The Mighty Logo

To the Anxiety Monster Who Haunts My Life

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

To the figure that haunts my life,

What did I do wrong? What did I do to make you haunt me? Did I do something to deserve your attention? Your evil? You cost me the job I loved, my friendships, my goals and aspirations for the future. I can feel you there all the time. Standing in the corner of the room watching me, waiting. Waiting for me to have a thought or feeling you can latch onto.

You tell me such terrible things. Awful lies that you make me believe. You tell me my headache is a brain tumor. That my palpitations are going to kill me. That I’m going to drop down dead. You’ve convinced me I’m dying at the age of 24. That one day my mom will come home and find me on the floor, or in bed, never to wake up. You tell me not to go out because I will die. You give me every symptom you can to make me as weak as possible. You tell me not to get out of bed. I can hear your voice in my ear. If I get up, I will pass out. If I eat, I will be sick. You tell me I’m not as good as my siblings. That I’ll never be successful. That this is it now. This is my life. Over. I am doomed forever to move between my bed and the couch, snapping at the people I love and feeling constantly ill. For the last year, you have attacked every part of my life.

But you are just like any other monster. You can be defeated. Every time I laugh, go out or achieve something new, I’m pushing you back. Every time I push, you push me. Trying to set me back, you sometimes manage to send me to my spot on the couch, or back to the doctors. But you will never take my dreams away. You will never take my family or my sense of humor. I will always be able to fall into the world of books and TV, forgetting you exist if only for a moment.

But most importantly of all: I am not fighting you alone. Every person you assault is fighting back against you. We are forming an army. When you hurt one of us, you hurt all of us. We are warriors. We are picking up our swords and shields and holding you off. You will not win. You will not beat us. I say this to you anxiety monster: We are coming for you.

Originally published: April 14, 2023
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home