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Making Friends With Anxiety | A Year of Lockdown & More

I haven’t had cancer, but i’ve always had anxiety.  I have suffered the withdrawal, depression and concourse of negive thoughts that often come with it.   And like so many people, I have been affected by cancer.

My name is Oliver. My father Andrew was a founding member of ThymicUK and had Thymoma for 7 years before he contracted Leukemia which eventually took his life in June 2020.

The past year has been particularly tough for me, but I have learned so much, and rather than trying to withdraw, escape and run away from my worries I have learnt to make friends with them.  I am pleased to say, though life is not perfect, I am in a better place now.

My experiences may not have been all about Thymoma or Thymic Carcinoma but I am sure in many ways, we can all relate.

I wanted to share a poem I wrote and read at a local poetry club recently.  I know little of poetry nor have I particularly read any, and certainly not written one before.  However, I hope that it may be able to help at least one person.

 

Who’d Have Thought / This Time Last Year

Who’d have thought, this time last year.

That I’d be standing, before you here.

I’d hide at home this winter time.

Trying to escape the thoughts in my mind.

I’d run and run but get nowhere.

The feelings inside too much to bare.

Anxiety held it’s grip on me.

No matter how much I tried to flee.

The storm around me grew and grew.

Things were getting much worse, I knew.

It felt like I was missing.

From reality I was slipping.

I’d question if I was really there.

I’d look around me, and blankly stare.

Could I break free from this storm?

Could I ever return to some sort of norm?

The storm threw everything at me.

It seemed that there was nowhere to flee.

Finally I decided enough was enough.

I’d head towards this storm, no matter how tough.

I wouldn’t hide or run away.

I’d say to my thoughts, you can stay.

I’d make anxiety my friend, not my foe.

And to my new life I’d begin to say hello.

I sailed into the storm and not away.

And slowly I got better day by day.

I was knocked about from side-to-side.

It wasn’t easy when I didn’t hide.

But as I got closer to the centre,

I realised things were getting better.

Then it started to become clear.

That there wasn’t actually any storm here.

The waters here were smooth and calm

I was no longer afraid of constant harm.

So I sailed on into the sun.

And continued the new life that I had begun.

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