If I Could Write A Letter To My Anxiety, This Is What I’d Say

 ievaurenceva
ievaurenceva

You’ve been with me for longer than I can remember. Every irrational fear growing up. Every thought that was so far from reality. You were the shadow always lurking.

You were the friend I didn’t want but you’d never go away. And as I grew up, you weren’t something I just grew out of. We grew together and you continue to try and ruin my life.

But I won’t let you.

You keep me tossing and turning at night as the familiarity of 3 am welcomes me.

You play out scenarios that will never come true but try and convince me of the worst.

You try and ruin my relationships and there a few that couldn’t beat you.

You try and convince me to hate myself while telling me everyone else does too.

You tell me everyone is going to leave so maybe you should beat them to it.

You lie to me over and over again trying to convince me it’s the truth.

You taunt me with simple texts or emails of messages that go unanswered and try to tell me I’m the one who has done something.

I get sick and you’re the one googling every sign and symptom which ends in death every time.

And sometimes, I laugh it off but other times I’m paralyzed with complete fear of some of these thoughts becoming reality.

You convince me I need to apologize when in reality no one noticed or cared I messed up. No one cares but you then you try and get me to.

You’re the paranoid voice that doesn’t shut up. And that dark shadow that turns positives into negatives.

You’re the one beside me as I wait. Because you and I are always waiting.

You make me second guess everything I say and do as I triple read texts and emails.

You drive my friends crazy as they tell me to relax, as they tell me I’m overthinking. You counter every one of their voices with two words, ‘what if?’

You make me question my relationships and doubt really good people just because I don’t trust myself when it comes to you.


Every time I put my faith in you, it leads down one of two roads, trying unbelievably hard to the point I look bad or turning the other way out of fear because I’m so convinced I’ve done something wrong that I retreat.

You want to control everyone and everything and so far the only thing you’ve been able to is me.

It’s that exam you tell me, if I don’t get an A it’s over.

It’s perfectionism that brings me to tears because I’ve always been good enough for other people but the reality is, it’s you that’s the problem. You make me my own worst enemy.

It’s my mind never being able to shut off. Overthinking. Overanalyzing. Caring too much. You convince me that caring too much is a character flaw when in reality it’s my strength.

You try to find solutions that are only problems you made up in my head.

It’s the hangover from hell as I overthink the previous night because I’m either quiet and nervous, not wanting to be there or taking vodka to the face to ease my nerves and not shutting up. Everything resulting in someone hating me and an unnecessary apology.

It’s emotionally draining. It’s waking up tired because with you there’s no off button.

There’s no trying to escape. Even when I do run, you’re with me. Haunting me in a sound that is my own voice.

It’s the love I have for sleep if I can even get there. Because that’s the one place you’re not with me.

It’s doing my best to hide you because if anyone actually knew what it’s like to deal with you, I don’t know it they’d have sympathy or fear because thinking as much as I do isn’t healthy.

It’s my heart racing only no one can see it.

It’s sweating and nerves and fears overtaking my entire body but instead of rolling up into a ball and crying, I smile.

It’s the cuts around my fingers people say are just a bad habit. But it’s the most visible sign you’re there and with me.

And you know you think I hate you. Yes, it would be easier to live my life without you.

It’d be nice to have a relationship where I’m not questioning everything. It’d nice not to need someone, I’m dating to constantly tell me, ‘It’s okay.’

But of the things I could thank you for is the success when you told me I’d fail.

You’ve taught me about patience as we waited.

You’ve taught me about acceptance both in myself and others.

You’ve taught me about trust. Because I don’t trust you and these scenarios you make up for fun. But I’ve learned to trust myself a little more.

Thank you for the relationships and people you swore would walk away because they are still here.

It’s love within myself, as I look in the mirror with the confidence you tried to strip me of.

You haven’t won and I will never let you. TC mark

Kirsten Corley

Kirsten is the author of But Before You Leave, a book of poetry about the experiences we struggle to put into words.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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