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.