Shh… Tienes Que Calmarte

Illustration by: Haven Jovel Morales


Some days I wake up and a sea of troubles rush over my body,

Suffocating me as I battle to break free from its powerful grip.

Some nights while I fall asleep, anxiety creeps up 

Staring with its cold, eerie eyes.

It reels me in when I’m at my calmest state,

Making the comforting quiet of the night my most dreaded desire. 


And when I wake up, I run to my mamá for comfort

In search of a safe haven where all my troubles will disappear.

But instead of the apapachos I so desperately yearn for,

I am greeted with the same redundant phrases… 

Mija, tienes que calmarte,

Tu misma controla tu ansiedad.


These phrases swarm my mind

Repressing my feelings into the depths of my being, 

Where they continue to suffocate me as I struggle to compose myself.


I know my mom is trying her best to help me,

I know she means no harm.

But the truth is, 

I’m reaching to the stars for a breath only to be denied by my protector.

My heart gets lost in translation as it becomes a shooting star,

Trapped in the grips of anxiety.

My head and its scrambled thoughts know they are soon to be its next victim,

Victim of this ever flowing stream of disaster.


It’s okay that she can’t put herself in my shoes;

This path that fate brought me to “The Road Not Taken.”

Without my say, fate decided this encounter was necessary 

And that there was no escape with this path I take,

Abruptly stopping it at a dead end.

This dead end belittles me, angry with my childish cuentos regarding mental health.

It tells me to figure it out on my own para ya no ser dramatica. 


I wish I could just ask for help and not swallow my feelings with every gulp.

But it’s so hard when it’s all I’ve been told my entire life.

It’s so hard to move towards progress

When my family doesn’t try to progress with me.


I hope that one day I will no longer have to tiptoe through my struggles with mental health,

And that the danger of being too loud vanishes into the dark.

I yearn for the day when my whispers will morph into an echo that blares through the streets; 

The day I will be welcomed with open arms,

Rather than humiliated with insincerity.

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