasting independence and happiness, and I was dreading coming home.

I’ve had a go at tweaking it slightly, so that it now flows better. I thought I would share with you, as an insight into the mind of someone struggling with anxiety.

The thoughts circle each other…

Round…and round…and around.

I want them to stop but my mind is trapped.

There is no escape route or ‘off’ switch,

Just the constant whirring of the cogs in my brain.

At times the effort seems too great,

But as I breathe, life goes on.

Janine Ripper 2001, Revised 2011


12 thoughts on “Anxiety

  1. As a psychologist, I think I understand about as well as one who hasn’t experienced it can understand it. As an unmet friend, I am thrilled that you are controlling your demons. We all have them – it’s just that they vary considerably in size and in visibility.

  2. What a long, strange trip it’s been. 🙂
    Yeah, anxiety sends you into this freaking loop,heart racing, short of breath, head pounding. Not a fun thing. Glad you’re you now.

  3. Ok, your words do reflect the current state of mind you were in but they also reflect the strength to carry on. Depression is a pretty tough state, very tough in fact and I know it out of personal experience. All I can say is I admire the courage you show and keep inspiring others to fight their inner demons to evolve for a brighter future.
    Loved those lines.

  4. I have a family member who is dealing with this same health condition, and I am working to educate myself on what they go through daily. Thank you for your insight.

  5. You did a great job describing anxiety. Hard to comprehend what the mind can suffer, trapped by itself. Thanks for the insight Janine.
    cath xo

    • Thinking back, it took me years. Soul searching, counselling, medication, yoga, exercise, changing jobs, resolving childhood issues, developing coping mechanisms, telling people of my problem, etc. A long journey.

  6. Thanks for sharing your most personal feelings beautifully depicted in your poem. I don’t know if I could be brave enough to do the same. I know that’s the way depression makes you feel – there’s no escape – yet I detect a slight note at the end that shows how you were struggling to overcome it.

  7. While no one can fully understand the feelings in another’s mind, I have been in a similar place as you. I didn’t realize what it was at the time, but I began to develop my symptoms of depression while away for two-years of travel. It wasn’t until the anxiety attacks began after returning that I sought help and was diagnosed with chronic depression. Writing is a great outlet for me, as I see it is for you. I’m looking forward to reading your posts as part of the Personal Bloggers group

    • Ah you have joined an excellent group then as quite a few of us have, or are going through this. You will get to know them as we progress through the months. I look forward to getting to know you and read your posts.

  8. Janine,

    I have been amazed and awed in reading your postings and you continue to do so. “Life” is very tough out there these days and though you sometimes reflect on your “challenges” as failings, I think in fact you should see success!

    So few of us look “inside” ourselves and see our pain, and then address them. Many of us, myself included, just chalk it up as “parts of who we are” or just squelch the feelings, yet they never really go away.

    I think that happiness is when we see our “pains” for what they are, let them out and through that process, we then “cleanse” ourselves of those pains or at the least, understand them so we can use them for benefit instead of detriment to ourselves.

    You, through your postings are doing that, and sharing with the rest of us, you are letting us do the same with our feelings, pains, and uneasiness in life. For that, I believe I speak for many, “thank you”!

    All the best to you and looking forward to your next posting!


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