Dear Anxiety, Shut The Hell Up

Kristina Flour
Kristina Flour

Dear anxiety,

You feed off of young, brave hearts over and over again, destroying their self-esteem and their ability to see their own worth. You feed off of the most beautiful hearts, the ones that just want to hope, and you take all of that hope and beauty away.

You suck the life out of so many people, without their permission. Without the decency to explain yourself, and without an apology. And the truth is, the millions of people who suffer from your grasp, did nothing to deserve your kind of evil. 

You’ve been with me since I was in third grade. I was only a kid. A child. And I thought something was wrong with me. That perhaps I was crazy, or mental, and that I would never get better. I thought I was the troubled girl, the one who needed special attention and help. I thought ‘I’ was the problem.

But you were the problem all along.

You see, I wasn’t crazy. She isn’t crazy. He isn’t crazy. You’re the one with the problem. You’re the one who needs to get it together. And you’re the one who needs to shut the hell up.

You need to stop telling me that I’m not good enough. That I’m not good enough for that guy, for my job, and for myself. You need to stop being so goddamn loud, making me doubt every move I make. Making me think that maybe you could be right.

You need to stop telling me that my best is only mediocre. That no matter how hard I work, and no matter how much of my heart I put into something, that it’s still not quite up to par. You need to stop being so goddamn loud when you tell me that I don’t deserve a good life.

You need to stop taunting me every single day. You need to stop popping up at the worst moments, when I finally feel like I have strength. You need to stop telling me to keep going, when I am killing myself in exhaustion. You need to stop giving me another number on my list of things to worry about.

You need to stop giving me more scenarios to think about. More scenarios that make my heart speed up to an abnormal rate, more reasons to bite my cuticles until they bleed, and more reasons to go in a full blown panic.

You think you are so strong, don’t you? You think that you can just take over my mind until I cannot think straight. And it’s true, sometimes you do this so expertly and swiftly. Sometimes, you get in my head. You know how to scare me, how to jumpstart my heart and how to make me sweat.

But I will never let you own me. I will never let you ruin my dreams and my goals. I know that I will succeed no matter how loud you scream at me. I know that I am worth something, no matter what you say to me and no matter how many reasons you give me to quit.

You are loud, and you are persistent. You know how to get under my skin, and you know how to give me goosebumps on every inch of my body. But, I will never let you take full control. I will never let you gain my whole heart.

Because the truth is, I am stronger than you will ever be. And you do not have power over me now. You don’t have permission anymore to control my every move. You do not have the right to destroy me. And you don’t have the strength that you used to have on my mind and my soul.

So please, shut the hell up and be on your way – out the door. TC mark

Lauren Jarvis-Gibson

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You look back and you just feel stupid.
You can’t forgive yourself for falling
or believing all the lies.
You reread every text.
You relive every memory.
And it all starts making sense —
he never wanted love.
He only wanted attention.
He only wanted validation.

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