Dear Anxiety, I Know You Will Never Go Away, But You Will Never Define Me

Dear Anxiety, I Know You Will Never Go Away, But You Will Never Define Me

A letter of things I've been waiting to tell my anxiety.
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Dear Anxiety,

You have overstayed your welcome for far too long. I never asked you to be here. It’s even hard to pinpoint an exact time you showed up. You’ve just always been there. I’ve had so much taken away from me because you will not leave me alone. I’ve missed out on so many childhood experiences because you made me too nervous to do them.

The countless sleepless nights and panic attacks. The years of switching medication just to numb you. Numerous friendships that have been broken from your interferences. A lifetime of bullying resulted by you not allowing me to stick up for myself for so long. The countless hours in therapy to learn why you’re here and how to get rid of your furtive personality.

It took 20 years, but I’m starting to realize you will never go away.

I’ve had my perspective changed so many times, but I’ve finally settled on one perspective that I don’t believe I’ll be changing anytime soon. I’m sick of your chatoyant eyes always following my every move, but I’ve learned to accept it at the same time.

You are part of me, but you do not define me.

I needed to start learning how to live with you rather than get rid of you. I realize that it is a cause of genetics, not of upbringing. Regardless, you are not an enjoyable entity to lug around each day, but I can’t change that. I’ve gotten used to the feeling that half of who I am is eternally hidden in your penumbra, but I won’t let you mask the entirety of who I am. I have enough strength now to pull most of myself from you, which is better than nothing.

I learned from the difficult situations you’ve caused me to have and now understand how to function with you. I know I will be learning how to handle you every day for the rest of my life, but it gets easier with each passing day. I've developed metaphorical handfuls of coping strategies and the motivation to not let you control me another day longer than you have. I am much stronger than you may think, and no matter how hard you try, you will not destroy me again. I am so much more than you.

However, any time you would like to leave would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

A Very Exhausted Girl

Cover Image Credit: Max Pixel

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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I'm The Person Who Always Says 'Yes' And I'm Tired Of It

I'm sorry for being blunt, but being a people pleaser is a tiring job.

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Being a people pleaser runs in my family. My mom and I talk about this weakness of ours all the time, especially when we are both worn out from saying "yes" too much.

When it comes to academics, I always go above and beyond to ensure I did everything correctly in order to please the professor or teacher. If there's ever an instance where I feel as if I can't meet or complete a task, my anxiety takes over and out comes a handy-dandy panic attack. Typically, this ends with tears rolling down my cheeks, a headache, and someone telling me to worry about myself and to not stress if it's hurting me too much (if they see me panicking, that is).

Me going to check off "handy-dandy panic attack" in my handy-dandy notebook after a long day.

As a high schooler, the game of saying "yes" was easy and somewhat manageable. In college, however, that game has changed, and it has changed drastically. There was something about non-stop work that was added in… not a fan.

I don't know why saying "yes" has always been instilled in me, but I cannot think of a time when I was not constantly saying "yes" to others. The moments you will always catch me saying "yes" are moments when it comes to helping someone. Sometimes I interject myself because I feel guilty if I don't offer the help.

Of course, there are instances when I truly mean the offer I give, but then there are other moments when I highly regret asking. There have been plenty of times where I have gotten myself into too many outings at once and my extroverted-introverted self becomes beyond angry with myself.

If I say "no" to someone, there's this sense of guilt that hangs over my head for at least a week and it doesn't go away.

While I enjoy making others happy in (almost) any way possible, I believe it is time for me to start saying "no." This does not mean I will be saying "no" to every single thing someone asks me to do, but rather, I'll take a second to think about how much time and energy will have to go into the whole situation before diving in headfirst.

My new slogan will be "Just say no… sometimes."

Instead of stressing over every detail of an assignment for class, I'll stress over the major details rather than the microscopic ones. Before I interject myself into a situation, I will take a moment and think about whether my help is even necessary or wanted. This will be no easy task, especially for this anxiety-ridden people pleaser, but I am going to do the best I can. The over-achiever in me needs to sit down, take a chill pill, and over-achieve in the category of saying "no."

For those who also say "yes" way too much: breathe. The world will be okay without our help, even if it feels like it won't.

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