For years you have been there skirting in the shadows. You’re like a stalker waiting there to steal any moment of reprieve I may find. For the longest time, I refused to acknowledge you as what you are – my anxiety. For me, you didn’t exist.
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You were just something people used as a label for worrying too much. I wasn’t them I told myself.
Mental health was a made up ailment some convinced me.
It was taboo to call you what you were. People would see me differently. Judge me differently. I thought by ignoring and denying your existence I was beating you.
Everyone worried so because I really wasn’t an obsessive worrier I didn’t see you coming sometimes when you’d creep closer. I misunderstood what you are because to understand you would be to acknowledge your existence.
The years I was caught up in a whirlwind of emotions with MISCARRIAGES, a stressful pregnancy, an infant with an uncertain health concern, then the death of my grandfather, followed quickly by my cousin’s breast cancer diagnosis I figured I had every reason to be anxious so it was actually easier in those three years to accept your presence.
But I came out the other side of that and you’re still here,
hanging around like an uninvited guest.
Now that those worries have passed, I’ve come to see you for what you are.
You still hold me hostage in the night, making up ridiculous things for me to worry about now. You convince me of irrational things- like because one parent is upset at school I’m going to be fired and never able to find a job again.
Or that because the bank account dropped below a certain number we’re headed towards financial disaster though our bills are paid and there are paychecks coming. You let something at work or home with my husband that I can tolerate and deal with on most days suddenly consume my thoughts. Sometimes, I can’t let it go until MY RAGE kicks in and I go off over something like the kind of bologna he bought.
Anxiety, you are a thief.
When life finally gives its reprieve like it did after the past three years you come after me with your ridiculous worries. You consume my thoughts with nonsense and irrationality.
I used to think acknowledging you as the anxiety monster you are meant letting you win. I thought that by ignoring you and not seeking help I was beating you. But you fooled me again, convincing me that admitting your presence made me weak.
Your irrationality again holds me hostage, convincing me nothing is wrong with me when I’m drowning in all the made up worries of what could go wrong around me.
But I’m done pretending you’re not what you are. I’m calling you out and I’m speaking out for help because I see now that is how I beat you.
I will show your true colors to others that FEAR YOUR EXISTENCE like I did. I’m not going to be ashamed to share you as my weakness because though you may have been my weakness in the past, I don’t have to let you be my weakness for the future.