To My Social Anxiety,
I’ve had it with you. I can’t stand you anymore. You’re going to leave my life. And you’re going to leave it forever.
I’m sick of you running my life. I’m sick of you ruining my life. I’m sick of you taking my concentration away from school and work. I’m sick of you jumping into my head and making me forget where I parked. I’m sick of you putting pressure on me to “perform” every time I’m in a group of people. I’m sick of you making me over think about how I perceived myself every time I leave a social group.
I’m sick of you entering my friends and making me believe I’m too quiet and awkward for them. I’m sick of you entering my mind every time my girlfriend accomplishes something assertive and dominant and instead of praising her, you show up and start comparing me to her. I’m sick of you robbing our cute moments with insecurity about the future and burdening her with unwanted thoughts about trying to take care of me and watching what she says. She shouldn’t watch what she says. Nor should anyone else. It’s called speaking your mind. I’m sick of you creeping into our conversations and turning them into a pity party about me.
I’m sick of you robbing all the joy in my life and replacing it with worry about the future and burgeoning self-doubt and low self-esteem. You robbed me of my present happiness and replaced it with future worry.
I let you win so many times. Even though I knew I shouldn’t have.
I am a smart, intelligent, capable, curious, creative, and observant person. Yet for some reason you always find a way to come into my life and mess all of that up. To convince me I’m an awkward, unintelligent, non-sociable, timid, weak, indecisive doormat for you to walk over.
That is not who I am. You will not define me anymore. I’m done with you.
This ends right now.
Sure, there will be times you will creep up. Right now, for example. And this week. Which, I’ll admit, was really fucking tough. Perhaps the toughest week you’ve given me ever. You chewed me up and spit me out and walked all the hell over me. But I’m going to fight you. Fight you like hell.
I’m not going to lose. I will beat you.
I know it will only get tougher from here. You’re going to rear your ugly head and fill me with self-doubt and tell me I’m not good enough. Just like you have for 28 years.
But 28 years is 28 too many.
One day in the near future (before I’m 30), I will look back and laugh at all the times you thought you could own me. Where you thought you could dictate my life.
News flash: I own me. I dictate my life. Not you, nor anyone else. Me.
I will never forget who you are. What you did to me and how much pain, anguish, doubt, worry, fear and agony you gave me my entire life.
But I will move on. I will beat you.
I will. Beat. You.
I know there was a day that my ancestors (and even me) benefited from such fear. Perhaps when they were staring down a sabertooth tiger. Or when they first set foot in this country after being rounded up by Spaniards. But you no longer benefit me. You need to leave.
I know you will always be there, be it the nagging in the back of my mind when I speak to my friends or when I dare ask my boss a question. But you will not paralyze me the way you did years ago.
I will win because I know I need to be better. A better version of me, and of course, better than you. I know I am. Because others need to know how to beat this too.
And because, at the end of the day, I deserve peace. Just like the billions of people in the world you don’t visit, and the millions of people around the world you still have a firm grip on.
I’ll admit there will be battles you will win. But when I win many more battles—and eventually win the war—I will plant my flag so firmly in my heart that you will never have the opportunity to bother me or take control ever again.
So there it is. I’m done with you. Be gone, bye Felicia (I’m glad you didn’t take my sarcastic sense of humor), boy bye.
Social anxiety, we’re done. I will win. I might falter, and I might fail some days, but I will succeed. I will win this war.
And you’re not taking me down with you.
So fuck off.