Anxiety & Panic Disorders · Depression

Window Shopping

By Nicole Kiss

I’m supposed to choose something
Anything, just not nothing
But I prefer the window-shopping
I get too overwhelmed by the options
It isn’t just tradeoffs or give and take
There is so much more at stake
Pick what you want, but it might break
Then pay in time and tears for your fate

Imagine it’s a bomb that I’m meant to defuse
And I have to decide between the reds and the blues
I don’t want to be put to the test and lose
Just because I was pressed to choose
Now, I don’t care what end I meet
But I know that it affects more than me
If it explodes, we’re smithereens
I can’t carry that responsibility

I mean, I could get in my car and drive it fast
But I know that somewhere I’m bound to crash
From my hand on the wheel to my foot on the gas
I know the weight that each part has
And it sits on my chest, this gnawing dread
Knowing my choices could kill you dead
I don’t care about even a hair on my head
I just couldn’t stand to be the reason you bled

Preparing my whole life to finally live my life
Like a surgeon thoroughly trained for her first slice
But I’m choking on the smell and gagging at the sight
When it’s face to face, it’s fight or flight
And I realize that running is for the weak
But maybe it’s strong to know when to retreat
You do less harm to those you never meet
And you do more good as the only casualty

Yea, I prefer window-shopping
I get too overwhelmed by the options
It isn’t just about investments and profits
It is about whom we affect with our losses



Nicole Kiss is an explorer of art forms. With a BA in Music and Psychology from Greenville College, she utilizes music, poetry, and drawing to express her struggles with depression, anxiety, and lupus. She hopes to someday pursue a degree in counseling to help others and pass on the creative coping she’s picked up along the way.


If you or a loved one are feeling suicidal, please reach out for help. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 in the United States.

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