Tag Archive | fear

Enemy Within

Enemy Within by Crystal R. Cook

Whispers scream
in the dark of night
echoes of fear
not there in the light
When the day comes
it does not surrender
unwelcome companion
constant tormentor
Close your eyes
cover your ears
it’s coming for you
you can’t hide from this fear
It flows through your veins
it robs you of peace
squeezing your heart
as you pray for relief
There is nowhere to run
there is nowhere to hide
there is no escape
from the monster inside
You face it and fight
it tells you your weak
holding for ransom
the comfort you seek
Relentless it strikes
time after time
an insidious fog
filling your mind
An unwilling warrior
in this battle for power
sometimes you stand
sometimes you cower
The battle is private
without allies or help
you are fighting alone
at war with yourself

Crystal R. Cook


No Escape


Wandering and wondering,
meandering aimlessly,
stumbling and tumbling,
hopelessly lost in a
labyrinth of thought.
Whispering illusions
of confusion, delusion,
welcome you in
with delight.
Teasing and taunting
with fragments of dream,
lies filled with truths
wrapped in remnants
of skin ripped from reality.
Every step forward
leads only behind.
There is no escape
from a shattered mind.

Crystal R. Cook

The unknown.


I sift through the remnants
they’ve left behind
without regard for their worth.
Broken, scattered, rotting.
Trails of things they’ve
no longer use for
lead me to where
they have been.
Finding what I thought
to be lost, stolen in secret
while my back was turned.
In dark corners and
cobweb covered recesses,
I know not what lay hidden.
Fearing what may be found
I retreat, it can wait another day.

They can clean their own damn rooms.

Crystal R. Cook

Profanity wins this round.

This is the part of me I hate. This fear, this fucking incessant, stupid, ridiculous, bastard called fear. I would rid myself of it in less than a heartbeat if there was a way. Fucking anxiety. I apologize for the profanity, its unlike me to use that word, it insinuates itself into my personal vernacular every now and then, like right now. I could easily delete it, but that would be like covering up a lie. I thought it, I said it, I wrote it. Now it exists. No perfect, pretty little words can erase it now.

I want to be rid of this tyrannical and irrational nonsense residing deep within me. I’ve battled it, sometimes somewhat successfully since I was a child, obviously I’ve not yet become the victor. Hope, prayer, faith, writing, and Xanax are my weapons of choice in this seemingly never-ending conflict raging inside of me.

In the past I’ve attempted to seek help from outside sources, my resolve to never again do so was cemented the last time I stepped into the office of someone who promised relief. Explaining anxiety to someone who’s never experienced it in it’s most primal form is like trying to relay the pains of labor to someone who has yet to bear a child of their own. They haven’t anything to compare, nothing in their lives have ever come close enough to allow them to grasp the true nature of what you say. No amount of book learning can result in true understanding.

This man, he was an asshat. His professional, expert opinion was simple; I was afraid of people. No you jackhole, I just don’t care much for most of them. My fears are faceless and nameless, there is rarely a reason they come to call, just unwelcome visitors insane with the notion of driving me mad. This morning, they achieved near success as I sat sobbing and shaking, afraid of everything and nothing.

The panic portion of my ordeal has thankfully passed, but I am left with feelings of undeserved shame over what I am still unable to control. I’m angry about it. No, I’m pissed off and I’m weary. I resent being at the mercy of this invisible and unworthy adversary I allow to knock me down.

Another hour or so and the entire episode will be forgotten, as if it never even occurred. The only residual effect now is the knowledge it will return. I try not to think about that part. I try to pretend every one is the last one, but I am not naive enough to allow myself to find much comfort in the thought.

One of these days I hope to strike the final blow . . . If not, at the very least, I will continue to get back up every time it succeeds in bringing me to my knees. I may not win this fight, but I will never, never succumb to it.

The Mountain – Facing my fear

I would like to share with you a life changing event I’ve shared with precious few. It can be difficult to share some of the most deeply personal stories we keep tucked away inside of us. It’s good to share them though, release leads to healing.

Enough time has passed for me to look back upon this moment in my life and see what went wrong and how I could have done things differently . . . Live and learn. It’s my hope in sharing my story I may save even one person from suffering the horrors I did one cold, seemingly endless night, not too long ago.

