themighty logo

Dear Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Naming You Will Help Break Me Free


There is such a large spectrum of mental illnesses people can be affected by. I’m currently suffering with two: generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and depression. I wish there was an easy way of describing how I manage to get through each and every day living with such illnesses, but I just can’t think of the correct words.

But if I could write a letter to my GAD, this is what I would say:

Dear GAD,

I heard you’ve destroyed so many lives, and I am determined to not let you do the same to me. For so long you were a nameless stranger, you hid your identity. For so long I was lost and confused, yet you showed me no mercy.

I blamed myself, thought I was losing my mind — that I was suffering on my own. Little did I know you were tormenting others, too. I was not alone.

Since being diagnosed in January, I have spent every waking day trying to figure out how I can make this better, how I can survive living with this condition. 

Before being diagnosed, I didn’t know what I was fighting. It was like I was fighting a losing battle against myself. But when I finally found out who and what you were, that’s when the victory began. Every day was like a living nightmare. But after feeling alone in the dark for so long, I’m finally starting to feel like a massively heavy weight is being lifted.

Now I know I’m not a freak. I’m not weak, crazy or insane. Knowing that what I have is an “illness” helps me deal better with the pain. Instead of being bitter and angry with the pain and hurt that you have caused me, I have chosen to turn all this negativity around.

GAD, the day I saw you for what you are was the real turning point for me, giving me strength to help myself and break free from your chains. I know I may not be able to escape you completely, because I know you will always be around, but you will no longer steal me from the peace and freedom I have now found.

So I am writing to tell you: I am no longer your victim or under your control. You may destroy my mind and body, but you will never take my heart and soul. This is the end of the line for you, but for me a new chapter has begun. I am determined to keep fighting against you, and I will help others fight against you and ensure our battle is won. I won’t let you hold me back any longer or stop me from being who I am meant to be.

This is my freedom and journey of victory against you, GAD!

Follow this journey on Katie’s blog.

The Mighty is asking its readers the following: If you could write a letter to the disability or disease you (or a loved one) face, what would you say to it? Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.