A Letter to Anxiety

A Letter to Anxiety

I can and I will overcome.
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Dear Anxiety,

I know that I am stronger than you. But sometimes, I have trouble remembering this. You are very convincing...

Your presence feels like the last moment before a storm breaks. You're intense. You're insistent. You let me see the sun only so you can laugh when it begins to rain. I used to revel in the sun's light, but now I know that day is just an indicator of imminent darkness. I think I've found something I want to call happiness, but all I can think about is how and when it's going to end in ruin. All I want is some respite from the rain, but you tell me that's too much to ask. Happiness never lasts.

I used to find solace in silence, but now it reminds me of you, and now I can't stand to be with myself. Do I even have a self anymore, or have you taken it away? Sometimes I feel like all I am is you because you've been here so long I've forgotten who I am without you. You're not just a part of me; you are me. I've lost myself. Will I ever get me back?

There's so much I want to do with my life. I have so many ideas. I have so many dreams. But you keep telling me it's impossible. You keep telling me I'm not good enough. Every minor mistake is a grand failure. I believe you. You've convinced me that I could never be the person I aspire to become. I don't know why I try anymore.

There are people who say positive things about me. There are people who care about me. I used to be reassured by them. But now, I worry that maybe you are right. Maybe I disappoint them. Maybe I fail them. Maybe they're just putting up with me, secretly wishing I would go away. I don't understand why anyone would like me anymore.

I would like to speak my mind, but you tell me that's not a good idea. I could never say anything important. My words could never matter. My words are too soft-spoken, and they fall flat every time. No one listens to me, and no one ever will. And so I keep it all inside, except in stolen whispers when I'm with you. You taunt me. You invalidate my thoughts. I am insignificant. I am nothing.

I don't like to talk about you. You embarrass me. If people knew about you, they might think I'm weak. They might think I'm faking it, seeking attention. I know you're real; I feel it deep in my bones, with every fiber of my being. You are in every breath I take, every word I speak. You've taken over everything. You dominate every aspect of my life. You are my reality. You are my truth. I cannot escape you. I am not strong enough to overcome you, and so I continue to let you in without much opposition. In my darkest moments, you are my only companion. I know you better than I know myself.


I'm tired of it. I'm sick of your games. I can be happy. I am a strong, valuable person. I am enough. I will achieve my dreams. I won't let you stop me, no matter how hard you try. I've come too far to let you ruin this for me. Say what you will; I will not give up. I know you're a hard opponent to defeat, but I am prepared to engage in battle. Every wound is worth it. I will endure it all. I will rise. I will be victorious.

I

will

not

let

you

win.


Sincerely,

Your worst nightmare.


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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.
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It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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Poetry On Odyssey: Anxiety

Are they listening when I talk? Will they laugh when I talk? Please, just don't ask me to talk.

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As the semester comes to an end, I am finishing up all of my final projects. For English 213, Introduction to Poetry, my final project is to present one of the poems that I workshopped during the semester in a public space. So, for my project, I decided not only to post my poem to Odyssey and advertise the poem by posting pieces of it around different bulletin boards around campus that display the link to the website. So, without further ado, here is my final poetry project:


Anxiety.

I'm listening,
Listening to the buzz of a dial tone
With the receiver in one hand
As I'm biting the already throbbing
Skin around the nails of the other.
I'm trying,
Trying to work up the courage
To press the numbers I need.

Who is going to pick up?
Will they pick up?
Please, just don't pick up.

I'm waiting,
Waiting outside in the cold
With my balled-up hand in mid-air
As sweat lingers on my frostbitten
Forehead that is cold to the touch.
I'm looking,
Looking for the strength
To knock on the door I'm standing at.

Is anyone home?
Should I just go home?
Please, just don't be home.

I'm slouching,
Slouching in my chair
With my head tilted downward
As I'm scratching the raw wound
That never gets the chance to heal.
I'm hoping,
Hoping that no one asks
For my clumsily formed opinion.

Are they listening when I talk?
Will they laugh when I talk?
Please, just don't ask me to talk.

I can't live my life.

I'm rehearsing,
Rehearsing my order
With my menu tightly gripped
As I stutter the words in my head
That echo my past mistakes.
I'm praying,
Praying that I don't forget
Anything that I want to say.

Are they judging my order?
Is there too much to my order?
Please, just don't comment on my order.

I'm keeping,
Keeping my headphones in
With no music playing
As my trembling hand fumbles
With the frayed bottom of my shirt.
I'm wishing,
Wishing that my weird little quirks
Won't be pointed out.

Are they laughing at me?
Should they laugh at me?
Please, just don't laugh at me.

Anxiety.

It's not a way to live.

It's a way to die.

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