An Open Letter To My Anxiety

Dear anxiety,

You and I have been together for more than eight years.

I spent many days in high school struggling. I would freak out, hit my head, scream, run out of class, refuse to do my work because I couldn’t concentrate and I had absolutely no idea why.

Since I didn’t know what was going on, teachers and support staff would argue with me and misjudge me. You got me in trouble a bunch of times.

They thought it was due to my disability that I was acting this way but it wasn’t. But I also had no other excuse for it. So, I spent a lot of time thinking I was crazy and stupid.

But I wasn’t.

When I started college, I found out what was really going on inside my head. I was diagnosed. It was kind of a relief actually. Now that I knew what it was, I could learn and figure out a way to get rid of you.

I soon came to realize that I couldn’t, and that my only choice was to learn how to deal with you.

Now, I don’t hate you because sometimes you actually do save me from making bad decisions and embarrassing myself.

But you’re always in the back of my mind. Always.

You make me overthink then you make me feel silly for it.

You tell me I’m stupid. You make me feel like everything I do is wrong.

You make it impossible for me to make a decision. You run every scenario in my head.

Everyone is going to judge you if you do this and that.

Don’t do that.

You can’t do that.

You’re screwed either way.

You’re going to mess up.

Oh you decided against it? What a wimp!

If someone doesn’t text me back, you try to convince me that they hate me or have better things to do.

When everything is going well for me, you try and mess it up.

When I have nothing to worry about, you find something for me to worry about.

Some nights I lay in bed for hours before I fall asleep because you bring up the past and worry about the future.

I used to have panic attacks, which make me feel like I can’t breathe. I still do sometimes but not as often.

When I have a million things to do, it takes forever for me to actually get to them because you are distracting me by ranting to me about how I have a million things to do.

As soon as I feel any type of pain in my body, you’re convinced that I’m dying.

You try to make me scared of everything. You’re always trying to make me run from everything.

Last night I had an anxiety attack. I was at an apartment and heard doors shut from outside my apartment. You told that someone was outside my door ready to attack me. You made me hear voices that didn’t exist.

Are you trying to make me believe that I’m crazy?

The funny thing is though, there is this rational part of my brain. I know that I’m not stupid or crazy, and that I’m not going to die.

I know that most of the fears and worries that you’re trying to feed into me is irrational.

But the thing about you, anxiety, is that you won’t go away. You’re always there.

Even on my good days, you’re still there.

Even when my rational thinking is overpowering you, you’re still there.

Even when I feel absolutely fearless and free, you’re there.

Sometimes, you win. And like I mentioned before, sometimes that’s a good thing.

But most of the time, I am in control and you’re just a little annoying voice in my head.

I do not, and will not, let you run my life. You can scream at me as much as you want, as loud as you want, but you won’t stop me from doing the things I want to do.

At the end of the day, I am stronger than you.

Jessica anxiety

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