I’ve seen you for a couple of weeks now, lurking in the corner. I’ve simultaneously been preparing myself for you, and trying not to think about you. Somewhere in between my all-day classes and my nightly practicing, you’ve managed to rear your ugly head once again. And here I was, thinking I was finally done with you. How could I be so silly?
But really, you couldn’t have chosen a worse time to do it, what with all of the things I’ve got on my plate right now. And of course, how could I ever forget your lovely partner, panic attacks? I hope your marriage is going well.
Believe me, Anxiety. I see that person walking towards me, but I really don’t think they’re going to do much of anything. You think they might look at us? Well shit, better give me a heart attack right here on the damn street.
Trust me, Anxiety, they really don’t hate us, even though you’re almost positive that they do. I can almost guarantee that you’re over-reacting.
The other night, you poked me on the shoulder and asked me pretty innocently if I’d remembered to lock the door before I left, and panic attack had to jump in. She was pretty sure that I hadn’t. I’m pretty upset, Anxiety, because you pulled me away from my rehearsal, mentally, for a long time, because even though I was pretty sure that I locked the door, you just couldn’t remember.
Do you remember a couple days ago, Anxiety? I was trying to talk to a friend of mine, and you decided to test your strength. I could feel you then, holding my lungs so tightly I thought I might deflate entirely. Were you practicing for a strongman competition? I think you could win.
I feel you running around in my head, scattering my carefully filed papers every which way. What day of the week is it? What time is it? What month is it? What am I doing? What was I supposed to do today? Did I have plans? Did I have class? Sorry, what’s going on again?
You never pick up your mess, Anxiety. You always just leave things a huge jumble when you finally take a vacation. It takes me days just to clean up the tornado you’ve caused in me. I wish you were a better roommate. I hate that you keep me up half the night asking me really deep questions about why I’m here. Like, I would care if it wasn’t 3am and I didn’t have class in the morning. Can’t you ask me when I have free time in the afternoon?
But the worst part about it, Anxiety, is that whenever you come knocking, I never feel like I can talk to anyone. And that’s entirely your fault. Because I know that I have people that I can definitely talk to, people that won’t judge me OR you. But here’s the thing, Anxiety. I can’t talk to them when you keep telling me that they don’t care, that I’m just bothering them. Do you see my dilemma here?
I’m not going to pretend that you aren’t there, Anxiety, because that seems kind of ridiculous when you’re a pretty large part of my brain. I see you, and I acknowledge you, and I accept you. But I don’t like you. You make mountains out of mole hills in every sense of the word, Anxiety. You’re playing ping pong with my emotions, and you’re asking Stress to play with you too. Stress doesn’t want to, because he’s pretty sure that I have four thousand assignments due in the next week, even though it’s really only one. But don’t tell him that, he’ll never believe you.
Anxiety, I just want you to know that I see what you’re doing, and I feel what you’re trying to tell me, and I’m really trying to listen. But sometimes, you make me want to sleep for seven days when I can’t afford to, and I don’t like that. But you’re a big part of me, Anxiety, and even though I wish that I didn’t have to deal with you, I know that I do. So maybe you can just take it a little easier on me?
Your not-so-friend Shannon