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Why I'm Saying 'Thank You' to My Anxiety Disorder

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Thank you.

Thank you for looking out for me. Thank you for trying to protect me. Thank you for warning me when you think something is about to go horribly wrong. Thank you for worrying about me and for trying to keep me from getting hurt.

I see you. I see all the hard work you’ve been doing for the last decade, or maybe even longer. I appreciate your efforts to keep me safe. I feel like I’ve been fighting against you for so long, but now I realize we are actually on the same team. Your intentions were good, even if your energies were misguided. You’ve been trying to protect me from every little thing for my entire life, and my response is usually anger or frustration. It must be exhausting being you. You have stayed vigilant through all the ups and downs of my life, and you have done your best to let me know when you thought you saw warning signs.

It’s taken a long time to get here, but now I can say without hesitation that I would not be the person I am today if it weren’t for you. You have molded me into a woman who thoroughly evaluates all the options before making a final decision, who is empathetic and compassionate to others’ problems and concerns, and who knows that sometimes it’s OK to be scared. You have shown me the parts of myself on which I need to work, and you have held me accountable to that self-development by reminding me on a regular basis.

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You have protected me for a long time, and I know you aren’t going anywhere any time soon. For this, I say thank you. But I also want you to know I am not the same little girl you once knew. I know how to look out for myself. I know how to stand up for myself. I know how to protect myself. I appreciate your concern, but trust me when I say, I got this. We may be on the same team, but you’re not in charge anymore.

Getty image by Ponomariova_Maria

Originally published: October 9, 2020
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