To My Parents, Whose Daughter Struggles With 'High-Functioning' Anxiety

Dear Mum and Dad,

I know it is difficult for you.

No parent wants to see their child in pain – whether that be emotional or physical.

As parents, you taught me how to walk and to talk, you taught me the importance of love and kindness, you taught me values in life that are important to success and happiness.

You didn’t know one day, your little girl would slowly corrupt all the things she had learned from you, as her anxiety enveloped her in a bubble. Too scared to wake up. Too scared to leave the house. Too scared to tell you how she really felt. I was somehow distancing myself more and more from two people who loved me. You saw my pain. I couldn’t explain why I felt the way I did, I just knew it was becoming too much. Overwhelming me with no answers. I tried to disguise it; it was a futile attempt.

You knew.

By facing my mental illness with me, you certified that I wasn’t alone. Countless nights of midnight panic attacks. Days, weeks, months on end of you comforting me as I cried over the hopeless thoughts I’d encompassed within myself, providing help through it all. You were always there. Your love and reassurance became my support system throughout all of the bad days in which my anxiety affected us all. You reminded me there will be an end — or at least one day it’ll diminish into something I can manage and control at ease. You reminded me I would be far stronger upon reaching the other side of my journey. You reminded me that self-care is important – something I had forgotten along the way.

Because of you, I am able to achieve success, despite my illness. Without your positivity and encouragement, I’d have taken a different path.

I know my “high-functioning” anxiety is difficult for you. I understand that you are often lost upon knowing what to do and what to say to me. I am aware this is very much your battle, as it is mine.

Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for accepting my mental illness.

Love always, your daughter with anxiety.

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Thinkstock photo by moodboard

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