A letter to anxiety

Hey there anxiety!

You have been a part of my life longer than I can remember. We haven’t had the best of relationships. I wouldn’t call us friends either. You turned up unannounced. Your venom flowed through my body and took some of which should have been the happiest and memorable days of my life, and ruined them with your attendance. You pushed my happiness aside and made yourself the centre of attention. Did you enjoy that? I often wonder why you decided to sneak into my mind and never leave, maybe I will never know. Moments which were supposed to be happy were turned into constant fear, worry, panic, failure, and rejection. I will never forgive you for that.

We grew up together, you tried to ruin my life. I won’t let that happen anymore. As I grew older I realised you were not going to leave. You always tried to convince me of the worst, you fooled around and played scenarios in my head that were probably never going to happen. You lied to me and I believed it to be true. You made me want to hate myself and convinced me to believe that everyone did too. Letting you in was my biggest mistake, you let me break as I laid awake.

You convinced me to constantly apologise for things no one cared about. You were that voice inside my head that never shut up, you turned every positive into a negative. I tried to find solutions to the problems that you placed in my head. I couldn’t escape. I tried to run but you always followed me, you were my shadow and wouldn’t leave.

I chose to write to you today to say thank you, you have taught me so much. Because of you I now truly know myself. There are days where I mess up, I know that as you are there to constantly remined me. Your voice is still quite loud inside my head, you continuously make me feel it. I don’t think I can escape you. Am I right? Will you ever leave? You taught me to confront my reality. I used to run away from opportunities because of the fear you put in me. Today instead of running away, you force me to accept.  Thank you for breaking me down and tearing me apart. I have accepted that you may always be a part of me, will I ever be fully free? I can pretend or even force myself to ignore you and not let you get inside my head. But, I’ve tried and that only appears to make you stronger. So, here is a deal that could work, from today I will embrace you, me and you might actually be able to work. We might just be able to live in agreement.  

I write this letter with hope to live to see a day, the stigma attached to mental health which is created by ‘US’ to no longer exist. I hope to see a day people will talk about mental health in a conversation like they talk about weather.  

Finally, to my anxiety I want you to always know that you do not control this relationship! I do!

And I always will.  

Yours sincerely

Mariam x