These Four Walls- A Poem About Social Anxiety



These four walls bind me straight-jacket tight,
safe from a world of insanity and snake people.
Sitting within my prison of dreams,
a plastic umbrella for my tears,
an inside-out scream that no one hears.

These four walls hear the longing in my soul,
shuts out the whispers that say ‘worthy’.
but the mirror reflects back, ‘Liar!’
Thinking in ink, painting pictures with words,
Living life through the internet, mind insecure.

These four walls surround me, protect me from harm.
So many masks to choose, pick one,
helps me be someone, chameleon blend.
Phone rings, don’t answer. Door knocks, stand still.
Irrational anxiety replaces free will.

These four walls, own me, lock, stock and barrel.
Ruler of falsehoods, twisting what’s real.
Shark-smile people wait outside the door; whispers.
One foot out, one foot in, Cheshire grins.
Under the Big tent, while the circus begins.

Author Notes

15 Comments for “These Four Walls- A Poem About Social Anxiety”


Unfortunately, these kinds of anxiety are real. So easy to lock out the wolves, thinking they are wolves, you know? But what is really the truth? Lots of meaningful phrases here, Lisa, but many stick out in a disjunct kind of rhyme scheme. Maybe that was your motive with this poem? It leaves me with an unsettled kind of spirit.



Thank you, Rebecca. I chose to rhyme the last two sentences only because that’s how it worked with the first paragraph. I decided to go with it. I believe that people who suffer from this have had things happen in their lives that make it hard to believe that most people have ulterior motives. Or, that they are not worthy enough for human interaction. My opinion only.


Powerful Riss! Gives a glimpse inside the head of someone suffering from this. Very moving images. Well done, write on!
(Reminds me of something I wrote from the other side of the coin, behind literal prison walls but wanting freedom.)


Lina, this is a fantastic write! I know a few people who have this type of anxiety and can’t leave the house. I don’t know if the internet is a blessing or a curse for them. It gives them a means of communicating with the outside world, but for some, it’s a unnecessary crutch that allows them to hide (though those aren’t the ones we’re talking about). Wonderful job capturing the mood.

And, no nits. Well done!

Tim Hillebrant


Hi Ryss,

A well written piece here about social anxiety. I know some people who have this- from what I know of it, you’re spot on. Very well done. I bet there’s a support magazine out there that would kill for this (though maybe not literally kill, cuz that would be bad).


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