For Children

Abigail Zimmerman

nothing to lose/nothing to lose

7th & 8th Grade Poetry Honorable Mention

you’ve got nothing to lose, it says
just do it
no big deal
super simple

touchbacks, my therapist calls them
rituals, she says
that my obsession with symmetry isn’t my fault
my ocd tells me it isn’t a fault at all

ocd: turn on the facet one more time
ocd: run into the doorframe again so it’s even
ocd: tap your fingers on the table to fix it
ocd: rub the tip of the pencil after you write

you have to
you have to
you have to
no ‘because’ necessary

my therapist says it seems like breakfast must take twice as long
i shrug, making sure my shoulders are synchronized
ocd: it’s not that bad
ocd: it's not that hard

sometimes logic comes to save me
logic: you’re not making it up
logic: you’re not a bad person because you missed half of math class trying to
         avoid a panic attack about gore your ocd made up
logic: 3 hours a day is too much time to be fixing things that ocd tells you you’ve
         broken

you’ve got nothing to lose, i tell myself
already been 4 minutes and you’re doing so well
the world still goes on if you resist your compulsions
don’t give up

sometimes i curse under my breath when i’m overwhelmed with nervous tics

           even though no one can see them
you’re-ok-you’re-ok-you’re-ok
8 minutes into the exposure
i’m almost done

i’m slowly being taught to ignore it
that’s why i’m hyperventilating in the bathroom, recording anxiety levels and
checking my watch
that’s why i’m reassuring myself it’s worth it
convincing myself to wait just a bit longer before i can perform ocd’s commands

ocd: you have to just do it-
logic: distract yourself a bit longer-

you’ve got nothing to lose if you do