I was standing before a mountain. I marveled at its height and breadth. The immenseness of it took my breath away. I felt helpless and small standing there in the shadow of it. I decided it was time to face my fears and conquer them by taking on that mountain. I was never one to take risks, to put myself out there, fear has always held me back.

I needed to do it, I had no choice. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. A test of both strength and endurance, not just of body but of mind as well. I’d put off this monumental journey for too long. I’d attempted it days before, but my irrational fears and anxiety kept me from seeing it through to the end.

I looked that mountain up and down, it was no Everest but it may as well have been. I wasn’t just doing it for myself. I was doing it for my family. They’d been so supportive, so encouraging, even after I failed the first time. They wanted this as much as I did.

I scanned the uneven surface of the mountain looking for the best place to begin. I spotted it, but as I reached and grasped the mountainside began to give way. At first I tried to remain calm but as more and more of the falling mountain came down upon me I began to panic. I had no time to think, before I knew it I was being buried. Buried alive.

When the mountain stopped trembling I began to claw my way out of the rubble. Luckily, I had the fortune of being in an air pocket, I knew the air would only last so long though. I quickly gave up my attempt at escape, afraid of collapsing the wall of debris around me. My only chance was to get someone’s attention. I began to cry out for help.

It seemed like an eternity passed before I heard the sounds of my rescuers. I extended my hand through a small hole above me and my prayers were answered when I felt the glorious touch of another hand grasping my outstretched fingers. I knew my ordeal would soon be over.

The hand released it’s comforting grip and I listened intently as a voice called out,

“Daaaaad, mom’s in the laundry pile again!”

My doctor checked me out, physically I was fine, but the emotional damage would take much longer to heal. He said I could have prevented the whole thing if I’d only done laundry earlier in the week. What does he know? Has he ever looked that beast in the eye? I think not. I’m sure Mrs. Doctor would understand.

I was certain they’d keep me overnight for observation, but he released me with a prescription for Xanax, one for Prozac and another for P.M.S (Psycho Mother Syndrome) and sent me on my way.

Perhaps I was being a bit melodramatic, perhaps a wee bit of insanity had taken over my mind, but I swear to you . . . The fear was real.

Crystal R. Cook


On the Street Where I live – Where have the Children Gone?

Where have the children gone?

On the street where I live there are children at play. From the window I see them and my heart smiles. I think back to my own yesterdays when I would race the wind on two wheels, my hair flying about like wings to guide me. Climbing trees and playing tag filled our afternoons as the sun kept watch. Dandelions were treasures bringing twinkling stars to my mother’s eyes. One, two, buckle my shoe, we sang the afternoons away. On bright red swings we tried to reach the clouds with little sandaled toes. Before the sun set on each day we were home, safe and surrounded by our family’s love.

Oh how these memories move me. I open the door to hear the laughter I know will warm my soul and find none. The rose-colored glass of memory I’d been looking through only clouded my vision to the reality of today. Nothing is as it once was. I watch and I listen, my heart aches as I stare helplessly into the face of the world.

The songs they sing have lost their innocence. Foul expressions spew from angelic lips. The little boys are playing handheld games of electronic war, do they even know war is real and ugly and sad? A gangly little girl in last year’s shorts twirls her hair for the old man next door and he watches her, too closely. I find myself in silent prayer.

Schools are as dangerous as the streets they wander. I wonder how many fear each day could be the day someone brings a gun. Too many little girls are pregnant, their childhood given to the care of another. When I was their age I played hopscotch and boys had cooties. Games and movies depict atrocities no child should be witness to, let alone see as entertainment. We played Mad-Libs and Chinese checkers.

I don’t know just when it changed or why. Society stopped watching and teaching and caring. Parents no longer parent. It’s not okay to tell them no anymore. Everybody has to win. If they fall they know someone will pick them up so there is no need to learn to rise. Bad choices are brushed off as mistakes, excuses are made for behaviors when discipline is actually required. Thankfully, there are still those who value the way things once were, the way they should be still. Glimmers of a life once lived still sparkle now and then. I wish it was enough. I want to look out my window and see what I see when I close my eyes.

Children no longer see the beauty in the dandelions they crush beneath their feet. Sometime after the sun goes down and only porch lights and the moon brighten the night, a father drives the block in a pickup truck yelling for his babies to come home for dinner. I hope they can hear him.

On the street where I live there are children at play, I wonder what they will remember when they drift off to dream of their yesterdays.

Crystal R. Cook