If anxiety were a person I could talk to, I would have a lot of things to say to him. And he probably wouldn’t like to hear the words that were coming out of my mouth, but it’s not my fault anxiety is the ‘controlling bitch’ type.
Anxiety is kind of like that friend that follows you around, who you really aren’t friends with. At the same time, anxiety is exactly like those bullies in middle school who stole your lunch, stepped on your toes, and laughed at you until they couldn’t breathe.
Some of you may be asking what the big deal. Is it really all that bad? Is it truly debilitating for some people? Yes, actually it is.
So, if anxiety were a person, this is what I would say.
I would ask him why he started following me around in third grade. I would ask him to leave me alone when the teacher called on me, and to stop making me cry when I answered the question incorrectly.
I would tell him to stop poking and prodding me in fifth grade, while I was taking a math test. And I would try to push him away when I saw the big ‘D’ in red sharpie after I got the test results back.
I would start getting real fed up with him in middle school, after noticing that I didn’t look like the popular girls. And I would despise anxiety when he forced me to pretend I was reading a book, in order to not make contact with their perfection.
In high school, I would give anxiety the middle finger. I would beg him to get out of my head, to let me go. I would shout at him like he was an ex boyfriend saying, ‘leave me the fuck alone, just go’. But anxiety didn’t care what I thought. Anxiety didn’t care what I wanted.
When I had my first panic at the age of seventeen, anxiety convinced me I was dying. And I had no choice but to except that. On that night, I let anxiety take control, I let anxiety be in charge of every thought I had in my head. I remember thinking, well, maybe if I died, anxiety would finally leave me alone.
* False alarm. You didn’t die. Oh, and your old friend ‘anxiety’ is here to see you again! *
Anxiety had a bad habit of clenching his fists on my throat, until I choked on my own saliva. Anxiety loved doing that to me. He loved to make me gasp for oxygen, and watch my face crumple in devastation when I couldn’t inhale. He loved to make me see white stars as I blacked out, making my whole body tremble in utter terror.
Anxiety loved to make me hate him.
Now, at twenty-four, anxiety still likes to follow me at times. He loves to make me think that I’m not good enough. Especially at writing, at my career that I love with my whole heart. And unfortunately, anxiety is still a big presence in my life.
But as I have grown up, I have realized a few lessons along the way. Anxiety isn’t in charge of me, even though he thinks he is. Anxiety isn’t going to kill me, even though he thinks he will one day succeed. Anxiety has brought me down, but has also made me see my strength.
Anxiety, although you may try over and over again, you will never be the death of me. You will never control my every move ever again. Thank you for making me realize that I can have control if I work really hard. Thank you for making me realize that I am worth something more than just being a girl trapped in her own mind.
You are not strong, you know. You are weak. Weak for getting pleasure out of making people miserable. And any person that you haunt, is stronger than you will ever be.
So, thank you for making me stronger, but screw you for everything else.