Since you happen to be around for 99% of my day, I figured it was time that I addressed you directly. I used to hate you with a burning passion. You stole my life. You took me from a fiesty, independent woman with great opportunities ahead of me, and turned me into a dependent, suffering shell of myself. You took my career, my degree, my relationships, and my freedom. At night after a panic attack you left me crying alone in the bathroom, wondering why you had chosen me, what I had done to deserve such a cruel fate.
I stayed in that state for months. Apathetic, loathing you and loathing myself. I didn’t try to change. You had me beat, convinced that I didn’t deserve a better life, and that even if I did, I wasn’t strong enough to beat you.
But you know what, anxiety? Something changed. I don’t hate you anymore. I don’t hate myself anymore. I am not weak, and I can beat you. There are parts of you that actually help me in life. You let me know when I am getting too in over my head, which was a skill I never had before. You keep me cautious about the world around me. You have raised my analytical capabilities to a whole new level. You have made me a more sympathetic person. I have been able to learn so much about mental health, self care, and the way that our brains work. You have given me the time to work on being a good wife, to start my blog, and to make myself a better person. Most importantly, you have taught me that I am strong. You have put me through hell this past year, and I am still here trying. Every single day I fight against you, and every day I get better.
A year ago at this time, you had me convinced of so many things. You convinced me that I shouldn’t eat. You convinced me not to sleep. You convinced me that the best thing to do was push the people I loved away. You convinced me that I was unlovable and unworthy.
Now? I eat. You may make me panic afterwards, but I eat. I sleep soundly every night because the thoughts you put in my mind are not worth my time. I have started letting my family back in, telling them the facts about my life and inviting them over. I started this blog to be more vulnerable with other people. This life has given me a husband who reminds me daily that I am lovable, even on the days that you ravage me to nothing. I am worthy of recovery, and I am worthy of a life without you.
Anxiety, you get a lot of wins in this life. You still limit me, you still cause panic when I try to go out and have fun. I have not been on a date with my husband yet in our marriage. You bring sadness to my life because you make me hurt my family. I miss events because of you. It hurts my family to see you hurt me. You show me the things that I have lost and put me in a crying heap. But ultimately, I know you are going to lose. Because you lose more and more every day. You have changed from a demon who crushes me to a motivator. You motivate me to beat you. You motivate me to win. When you send thoughts to derail me, instead of just letting them, I push back now. You know you are losing.
Overall, thank you anxiety. You have been the hardest part of my entire life, and I hope once this is over and under control that I never go through anything harder. Yet I thank you, because it brings me to tears to think of the person and the experiences that I will have as I beat you. Getting to go to a bookstore without high anxiety brings me so much joy at this point in my life. Imagine when I get to do all the things I love. Step back on my college campus. See the beach. Go on a date with my husband. There will be so much joy in my life I will probably burst. And the woman who will fall to her knees in the sand by the ocean, tears streaming down her face, will be a much better woman than the one who was there last.
Sincerely, Not Yours