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Dear Anxiety: Here Are 13 Things I Want You To Know

You are a part of me, you are not me.

1. You were the reason I woke up crying, everyday for months when I was 17. The reason I saw hatred everywhere I went, my vision clouded with self-doubt. I'm still trying to forgive you (and myself) for that.


2. There are days I taste salt on my cheeks and feel my tears form little rivulets along my body. I fear it'll turn into an ocean and drown me.

3. I haven't had a 'bad day' in weeks. It scares me. I can almost feel you snaking through my mind, hissing over me, scaled skin bruising mine.

4. You're the unwanted appendage. Like an appendix, constantly aching but no doctor in the world can carve you out. I'd give anything to cut you away, and leave you rot as I prosper.

5. I've spent nights wishing you were a physical ailment. Something the world could see as they struggle to understand. If you were a physical ailment, however, I don't think you'd be the appendix. You'd be a slight limp, holding me back I try to march forward. But march forward I will, even if it is slow.

6. You sometimes creep up on me, making it through my doors of self-love with a carefully crafted key. Those days aren't that bad, I can work through those days. Other times, however, you appear with an army of paranoia, breaking that precious door away with a hammer, chipping away at me bit by bit. That's the only way I put my panic attacks into words.


7. I am surrounded by people who say they love and care for me. I am surrounded by positivity and affection, by rainbows and unicorns, and every happy thing that exists in this vast universe. They are reminders that while you burden me, you do not make me a burden.

8. I am afraid to fall in love again, not because of the pain that paints my past, or the rejection that haunts my future. I am afraid of falling in love with someone who deserves so much more than the limited happiness that flows through my heart.

After all, how do I love someone if I struggle to love myself?

9. I don't really hate you (surprisingly). You're the reason I'm so sensitive to the pain I cause, the reason I work as hard as I do. I don't think I'd be where I am today without you, and for that , I am grateful. But honestly, I'd rather be a lazy underacheiver than have you as my life long companion.

10. I used to distinguish between 'anxiety me' and 'normal me'. Like you were a relative I lived in constant shame of, uninvited and loud. But I've slowly learned to accept that you are not the uninvited relative, you're a dark corner in my favourite room, ugly and ever present. You're only a room though, you are not the home. You are a part of me. You are not me.


11. I learned that my sadness may have been passed down to me, generation after generation. I used to look at my family tree and try to trace the roots of this sad, this paranoia- the roots of you. But then I saw my face (my father's chin and mother's mouth), and I remember that you, my dear, are the least of my inheritance.

12. I am a natural disaster, yes. I am a troubling kaliedoscope of storms, waves, hurricanes.

But you are my city, and everytime try to pollute my air, I will destroy you.

13. You've turned smaller and smaller, like an invisible needle in my haystack. How does it feel to know that while you struggle, everyday to survive-

I will live?

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