I haven’t posted on here in almost 2 months because school is utter insanity. However, with today being National Mental Health Day, I figured it was time to shed the light on something once again. I wrote this about a year and a half ago and it is even more relevant today. It may be long, but if you are battling your brain, it truly can help to put it in it’s place.

Dear Anxiety,
Let me be clear on one thing: I don’t hate you. I hate the way you make me feel, the abrupt overtaking of my mind that paralyzes me with panic, and the way you keep me up at night. I hate that you consume me with doubt and fear on a daily basis. But I don’t hate you. You make me who I am.
You made me stronger. Because of you I have seen the lowest days and I know I never want to make anyone feel that way. Because of you I will never let anyone get away without knowing how much they mean to me and how important they are to the world.
Our relationship didn’t just show up one day. It was a gradual change that, at first, made me think I was crazy. 12 year old me sitting in the bathroom having my first panic attack. At school. You really couldn’t have eased yourself in a bit more nicely?? I guess I can’t complain since that was the only time you decided to give me a break. After that, I didn’t hear back from you until the start of high school. And I didn’t even realize you were there until I looked back on those years. Every time I turned a corner I doubted myself. Was my uniform in check? Did I talk enough in that class? Did I talk too much? How stupid did I sound? You slowly took over my thoughts. The only class I thought I was doing great in became my most feared class when I was told to speak up more. I wanted nothing more than to please my teacher, but you took over telling me that everything that came out of my mouth was stupid and a waste of time. Our relationship continued like this for years. You created a campground in my mind. And, any time you gave me a break, you were quick to make up for the lost time when you came back.

And here we are tonight -or this morning, rather- at it again. An endless battle against you. Against myself. You use everything you can think of against me: flashbacks, old mistakes that shouldn’t matter anymore, test grades (even the ones I should think are good enough), friends who reality tells me are trustworthy. Anything you think of, we battle. And here I sit, awake for 24 hours straight, because asking to fall asleep before 1am for once was too much to ask.
All of these things, though annoying to say the least, don’t make me hate you. Because if I hate you, then I hate me. And as true as that may be on somedays, it will not be allowed in my day to day life. So instead of hate, I bring you acceptance. I don’t like that you consume me the way that you do, but we’re just going to have to work together to get through life. You’ve brought me compassion and patience, the 2 things I value most about myself. So, thank you for that. You’ve made me stronger and resilient. Thank you for that. You’ve taught me how to pick up the shattered pieces and work through udder exhaustion after a 3-hour anxiety attack. But you do not leave me defeated. I pick up and move on and for that I am grateful.
If you leave, I’ll have a party. I’ll be happy you’re gone and will help you pack your bags. But I will not regret your stay because it’s made me who I am.
So here I sit at 4:47am waiting for you calm down so I can sleep saying thank you for teaching me that I am so much stronger than you make me feel.
Sincerely,
Cassidi

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