To my beloved anxiety,

I hate that you can have such a power over me that I feel worthless, empty, and broken.

I hate that not only do you make me constantly worry, but you contradict yourself by making me feel numb. It is as if you cannot decide if you want to speed up my thoughts to a million miles, racing a race that never ends, or if you want me to feel nothing at all.

I hate that you make me feel ashamed, like you are the secret crush I can tell no one about, because if people do know, I'll be ridiculed.

One friend knows of my struggle with you. The only reason he knows is because he was with me when you got the best of me, and I had to apologize for my erotic behavior you made me act out.

I hate you for the hours I spend staring into darkness.

You keep me up at night. You make me think about things I don't want to spend my night thinking about. Past experiences I would rather let go of, you so kindly remind me of. Past struggles I want to move on from, you try to trick me back into my old ways. Shame on you.

I hate you for the days I ignore my responsibilities so I can catch up on the sleep that you took away from me.

You'll keep me up for a few weeks, and then I come crashing down for a few following weeks. You repeat yourself. It's a cycle. A cycle that took me three years to understand. You, anxiety, are sneaky like that, and I hate you for it.

I hate you for taking my breath away.

When you come around, I feel like I'm suffocating. I feel like there is a lump in my throat that never can be cleared. A rope is tied around my neck and someone is slowly pulling on it, making it harder to breathe– the person pulling the rope is you, anxiety.

I hate you for the waterfall of tears you bring to my eyes, but eventually dry out, turning them into a desert.

You'll make me cry until I have no tears left to fall from my eyes. You'll make me shake. You'll make me scream. You'll make me cry out in pain– pain that comes from inside, but has no true roots or reasons why. That's the worst kind.

I hate that you make me feel crazy.

You make me wonder: "Is what I am feeling even real?" "Is it justifiable?" "Am I just being dramatic?" You are why people like me are afraid to speak up and mental health isn't taken seriously.

I hate that you strip me from the confidence I've worked so hard to build up and leave me feeling exposed.

I try so hard to beat you. I know I am worthy. I know I am strong. I know I am meant to do great things. But, on my worst days, you can still talk me out of believing those things that took me years to believe.

I hate you for filling my body with so much anxiety that there is no room for hunger.

You'll make me feel nauseous. You'll make me feel full. Full of worry and paranoia, the idea of food can make me want to throw up. I know I need to eat, but you fill me up so much that there is no capacity for food.

I hate that you give me jitters and get my heart racing without the help of caffeine.

I'll get glares from classmates because I am always tapping my foot. I'm always shifting in my seat. I'm always shaking. You make me feel like my heart is as loud as a timpani drum being hit over a hundred times per minute.

I hate that as I am writing this right now, you are in the back of my mind telling me I don't have a right to speak up about you.

"You are writing this for no reason. No one will care. You're crazy if you think people will spend the time to read this. If they do, then you have to think about them looking at you differently. You attention-seeking wh0re writing about anxiety."