An Open Letter To Anxiety

Dear Anxiety,

You’re a bastard.

I’ve repeatedly tried breaking up with you, but being the son of a bitch you are, you just keep hanging around.

It’s bad enough when you show up during social situations or other times during my waking hours (like where the kids are concerned), but now you’re coming around a lot at night again?

You suck.

For a while, we had a bit of an understanding about you staying away after my head hit the pillows. The Zoloft and the sleep pills were pretty effective at keeping you away or otherwise occupied more often than not.

But then they went away.

I’ll give you credit–you tried staying away for a little while. But then you slowly edged your way back into my nightlife. You showed up in my dreams again, whereas the (sometimes little) sleep I did get was mostly dreamless. I liked that. I’m not a fan of dreams that take me back to places I’ve pushed away to the back of my mind. I don’t like the other dreams that have a number of horrible things happening to me or my loved ones that make me wake up feeling terrified, either.

I could deal with that, since (baby stuff aside), I was doing better sleeping overall. If that was the only place you showed up at night, then I was willing to let that slide.

But that wasn’t enough for you.

Then you decided that you really missed the good old days where you had me awake for hours after I laid down. Am I really that good company? I have a decent enough sense of humor, but considering that I prefer keeping to myself to the point that my husband thinks I have a future as a recluse, I wouldn’t think so.

Whatever it is, you really like being around me now after I lay down. Even though I clutch a pillow over my head to block out all noise and light, something I’ve done since I was a little kid, you still have me hearing little noises that make me automatically think someone is either in the house or is breaking in and that we’re all about to die. Of course when I remove the pillow and look around, I find nothing. I even discover that the pillow was blocking my hubby’s snoring and the loud air conditioner, things I didn’t hear, even though I heard the other slight noise.

Another trick you seem fond of is manipulating the light. When I remove the pillow to look around sometimes, it seems like shadows change slightly, which obviously means someone is in the house and is ready to hurt us. But, of course, that hasn’t been the case so far.

I’m kinda getting sick of your company. If I’m going to stay awake for three or four hours after I lay down, I’d rather be doing something useful or fun, like reading. Mostly, I’d rather get a good night’s sleep so the next day isn’t off for me, so I can be the mom and wife I need to be. But you’re a greedy little bastard, aren’t you? I (unwillingly) gave you an inch, and you took a mile.

It’s time to break up again, and this time for good. I’d love it if you would not only take a hike at nighttime, but if you’d leave all other areas of my life as well. You see, I know these little fears you plant in my mind don’t make sense, that certain fears happening aren’t probable, even. Since being fairly smart is one thing I’ve always taken pride in, you being around and making me think things that aren’t remotely logical absolutely eats at me. If you can’t leave on your own, then I’m gonna let the psychiatrist know that you’re up to your antics again when I see her in a couple of months.

And it’s not you, it’s me. I’m just not the kind of person who responds well to things like you.



8 thoughts on “An Open Letter To Anxiety

  1. Yeah!
    Oh I how I long to sever ties completely.
    Mine’s been visiting at pillow time, too. Hopefully I’ll see a reduction in my incoming stress over the next week or so! Too much spending, driving, public — and mercy, the inundation of information at every turn!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I retired. Anxiety — thinking in the future and depression — thinking in the past all but went away because I have the opportunity to remain in the present. Granted I moved to another country away from the kids and relatives, and also I am suddenly poor, but I have no anxiety. Off to expand my present.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Another trick you seem fond of is manipulating the light. When I remove the pillow to look around sometimes, it seems like shadows change slightly, which obviously means someone is in the house and is ready to hurt us. But, of course, that hasn’t been the case so far.”

    I’ve never seen this experience described by another person.

    This is required reading for anyone who lives with chronic anxiety.

    I walked to my therapist today and it was like spending a hour in a single second of excruciating fear.

    Thank you for reminding me that I’m not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

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