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An Apology Letter From Your Anxiety

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I’m sorry.

I’m sorry about everything you’ve heard because of me. I made you cancel plans you had been looking forward to for weeks. I made you call off projects you had worked on for months. I made you quit schools and jobs you invested in. They called you indecisive, flaky, a mess — but those bullets were mine to take. You took them for me.

I’m sorry I’ve ruined so many things you love. I’ve cost you some of your relationships by turning them inside out and leaving them senseless. I’ve picked at many of your friendships and picked some apart. But mostly, I’m sorry for how often you’ve hated yourself because of me.

I made you question your worth. I made you worry if you deserved the good things in your life. I kept asking you to think about how long it would last. I’m sorry I didn’t allow you to be happy when you earned it. I didn’t let you enjoy the beauty and love around you when you deserved it.

I’m sorry I turned up unannounced and gaslighted you. I came under the guise of “logic,” “the devil’s advocate” and “looking out for you.” I made you wonder what you did wrong when you’d been trying so hard to do everything right. How could I explain to you that I also showed up when you did everything right?

I’m sorry I stayed despite how much you disliked me. The more you disliked me, the longer I stayed. I opened a hole right below your carefully stacked actions of progress and made you plummet into an abyss of questions. I’ve shaped parts of your life that were not mine to touch.

Here’s what I need you to know. I only intended to make you pay attention. To tell you that you should have better, that it’s time for a change, that you can push for the life you want. I’m sorry that my presence has always been so confusing.

But even when I made your whole being a battlefield, the artillery you picked astounded me  —  stillness, patience, vulnerability and acceptance.

Thank you for allowing me to work through you without destroying you. For finding the silver lining in every ugly cloud I presented you with. For treading gracefully over the snares I placed all around you. For choosing goodness from the center of every hurricane I spun you into.

Everything about you and everything you are is astounding. Don’t let me make you doubt that. Because each time I was leaving, I’d turn around to look at you, and there you were  —  braver, stronger, and kinder than ever before.

Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

Originally published: February 8, 2019
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