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A Letter to My Broken, Anxious Self

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To my broken self: I see you.

On the days when you feel most alone. When you feel like your anxiety is winning and you can’t remember why you continue to fight. I see you fighting this battle while still grasping for all of the things you used to be.

“I used to be confident. I used to be skinnier. I used to be social. I used to be easy-going. I used to be happier. I used to be normal.”

The thing is, you can’t keep focusing on what you used to be because you are not that person anymore. You have changed, you have experienced more of what life has to offer, you have grown. And I know you are struggling to realize this because your mind is telling you that you’ve failed, but I am so proud of you.

I am proud of you because you cried yourself to sleep last night and still got out of bed this morning and faced the day with a smile, even if it was forced.

I am proud of you because you chose to comfort a friend even when you felt utterly overwhelmed yourself.

I am proud of you because you asked for help, even when you were trying to convince yourself that your problems didn’t matter to anyone else.

I am proud of you because you continue to fight every single day, even when it feels like nothing is changing.

I know you have good days. Days when you joke around with friends because you actually feel like smiling. Days when you are excited to do something other than lie in bed or sit on the couch all day. Days when you wake up and just feel it in your heart that today, you are going to be OK.

I also know you have bad days too. Days when you just can’t fake a smile or a laugh no matter how hard you try. Days when you cry alone in your room and you don’t even know why you’re crying. Days when getting out of bed, showering or putting on “real clothes” is your biggest accomplishment. Even then, I am proud of you.

Every single day you prove that you are stronger than your anxiety and your doubts. And every day you give me another reason to be proud of you. You have the biggest heart, endless potential and a lifetime ahead of you. So to my broken self, please, don’t quit fighting. Don’t give up. Do not let your anxiety define you. Because one day you will look back and all of these struggles and difficult times will simply be what “used to be.” You will see yourself through my eyes and you will be so proud.

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Thinkstock photo via sSplajn

Originally published: July 11, 2017
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