in ,

“Dear Anxiety..

“Dear Anxiety..


We’ve been through a lot together. In fact, it’s hard to remember a time without you there. You’ve shown up uninvited to some of the most important experiences of my life.


You’ve created fictional stories in my head that have ruined relationships with other people, myself and even my body. How can I let anyone love me when I’m afraid to love myself?


I pick myself apart and notice every imperfection. Every mark, roll and hair that society says shouldn’t be there, you magnify. You make the mirror my enemy but I can’t look away. You constantly assure me that other people see me the way I see myself.


You turn moments that are supposed to be light and fun to dark and heavy. You drown out laughter with insecurity and tears. You cut beautiful moments short with your negativity and fear.


You create unsolvable problems where solutions and growth should occur. No matter how much time has passed, you replay the trauma over and over like a broken record.  You’ve made the past a trap and the prospect of a different future improbable.


You tell me that I can’t when I know I can. You tell me that I’m unlovable when I know in my heart that I am worthy of love. You tell me that I am in constant danger even when the sun is shining and I am safe.


You make me question my own judgement and instincts. I can’t trust my gut anymore because the lines between you and reality are so blurry and confusing. You ruin good memories with overthinking and what if’s.


You make it nearly impossible to trust people and form new connections. You throw red flags and judgements instead of compassion and humility.


You’re difficult to explain to people who don’t know you as intimately as I do.


You make it daunting to ask for help because you’ve convinced me that I’m a burden. You make me constantly fear rejection but always expect it to come.


When you show up, I feel like I’m only living as a shell of my true self. You steal the adventures I dream about and sell them back to me as dangerous and unattainable.


You make simple things like solo jogs and vulnerability feel like mountains I’ll never be able to climb.


I know it won’t happen overnight but one day I won’t have to triple check the locks or second guess myself. One day I’ll realize I haven’t seen you in awhile and that breathing feels easier.


One day I’ll realize all those trips to therapy, books I read and friends I shared hard things with.. They were all baby steps leading me up the side of that messy, jagged mountain.


One day I’ll be able to stand strong with my head held high. I’ll feel a cool, refreshing breeze as I come to the invigorating realization that I made it to the top.


One day I’ll think of you and smile because you didn’t win. “


About The Author
Steph Nelson is a self help enthusiast with a side of comedic relief.

When she’s not laughing at her own jokes or on a therapy couch, she’s encouraging other women to get curious about their own emotional health.

She spends her free time with her husband and babies (both fur and human.)