Dear Anxiety, From Me to You

From me to you, Anxiety

anxiety

Dear Anxiety,

 

I’m not quite sure what drives your obsession with me, or why you feel the urge to follow me everywhere I go, but I’m certain I’ve done nothing to deserve all these years of your harassment, anxiety. After all, I was just a child when you began relentlessly stalking me.

 

Do you remember all those nights you’d wake me up with a start? Taunting me with your “what ifs” and “could’ve been’s,” convincing me that I had good reason to be terrified, and that something tragic was always right around the corner?

 

I do.

 

You must’ve been so proud of yourself that first time my mother brought me to the hospital, concerned about her daughter’s consistent complaints of excruciating chest pain. I can picture you sat next to me, sneering, while the physician explained I’d need some tests ran to rule out any heart defects. While I waited for that first EKG, I can so vividly recall your nagging voice in my head.

 

“You have a heart defect, it’s going to stop beating at any moment and you’re going to die. Once you’re dead, your parents won’t be able to cope with the loss, and they’ll both commit suicide. Then they’ll be dead too -all because of you. Your brother will be left all alone. Would he become a ward of the state? How hard would it be for your grandma and papa to get him back? Who’s going to take care of your dog? Oh, and don’t forget about that candy you once stole -that certainly earned your spot in Hell. Wonder what Satan will do with you when you get down there? Doesn’t it just tear you up that great granddad’s in Heaven and you’ll never get to see him?”

 

Damn. I wonder if the world knows how sadistically cruel you really are.

 

I bet you laughed like a maniacal madman when the tests came back showing no defects, knowing you’d spend another year or so, convincing me that they were wrong, that there’d been some sort of mistake, and a hidden heart defect would drop me deader than dead when I least expected it. And when the doctor’s chalked it up to abnormally extreme heartburn, you were surely in hysterics.

 

It took many more years to discover that the culprit of the pains that snowballed into fears of heart defects and death, was you all along. I learned that you go by the name of Anxiety, that you plant panic in my chest and steal air from my lungs. I learned that you’re always creeping in the shadows of my mind, and that Depression is a very close friend of yours, who often lurks in those same very shadows.

 

I now know that you’ll never cease stalking me, but at least you’re no longer an unknown assailant. I don’t underestimate how powerful you truly are -not when I’m keenly aware of the destruction your panic attacks cause, but I’ve found a weapon of my own to fight back. You see these words on this page? They give me the strength I need to expel the fears you plant in me.

 

I hope you’re picturing me sat next to you, pen in hand, hysterically laughing like some twisted madman.

 

Forever Your Obsession

 

~Lish

(PoetsIN Team Member.) 

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