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To My Anxious Heart: I'm Sorry

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To my anxious heart,

I know it’s terrifying to feel like you cannot control your emotions, afraid that the smallest change in “normal” will tear you apart, break you down and leave you feeling “crazy.” I know how hard it is for you to let go. I’m so sorry you feel like no one will ever want you and your anxious ways, that you feel inadequate and hard to love. I know you’re scared to show someone the real you, to open up and tell someone how you feel. I’m sorry.

To my anxious heart,

I know how exhausting it is to go through the day, restless from no sleep that night. I know how hard it can be to shut your mind off and let yourself be quiet. I’m sorry for all the migraines, chest pains and nervous sweats. I’m sorry for all the doctor visits, stomach aches and tears shed. I know how terrifying it is to have a panic attack and feel like you might not make it through this one, to sit on the ground shaking, hyperventilating with a racing heart. I know how embarrassing it is to try and lie away the questions about your skin picking, fidgety hands and constant itching. I know the feeling of constant, debilitating fear, and I am so sorry.

To my anxious heart,

I’m sorry. I’m sorry your friends feel like they are walking on egg shells when they talk to you, afraid saying the wrong thing will cause you to spiral down into the abyss of panic and worry. I’m sorry your family doesn’t understand how the smallest things can leave you feeling terrified, overwhelmed and out of control. I know you feel alone, like no one truly understands how you feel. I know you feel like a burden, like a constant target of worry for your friends and family. I know you are embarrassed to explain why you are worried, anxious and scared because you know how ridiculous it sounds, but there’s no stopping it. I know you overanalyze every interaction you have, afraid you said or did something wrong. I know you feel like you need constant reassurance. How you need to hear “It’s OK,” “It’s not your fault” and “I’m here for you,” but how hearing those things only make you feel better for a moment until you plunge back into the ocean of self-doubt, drowning with insecurities and worry. I know you think everything is your fault and I am so sorry.

To my anxious heart,

I cannot wait for the day you feel better. I know this anxiety does not and will not define you. You are more than your worries, you are stronger than your biggest fears, you will make it through every panic attack just like you have done before. I believe there is more for you than this. I know you have people who love you and support you. I know you are trying. Oh anxious heart, how I so desperately want to tell you and help you to be brave, be strong, but most importantly, to be still.

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Thinkstock photo via Julia Shepeleva.

Originally published: May 27, 2017
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