You and I are not friends and we never will be, as soon as you realise this and leave me be, the better my life will become. I like to compare you to a squatter that I can’t get to leave my beautiful home and nobody can do anything to help me. Some days you are kind and invite me in for a cup of tea and then other days I can’t even make it to the front door without you trying to hurt me. You and I have a very strange relationship, it’s like being stuck in an abusive relationship that I don’t have the power to leave. But it’s not always bad and you aren’t always around, sometimes you go on holiday and leave me be for a few weeks and then other times you decide to become my best friend and we have sleepovers every single night. The kind of sleepovers you stay awake talking until 3 am and always regret the next day when you are exhausted.
I remember the first time we ever met, I was 13 years old at school and was struggling with the transition from teenager to woman. You introduced yourself and told me you would be here to help me through but trusting you was the biggest mistake I ever made, you made everything so much worse. At lunchtimes, we would sit together with my friends and you would whisper in my ear “Are you really going to eat that in front of people because now they will know why you aren’t skinny like them?”. Then the mornings before school, I would be doing my makeup in the mirror before leaving my house and you would say “Have you actually looked in the mirror today, you are so ugly aren’t you?”. The questions you would ask would play on my mind for hours and days at a time. You made me feel so worthless and alone. These are the kind of questions that can and have haunted me for a lifetime.
At the age of 16/17, we had a massive argument and you hurt me real bad, sending me into a nervous breakdown. At this point I felt like I couldn’t even leave my home, I wanted to but you took that power away from me. Something as simple as walking to the shop by myself I couldn’t even comprehend doing. You made me so angry for purposely trying to hurt me that I took this out on my friends and family and everyone else close to me. Teachers thought I was a “naughty child” but for me, it was a coping mechanism for the pain you were putting me through. By the age of 18, I had found someone to replace you with and that was when I got my first relationship. Finally, you had disappeared and I was starting to become the happy, confident women I was destined to be. Within a few months, things started to get worse and you were always there to ‘pick up the pieces’ but in fact, it was you that was making it worse. I let you get the best of me in times when I didn’t need you around. You played a huge part in causing my pain and if it wasn’t for you things could be a lot different now. I understand everything happens for a reason but sometimes I wish that reason wasn’t you.
Still to this day you are next to me reading what I write and laughing at all the pain you have caused. You are still a huge part of my life but I’m learning to accept our differences. We are never going to agree on the same thing and you are always going to try and bring me down. The difference is now I know how to ignore you and push on ahead with that smile on my face. I’ve learnt to accept that you are always going to be in my life so whilst you are here, we might as well try to get along. Sometimes we fight and I get that but the next day is always a fresh start. I hope that one day we will be strong enough to go our separate ways but for now, I’ve accepted you are here. This letter goes out to the many people whose lives you have also touched. If we all stand together and support one another we can fight this and attempt to destroy anxiety once and for all.