Dear Anxiety…

I really can’t stand it when my heart starts racing. But, I’ve gotten quite used to it. I don’t really like the way my fingers tremble, as they are right now, when I start typing something up that I know someone else is going to read. But, I know it’s what my body does to try and fight what’s building up inside.

There’s not a lot of people that know about you. I’ve hidden you away from everyone, including my family, until recently that is. You are like a disease- I’m embarrassed of you. I’m afraid someone might think I’m disgusting or unacceptable because of you. And you make me feel sick. Like, literally sick. My heart starts racing when you come near- the cold sweats break out uncontrollably and my palms start clamming up without my consent. When you get too close, I want to run and hide- when you touch me, I get light-headed and sometimes I feel like I can’t breath. Why do you do this to me..? I only want to live my life around other people like a normal person. I would love to be able to walk out of my house without fretting and stressing over the thought of seeing another human being and actually having to talk to them, even if I know that person. I would love to be able to hang out in a large crowd without feeling as though you’re choking me- I would love to be able to spend quality time with friends, and actually join the conversation, instead of sitting there quietly for most of the time, looking distractedly at my phone and counting down the minutes until I can leave and actually breathe normally. And, I would love to be able to make a phone call like a normal, modern person without sweating to death while I simply punch the numbers in to dial, and sitting in my dizziness while the phone rings, praying the person won’t answer the phone and I can hang up and start to breathe again and relax. But no… this is a daily occurrence. Unless I am blessed with a day that I can stay at home and cling to my computer and books and housecleaning without the thought of having to put on shoes and fix my hair just to walk outside and simply go to my parent’s house down the street, or the grocery store a couple blocks away- I have to wake up every morning, and frown to myself as the schedule of the day flutters through my mind and I realize that yet again you are coming for a visit today, and I will have to face the reality of being socially inadequate and possibly incapable of normal human interaction for more than a couple of minutes.

You make me look like I’m a horrible person sometimes. You make me look like I’m “snotty” and “stuck-up,” when actually I would love to talk to that person on the other side of the room, but honestly, as soon as I even begin to walk toward that one, you snatch me by the neck and keep me prisoner by your side- like some sick, invisible set of handcuffs, refraining me from being able to interact normally.

I am so tired of not knowing when you’re going to show up. Right when I think I am okay with going out into the world, whether it’s to go shopping or to go and have dinner with a group of friends, you show up at my door at the last moment, snarling and telling me about what a fool I am, what a socially awkward and backward coward I am- and you keep me from enjoying the rest of the night when I should be enjoying the time to spend with people who I know love me.

Oh, that’s anther thing- you like to try and convince me that no one really cares about me. You like to try and tell me that I’m not important, that people would be better off without me and that I should just stay at home and stay out of everyone’s way. You used to say this a lot to me…

…but I’ve learned to block you out when you start to nag me about this. I know I’ve gotten better about that. I know that I’ve been able to control you a lot more recently- I know that sometimes, more often than not, I can actually tear myself away from you, even for just a little bit, and enjoy life around me. Sometimes, I can even pick up the phone and dial a number, talk to someone else on the other line, and actually enjoy the conversation.

No, I’m not perfect. Yes, I do struggle with anxiety on an almost daily basis. Yes, sometimes I let it get the best of me, and I don’t allow myself to enjoy life to the fullest. No, I no longer let it control me like it once did. I am slowly becoming a better person- I am slowly getting past this problem in my life, and I am slowly beginning to love myself again, despite the struggles I face.

So, here’s to you, anxiety.

-Olivia

Note: This open letter is simply an explanation of what it is like for me on a near everyday basis, the anxiety that I have struggled with for a long time. I know that there is not a lot of people that know this about me, but I wrote this in the hopes that some might understand why I am the way I am, and to see that I am getting over this problem, and that I am learning to overcome it and become a better person through it. Above all, I give God the glory- for giving me anxiety, and teaching me through my anxiety. There is a reason for it, and I know that this too shall pass. ❤

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV

Image credit: Google.com

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