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Dear Anxiety,

Dear Anxiety,

Dear Anxiety,

you can shove it.

Consider this an official break-up letter. You have made yourself way too comfortable here; your manners leaving something to be desired. You show up unannounced often completely unexpected. We’ve been off an on for years now. I remember when you would creep up on me as a little girl, convincing me that a lolly pop could cause diabetes and raising my hand in class might very well cause the world to implode. You were sneaky and subtle, stripping away at this childlike spirit one filament at a time.

As I got older, your unsolicited visits became easier to predict, but also more frequent. When money was tight I would cringe and wait for you to appear. You were there, not just in the bigger moments of major life decisions, health scares, and news headlines, but also in the everyday moments of parenting, class presentations, and paying bills. I’d like to think that no matter how overbearing your presence, I still wore the pants in the relationship, but I cannot overlook moments where I was left paralyzed by your lies. Because when it comes down to it, that’s all you are: a liar.

You are the first to arrive to the party when tragedy strikes and the last to leave. But since those moments, I’ve gotten stronger and less naive. I can sense the signs of your arrival and, on better days, lock the door and keep you out. I’ve figured out your weak spots and built up walls to protect myself. I have learned that you hate community. You worked so hard to convince me to keep our relationship private because no one else would understand, but you were really just afraid that if the secret got out, you would be exposed as a fraud.

I will cultivate an attitude of thankfulness and joy, refusing to dress rehearse tragedy and torment myself with all the ways things could go wrong..png

I have also learned that you shrink in the face of gratitude. Because you thrive on worst-case scenarios and, as the brilliant Brene Brown puts it, “dress rehearsing tragedy,” you cannot stand a thankful spirit. You cringe because you know that fear and perfect love cannot coexist.

So in light of our breakup, I am committing to be proactive, in the likely event you come knocking at my door once again. I will surround myself with an army of people I love who will advocate on my behalf and I on theirs. I will cultivate an attitude of thankfulness and joy, refusing to dress rehearse tragedy and torment myself with all the ways things could go wrong. And I will speak out Truth, even when my own ears have a hard time believing it, because you and I both know how much power it holds.

You kept me down for a while, but in reality all you did was make me stronger. So, thanks, I suppose, for giving me the opportunity to realize that I deserve more. You see, life will still have it’s challenges; but looking back, your presence in those moments was never a substitute for companionship. Your efforts did not alleviate the heartache. Instead, you merely added insult to injury by keeping me from enjoying the good moments, the beautiful moments, and the kinder moments. And I won’t give you any more of them.

Ok, now you can shove it.

Sincerely,

Alyssa

PS- It’s not me. It’s you.

 


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