Anxiety: The Jerk Who Never Leaves

Anxiety, you little devil, you.

You creep into my head and crawl into my body at the most inopportune times and in the most random places.

I’m aware of your sneaky little ways of demolishing my confidence: the racing heart, the frantic mind, the shaking hands and queasy stomach that settle in as unexpected panic clutches on to my chest.

Suddenly, anxiety, you become my primary focus. You make yourself the priority of thought and awareness without my consent.

My life has become a list of simple checks and balances, to ensure that you and your close pal depression don’t stand in my way. Along this journey, the two of you have done quite a number on me and my friends, you big bullies.

After a lifetime of battling you, I recognize you for what you are and I am able to stop you most times before you manage to completely ruin living for me.

I know you well and I know your weaknesses. I’ve come to realize that there are things I can do to push you away, albeit with much resistance.

You’re not a fan of oxygen, I’ve come to find after numerous incidents of barreling my way outside to gulp it down as though suffocated during a panic attack. The fresh air rushing through my lungs always brings me back to present.

You really despise my support system. Encouraging words and confidence boosters from those closest to me tend to make you shrink down in size and comically shake your fist. You’re nothing in the face of self-esteem.

You’re not too keen on mantras and meditation, as I find that I can be rid of you with the power of concentrated positive thoughts alone after years of working to perfect the art. You no longer have a presence in my comfortable zones of life and that is as a result of growing in my own strength of self.

No, you choose to assault me when I least expect it, when I least want or need you around, and when my defenses are down.

You like to bury yourself as a seed in irrational anger, fear, and an imagined, heightened sense of danger. You like to take control of my thoughts so that I seemingly self destruct as you grow in size and become drunk on the power of your presence. I sound crazy when I try to tell people it’s all your fault, because they can’t see you. That’s why your plans work out so well.

When I’m excited about something new, you take the form of “what if” and “why bother”.

When I go out into public, especially large groups of public, you do your best to make me appear insane. I need to find a quiet place to pause and breathe to regain my center and that is not easy to do casually, without seeming frantic.

Muddling my brain, you make natural disasters totally seem imminent and I panic. You press upon me the potential chaos of being in a space with so many other people. After all, the IQ level in a crisis is zero when there’s mass hysteria. Damn the psychology classes for reiterating that as fact to you, who soaks up catastrophic details like a sponge.

Oh, as well as I know you, anxiety, you’ve come to know me too.

I sometimes wonder if I will ever be completely free.

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