We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community what they would say to their anxiety if they could write it a letter. Here's what they shared.
2. "Fuck you for making me weak."
Fuck you. Fuck you for ruining my life. Fuck you for turning me into someone I'm not. Fuck you for making me weak. Fuck you for taking away my opportunities and my dreams. Fuck you for making me so unhappy. Fuck you for making everything so hard. Fuck you for making me fight this battle every single day of my life.
3. "To rid myself of you, I've tried seven different types of meds, seen eight+ therapists, visited two crisis clinics, had three blood tests, and read a stack of self-help books."
You've overstayed your welcome. I've endured nine years of panic attacks, lost sleep, lost appetite, dealt with vomiting, heart palpitations, sweating, shaking, and suicidal thoughts. To rid myself of you, I've tried seven different types of meds, seen eight+ therapists, visited two crisis clinics, had three blood tests, and read a stack of self-help books. Like I tell my many doctors who look for reasons to deny me the benzo prescription I rely on to get me through an episode, I've also tried yoga, exercise, diet changes, vitamins, deep breathing, affirmations, and prayer. Yet, here you are.
When I met you at 19 in the bathroom of a college dorm, you terrified me. But now at 28, you're simply a nuisance. I know now there's no monster under the bed, but that doesn't stop you from trying to convince me there is. Give up. Go home. And give me my fucking life back.
5. "Thank you for showing me that I'm a badass because I deal with you every moment of every day."
Dear social anxiety,
Thank you. Thank you for all the times I've missed out on fun because I was too afraid to leave my house. Thank you for all the frustrating times I have missed out on making friends because you wouldn't let me speak. Thank you for the panic attacks you've caused which left me physically unable to cope for weeks. Thank you for stealing away my confidence. Thank you for all the friends I've lost because I was just "too much of a flake." Thank you for completely ruining parts of my life. Thank you for forcing me to fight you everyday.
But also: Thank you for the strength I've gained from you. Thank you for teaching me that I am great under pressure, because I'm always under pressure. Thank you for showing me that I'm a badass because I deal with you every moment of every day. Thank you for showing me that mental illness is not a choice and is uncontrollable. Thank you for making me learn how to cope with you, and how to be stronger.
As much as you utterly suck, you've made me the person I've become, a better, stronger girl. I may always be in a battle with you, but you will never win.
6. "I'm trying to have somewhat of a romantic aspect to my life and I would appreciate it if you can leave me the fuck alone, okay?"
You have made me single for long enough. I need you to pack up your things and GTFO. I'm trying to have somewhat of a romantic aspect to my life and I would appreciate it if you can leave me the fuck alone, okay? I don't want to be single because you decide to show up and make me think everything bad is going to happen. Let me live, damnit.
8. "I worked hard to feel good about myself and I won't let you drag me down."
I don't believe you. I don't believe that every laugh is directed towards me. I don't believe that those people over there are whispering about me. I don't believe that my friends hate me. I worked hard to feel good about myself and I won't let you drag me down. Now fuck off.
9. "You're a nuisance. I've named you Agnes."
You don't own me. You don't define me. And you sure as hell don't run my life, try as you might. I have had great meds and counselors who have made you smaller, but you still pop by every now and again. You're a nuisance. I've named you Agnes. Last month, standing in my bathroom mid-panic attack, I rolled my eyes at my sweating palms and racing heart: "OK, Agnes, you've made your fucking point!"
You're something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. My heart breaks for the others you visit (i.e. annoy, harass, debilitate). Kindly fuck off, won't you?
11. "I can sort of logic myself out of some of your bullshit, but if you could hold off on the physical symptoms?"
Look. I can sort of logic myself out of some of your bullshit, but if you could hold off on the physical symptoms? Maybe I could stop thinking I'm having a stroke when really, it's just been a few stressful days. I've got shit to do. Knock it off.
12. "You turned my dreams of seeing the world into nightmares, riddling my mind with endless worst-case scenarios and what ifs."
For so long I let you control my life and dictate how I lived it. You turned my dreams of seeing the world into nightmares, riddling my mind with endless worst-case scenarios and what ifs. I became lost and scared and you fed on that and you made me into a shell of what I once was, afraid to do all the things that I once loved.
But now, despite your best efforts to keep me this way, I am breaking free. Despite all your cruel whispers and your warning lights, I am taking back control. I am taking back my life. And while it isn't easy and I still have bad days and I sometimes let you slip through the cracks of the walls I've built up around you, I remain strong.
13. "No, I am not going to crash my car tomorrow."
Just because I take a long time to fall asleep doesn't mean you get to nitpick my mind and make me overthink everything I have ever done or will do. No, I am not going to crash my car tomorrow. No, just because you accidentally didn't hold the door for someone doesn't mean that random person despises you. Chill out and let me sleep.
15. "My boyfriend and my best friend? They're not bad people. Let me talk to them."
Dear anxiety associated with PTSD,
Not everyone is out to get us. My boyfriend and my best friend? They're not bad people. Let me talk to them. It's okay to be a little wary in social situations, and you've helped me avoid putting myself in uncomfortable situations, but it's utterly exhausting to be on edge all the time. Let me rest.
16. "Because of your warnings and how nervous you make me, I've begun to stutter."
I know you're just here to warn me of all possible outcomes but...I need you to stop. Because of your warnings and how nervous you make me, I've begun to stutter and become even more cringe-y. I've drifted from my friends and every time I try to reconnect you make it worse.
The girl's life you've fucked
18. "Listen, we've had a great ride together, but we're through. It's over."
It's not me, it's you. Listen, we've had a great ride together. All those embarrassing bouts of panic, all those screams and sobs, all the Zoloft we've taken together, the therapy, the discomfort for me and my family, those lost opportunities, the hypochondria, the fear, the unhappiness, the list goes on. But we're through. It's over, anxiety. Let's just try to move on...and by us, I mean you.
19. "I am no longer the powerless one — you are."
Thank you. Thank you for showing me that I am so much stronger than I ever thought I was. Thank you for proving how brave I am.
But I am through with you now. I shall not mourn you and I shall not let you hold me back anymore. I am no longer the powerless one — you are. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
Anna Borges is a senior staff writer for BuzzFeed.
Contact Anna Borges at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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