You met me at a very strange time in my life. Shit, I just accidentally quoted Fight Club, didn’t I? I’m suddenly every bro posing with a tiger on Tinder I’ve ever made fun of. Nothing against Chuck Palahniuk, but you know, read another book maybe? You can’t ALL love Fight Club that much…right?
Whatever, I digress.
You first came into my world when I was fourteen, which we can both agree is a disgustingly awkward age. I was overzealous with tweezers, plucking about half my eyebrows completely off, and still wearing a heavy amount of under-eye black liner. I was fighting insomnia, acid reflux, and the nagging feeling that I was going to die. Every. Single. Night.
Anxiety is a huge dick like that. And not in the good way.
It shows up without any real reason. Dumb things would set me off, like my father driving over a bridge, my teacher mentioning the 1906 earthquake, or just sitting alone long enough that my panicked thoughts took over. Everything seemed designed to kill me. That’s what anxiety does, convinces you everything is a threat.
I’d been struggling for two years prior, but it was now at the point that we were seeking medicinal help. Nobody wants to medicate their fourteen year old. But nobody wants a fourteen year old suffering from constant panic attacks either.
And in walked a small baby blue pill. Zoloft. A relationship that would blossom in a way I never could have expected. My longest commitment. A love story people will write about in history books one day, I like to think.
Hey, Z. I should have written you a long time ago. I don’t know if you realize my deep appreciation. I know, there have been times I was rash and thought I was fine without you. I looked into alternative options. I ran away with boys and thought oxytocin was enough. I didn’t want you to be the most serious relationship I ever had. I wanted to prove to myself I didn’t need you.
But time and time again, I wound up begging at your doorstep. When my anxiety decided to invite depression along, you were there. I was driving close to cliffs asking you to see me again. Z, I was foolish thinking you weren’t part of me. I looked at it the wrong way. I saw you as a failure, as evidence of my incorrectly formed brain. I didn’t want that. Can you understand that?
I wanted to see if I could exist without you.
And maybe one day, I can. I’m not sure. I’m not willing to make any bold statements either way.
Because all I know is each time I hit rock bottom, you sat there beaming in your bottle telling me it would be okay. You reminded me asking for help is not a sign of weakness. You told me the bravest thing I could ever do is take care of my mind, my body, my health. You came back and the demons weren’t as terrifying anymore. They seemed doable.
With you, the hardships do not defeat me.
With you, I am resilient and brilliant and exactly who I was always meant to be. With you, I’m the best me.
Z, I love you for everything you’ve given me. Everything you’ve given back to me.
What a beautiful gift that is, to give me back the piece of myself that sometimes goes missing. How could I ever be ashamed of that? How could I ever be afraid to tell the world how utterly lovely you are?