A letter to my anxiety

First of all, rude. 

Second of all, please leave me be. Just for a minute. 

I know that I’m not alone here in suffering from anxious moments, but it really can feel alienating, bewildering and frankly out of control to not know what’s happening from one moment to the next. 

Sometimes you need to write a letter to toxic people in your life to trick yourself into expressing things that you didn’t realise you were feeling.

Well, this is no different.

I’m hoping that there will be more to this letter than just me complaining. Even if there isn’t, it will still be productive because we all need to get talking about mental health more. It isn’t enough to work to merely de-stigmatise it. We need to normalise it. In fact, more than that, we need to actively engage with it. It’s not enough to just blink and look both ways politely when someone is suffering from an anxiety attack.

But keeping your distance isn’t always the way to go, particularly when a person is spiralling and just needs confirmation that they’re still on this mortal coil. It can seem like your life is drifting out of control or slipping away down a drainpipe. That’s when you need people most, and that’s when they can really let you down by being MIA. Maybe they have their own needs, issues and personal boundaries. That’s okay. 

But you do need to be aware of your own needs.

You aren’t a burden, and even if you are asking something of someone, you are within your rights to do so. If you are in a relationship or friendship or they are close family, as long as you are reciprocating prioritising the relationship, you deserve the proper attention. This isn’t something to be meek and mild about, truly. You owe it to yourself to ensure you are surrounded by the right people who are educated and know you well enough to look after you. 

These are the types of contingency plans and mindset that you have to be aware of when you suffer from anxiety. It’s not just overthinking and panicking in public spaces, trust me. My life would be much less complicated if it were. It’s constantly feeling like the world is watching you when you enter a room. Or having heart palpitations start in innocuous circumstances and suddenly you’re on the floor and can’t breathe. It’s feeling suspicious and paranoid that everyone only tolerates you out of some misguided pity or social service. In essence, it’s feeling out of place, restless and fatigued at once, and a million other things. 

Don’t put a timeline on your recovery

I’m being serious here, listen to the wisdom flow from my mouth. You are worth all the love in the world. Your time is now. Your time is also in the future. you are so young now, you don’t even realise it. Trust your instincts. Know your worth. Think about what you actually want in this world. That’s a huge question, I know. So give it some thought and prioritise yourself. 

I’ll say it louder for y’all at the back. 

You. Are. Worthy. Of. Love. Period. 

We’ve all been there. Where we’re feeling down, dejected or decidedly unsuccessful. Particularly when we perceive that the people around us are more successful or better in relationships than we are. You catch yourself glowering at Michael and Rebecca from work as they hold hands in the break room. Suddenly you feel like the old spinster or ugly step-mother in a Disney film. But also, sometimes we need time alone and to feel down to realise what it is that we actually want. In life and in relationships. Sometimes being in a rut can mean that you need some ‘me time’ for a weekend. Sometimes you fall into a trapdoor of despair and it can feel impossible to see any light. 

Remember that you have people around who care about you. Remember that whatever happens, your life has meaning and you are valid. Remember, finally, that self-love is the hardest thing we ever have to do. You aren’t a failure.

I know how life gets.

Seriously, I do. I know the ups and the downs and the hills and the valleys better than most. It’s one of the pitfalls of being a chronic over-thinker and general ‘spiraller’. We don’t love that for me, frankly. 

I know how life gets. Seriously, I do. I know the ups and the downs and the hills and the valleys better than most. It’s one of the pitfalls of being a chronic over-thinker and general ‘spiraller’. We don’t love that for me, frankly. 

But if there is one thing I’ve noticed on all my multitudinous years on this earth, there is a golden rule to note. 

Just as the pride comes before the fall, the breakdown comes right before the breakthrough.