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19 May 2023

Poetry, expression and anxiety: ‘Roaring Anxiety, Roaring Hypomania’

For those living with anxiety, it can be not only a passive feeling of worry, but also an acute experience of mental illness. Poet Sana El-Wakili shared her poem, ‘Roaring Anxiety, Roaring Hypomania’, with SANE, where she vividly portrays her journey with anxiety.

Roaring Anxiety, Roaring Hypomania:

You see… It’s scary to feel so overpowered and controlled by the racing thoughts
it feels like I’m going to be horribly uncomfortable again like this monstrous chewing gum made with fire it’s a monster I call the fire monster which possesses my mind body and soul. Aaaaaah I’m burning with fire throw on that bottle of water I can’t seem to tame the fire. So many thoughts yet blank memory…. Feel like an over-heated computer I’ve glitched yet tons of data is trying to get past my cells. Oh I want to cry. But can’t. What do I do… It’s a ghost of terror wiping my body into torture… I can’t concentrate too many ideas things not making sense I stop processing the thoughts all together it’s like this crescendo of thoughts trying to win a horse race… Pour the water pour the water. I’m dying the fire is breathing stronger than ever… it’s like you’re putting all my limbs on several trampolines and there’s a deep chasm an ever ending opening earthquake I’m grappling with gravity and the depth and amplitude of the quake. What about those other different limbs. The anxiety is rocket out of this earth. It’s a deep fear oh how long will I be like this for… won’t I relax… what if I don’t relax… this fire breathing cancer wont relax. I’m physically burning on fire…. Feel that with me. Feel that with me. God just the other day I was erratic for so long… It felt endless to me anyway a week and a half… No no no. Not again. But Sana you survived last time. It’s going to be fine. Your brain is hyping everything up. No it’s not. Is it not? No it’s not ahhhh I’m lost. I’m searching for some peace. I’m burning burning like the screams from multiple witches at stake. I’m burning alive.

How does that work. Well it works. What?

I’m a radio and television in the background and lightning is stuck me to the ground yet I’m all the scattered notes on the floor playing a juggling game morphing into rubix cube. The endless mathematical equations with numbers and incomprehensible letters. I’m on fuel for endless roads, I’m a motorbike with endless roaring… I’m the card master that lost all her cards even though several were shuffling mystically bolt type fast. It’s going to be okay throw my thoughts in the air its going to be okay its going to be alright… Look at me Sana.(Angrily) It’s going to be okay. It’s all a trick it’s all a trick you’ll be okay. I promise. I’m the restless charge of a dark piano tune. Okay. That’s alright. No! Hey. You got this. You got this. And God is with me. (God is with me I whisper).


Sana El-Wakili is a poet, actor and dancer. She often creates about mental health, lived experience, societal truths and the human condition. She’s currently developing a spoken word dance theatre show called The Buffered Self, lamenting her experience of grief and mental illness.

Creative Portal – Find more of Sana’s work at her online portfolio.


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