I see your pain and my heart breaks for you. I know it feels like you have always been this way, that anxiety is part of your being and colors your thoughts, your feelings, the way you arrange your body in that chair. So often your voice is steeped in it, your eyes are tinged by it. Sometimes you become it like you are the embodiment of the word anxious, and other times it feels like a shadow that follows you, as you try to simply live.
What would life be like for you without anxiety? Sometimes it’s hard to imagine. This is how you have lived for so long. This is what you know.
Your anxiety causes you to doubt everyone’s words, even your partner’s. Every glance you fear is disapproving. No matter how hard you try to please everyone, you fall short. And even when you do something nearly perfectly, you collapse afterward from the stress.
Your anxiety does not make you weak. There is a myth that anxious people are weaker than other people. Actually, anxious people are strong since their anxiety makes everyday things hard, but they still push on. You walk through each day bearing a boulder of anxiety on your back. You fight to keep walking, even during your tensest moments, when your whole body is electrified with fear. You walk on.
You are not hopeless. There are methods to relax and coping skills to manage your feelings. If your anxiety is making your life difficult, there are therapists who can help you manage it. They can show you patterns of thinking that will calm your anxiety. Sometimes medications help. Sometimes choosing a different job or a healthier lifestyle will help or surrounding yourself with safe people that affirm you.
Anxious people are usually nice people who try to do things right and want people to like them. There is some good in these qualities. The problem is when you give other people your strength.
By trying to please people, you are giving them power over you.
By trying to do everything perfectly, you are giving power to the person who sets the standard.
Take back control of your life. Stop letting anxiety overwhelm you. Your anxiety is not your fault, but with some work, you can find ways to manage it and stop being overtaken by it.
Your anxiety does not make you broken.