Anxiety Is My Superpower, Even Though I'm Only 10 Years Old

I used to be scared of swimming. My friends would laugh and say, “It’s no big deal, Kaia. It’s just water.” But to me, it was a giant pool of fear.

I’m also afraid of the dark. I like to be close to my parents when I fall asleep. I get shy around people I don’t know and my words get jumbled when I talk in front of crowds.

I always make sure the door is locked because my dogs can open doors and what if they run away? What if they get lost? What if they get hit by a car?

I even get upset stomachs whenever I’m really nervous and have to take medicine to make them go away.

People tell me to calm down all the time, but I am afraid and I can’t help it.

I think about things differently than other people sometimes. I notice things that other people don’t.

I have anxiety.

I used to hate that my anxiety made me different. I thought it meant I wasn’t brave like my friends or that maybe something was wrong with me. But there’s nothing wrong with me.

It’s not weak to admit you’re afraid… it’s strong!

And I don’t just notice things that make me afraid — I notice things that make me smile, too. I notice when there’s a rainbow is in the sky. I notice when you cut your hair. I notice when you’re sitting alone at lunch and need a friend.

I notice when you need me, and I am there because I know what it’s like to feel alone.

Anxiety makes me kind.

Just like Spiderman has spidey senses, that’s what my anxiety is for me. It’s a superpower. So no, I am not going to calm down or get over it. And no, there is nothing wrong with me.

I’m proud of being who I am. I’m proud that I’m brave enough to admit when I’m afraid. I’m proud of my anxiety.

It’s my superpower.

This story originally appeared in the May issue of Girls’ World Magazine, on news stands now. It also appeared online at

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