A Letter to My Anxiety Disorder


Sabrina Lang, Reviews Editor

I remember the first time I met you. I was seven years old curled up in the fetal position crying hysterically and hyperventilating. You were the only one there to help me cope when my parents were fighting. You were there when I wanted to make new friends on the playground cautioning me to keep to myself because the other kids wouldn’t like me. You were the voice inside my head nagging me to call my best friend just one more time, all because she hadn’t responded immediately. You told me she was mad at us. She wasn’t. She never was. And let’s not forget into my early teens you were the one yelling at me telling me the only way to make you stop was to feel physical pain.

You were there behind every decision cautioning me and tormenting me. You made me afraid of the world. Because of you, I didn’t go out for the volleyball team. I didn’t stay in debate, and I didn’t read my poem to the class. You stripped me of my dignity and self worth.

I missed so many opportunities because of you constantly nagging me.

“You’re not good enough.”

“He doesn’t even like you.”

“You’re not pretty enough.”

“You’re going to fail.”


All you ever did was put me down. But you were always the only one there to comfort me. What you said made sense, but it’s not like anyone was telling me anything different than what you were saying. But maybe if I would have told them how you treated me they would have. Maybe if I would have just taken one chance that didn’t end up in failure. Maybe if one time I just gave it my all… But you told me if I gave it my all and I failed you would never forgive me.

When I didn’t listen to you, you took away my sleep and my appetite. You made your way through my entire body. You would scream in my brain, then down to my chest where you would be tight and constricting. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. You made every bone in my body shake uncontrollably, and eventually you made your way back up to my eyes where the tears just wouldn’t stop. You took over my entire body and held me captive.

I didn’t want this, I didn’t want you. But I’ve been through some tough stuff in my life, and no one showed me how to deal with it. You were the only way that I knew. And I hate you. I hate you for turning me into this shell of a person.

Did you know that I like painting and traveling? Did you know that I truly do love the company of other people? Did you know I have opinions? You stripped me of my voice, of my will to express my feelings.

It’s been 11 years since I met you. We don’t talk as often as we used to, do we? And I’m betting you’re wondering why. I went to see a doctor the other day. I told him how you treated me, he agreed. You’re a bad habit I just have to quit. They got me on the right medication, talking to the right people. It’s funny because the first time I took my new anxiety medication I was almost too anxious to take it.

You’re nothing but a deep, dark, depressing hole. All you do is drag me down with you. Misery loves company, I guess. But I won’t be joining you any time soon. Don’t get me wrong, I still shake and scream and cry sometimes. But it’s easier. I’m not alone with you anymore. I look around and for the first time I can truly see all the people and tools around me that teach me to be okay. Because, Anxiety, you are not the only way.

It’s nice to take a moment and truly appreciate the little things. I’m able to take a deep breathe and accept the things I can’t change.

All around, I’m able to enjoy life more and truly put things into perspective.

And this might seem a little dramatic, but I’m free to be myself now. The walls and filters I used on your behalf no longer deem necessary. It’s so nice. I feel lighter. It’s easier to smile. I’m  still a little afraid, but more fearless where it matters. I can’t wait to take on the world.

Sincerely not yours,

Sabrina Lang