March 25, 2021

When Anxiety is Disguised as “Harmless Nervousness.”

Dear Anxiety…

I have been living with you for almost 20 years. At first, you disguised yourself as harmless nervousness or childlike fear. Slowly but surely, your ugly head started to creep out.

You began showing your true character. You knew what buttons to push, and you did not hesitate. But still, I thought I had control. I was wrong, but unfortunately, you made me believe differently, just another one of your horrible traits.

I started to crumble silently. I began to retract from the world, just as you wanted. You also grew a voice. A tiny voice inside my head that made me believe I was a problem, a nuisance, an unwanted and unloved being. 

How powerful a tiny voice can be.

As soon as I knew you were there and who you really were, you didn’t let go.

I thought we could exist together. I hoped.

You had me fooled. You know my weakness, and you play at it every chance you get.

How dare you?!

Once you have me, you won’t let go. My heart and energy crumble until you have complete control over me. You laugh at my weakness.

I try and get up; you push me down. I try and break free; you hold me tighter. You crawl under my skin; I can feel you.

Oh, how I hate to feel you. Sometimes you are so intense, and you force me to wear a mask—to say I’m fine. You are making me ashamed that you are there, taking me over. And the number of smiles I have to put on to hide your darkness…

It’s not fair.

On my best days, I can break through and carry on. I almost forget you are there. But you don’t forget, and you don’t let go. On my worst days, you have drained me completely empty; I feel nothing. But that is exactly what you want, isn’t it?

You are there, reminding me of my insecurities and feeding off them. I know you live inside me; I know your black heart relishes any weakness or heartache I show. You refuse to leave me. You are tearing me apart from the inside, and you laugh while doing it.

I just want you to know that even though I feel you crawling inside—even though I have lost the battle almost every time—someday, I will win the war.

For now, we coincide. Have your fun, you ugly piece of existence.

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