An open letter for the anxious

I know how it feels.

Your lungs are heavy and filled with water.
You’re suffocating. But you’re not.

You’re crying out for help, but no-one can hear you.
Because you’re not.

You’re screaming, but you’ve also lost your voice.

The room feels smaller, the walls are closing in.
But it’s not.

You break down.
And you don’t know why.

It’s a battlefield – one that no-one really notices. After all, who knows better about the monsters inside your head than yourself?

I don’t know why or how you are battling anxiety – maybe you had your life planned out, and you thought you’d be successful at 23. But you’re not. Or maybe you thought you’d be married by 24. But you’re not. Or maybe you thought you would be a mother at 27. But you’re not.

And I know you’ve heard this a thousand times, but you need to hear it again and again, until it sinks in… It’s okay. It’s okay to not have everything figured out. And it’s going to be okay.

I want you to dismantle your preconceived notion of how your life should play out. Take one day at a time, one minute at a time and just breathe. Breathe, because this is just a season. Breathe, because seasons come and go. Breathe, because you don’t know the wonder that tomorrow (or today) could bring. Breathe, because you are growing. And you are learning to fight the monsters inside your head, the ones who haunt and taunt you in the middle of the night.

Anxiety is paralyzing, with all these thoughts swarming in your head. But those thoughts are all lies. Who told you that you’re not smart enough? Or lovable enough? Or pretty enough? Or good enough? Who told you that?

And when did you believe the lies?

Don’t buy the lies that anxiety is trying to sell you.

The truth is that you are loved.

And cherished.

And seen.

And wanted.

And adored.

And accepted.

More than you know.

Just because.

I know it’s not easy to get out of your own head and it’s definitely not easy to change your thoughts like a light switch. But, please. Promise me, you’ll try to listen to the truth and not the lies. Give yourself the chance to choose which voice to listen to, because anxiety is just another voice.

You just chose to give it a megaphone.

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