By Kirsten Corley
Anxiety tells me people don’t want to stay but feel they have to out of a sense of obligation.
Anxiety tells me they wish they could leave but they are afraid of what it will do to me.
Anxiety tells me people aren’t choosing you, they just feel sorry for you.
Anxiety tells me my best friend might leave soon.
Anxiety tells me the only reason they are answering is because they’re polite.
Anxiety tells me everyone waiting for the right moment to exit with grace.
It tells me I’m a burden.
That I’m weird.
That I’m unwanted.
Anxiety tells me I need to keep apologizing.
Anxiety tells me I need to overcompensate so people have a reason to stay.
Anxiety tells me they aren’t answering because they don’t like me.
That they are deliberately ignoring me because of something I’ve done or said wrong.
Then anxiety reminds me of everything in the past that could apply to that scenario.
Anxiety tells me that one-word response is them hoping I go away.
So I pull away slightly.
Anxiety tells me when they really get to know me, they’re going to hate me.
Anxiety tries to teach me to hate myself.
Anxiety fixates upon my flaws saying if I were different maybe I’d be happier.
Anxiety tells me this is my fault.
Anxiety adds fuel to a fire that is self-doubt and criticism.
Anxiety keeps me up at night fixating upon everything I’ve done wrong or things I could do better.
Anxiety tells me I’m not good enough.
Anxiety tells me I’m going to fail.
That everything I’ve worked for I’m going to lose.
That everyone I love will leave.
Anxiety tells me the love I have to give is not enough.
Then I wake up the next day still tired trying to counter that voice that haunts me.
Anxiety reminds me of everything I’ve done wrong in my life.
Anxiety beats me up and punishes me for mistakes I can’t forgive myself for.
Anxiety does not let me just move on.
Anxiety tells me every worse case scenario will come true.
Every worst fear will come to life.
Anxiety makes me feel like I’m always waiting. And I don’t even know what I’m waiting for I’m just uneasy.
I’m always comparing myself to someone and falling short.
Anxiety tells me I’ll never be good enough.
So I try so incredibly hard.
And most people are impressed.
Everyone but me.
I’ll never be a good enough friend, sister, daughter, girlfriend.
Anxiety tells me I need to fix something that isn’t a problem but I make it one.
Anxiety makes living in the moment hard. I’m constantly dwelling on the past and afraid of the future.
Anxiety tells me to hate myself for this. And as I break down and cry alone for things I can’t understand, anxiety knocks me when I’m already on my knees saying I deserve this.
But then everyone once in a while I come across someone whose voice speaks louder than doubts and questioning that goes on in my head. Anxiety might tell me, they’re here because they feel bad. But then those people counter those thoughts with a hug, a kind word, a conversation. And I realize anxiety might be forever a part of your life but there are people who want to be too.