Written by Sophie Diemler
Anxiety can be a daunting thing.
I’ve lived with anxiety for as long as I can remember, it’s always been with me. Over the years, I’ve gotten better at coping with my anxiety, but I still have days where it feels paralyzing and crippling. These past couple of weeks have been pretty rough in the anxiety department. One way that I’ve found that practically never fails to ease my nervous mind is writing. Whether it be writing a letter to a good friend or getting all of my feelings down on paper, I always feel better to have found an outlet to cohesively put my emotions out in the open. A little while ago, I wrote this poem (or essay, you can call it whatever you want) about my personal experiences with anxiety. Giving my anxiety a face and a name, so to speak, really helped me to be intentional in realizing that a lot of my worries are stemming from my anxious mind and will eventually go away. So without further adieu, here is my piece. And if nothing else, I hope it gives you a sense of peace that you are not alone in your struggles.
With Love, Sophie
It starts with a single thought.
A thought that begins as a soft whisper and creeps it’s way into every fiber of your being.
You don’t pay it much attention at first.
It makes it’s existence known, but you easily brush it off and continue on your way.
And yet, that thought persists.
When you least expect it, it pops it’s ugly head back into your mind and seeps it’s way into your thinking.
It usually comes in the form of “what if’s,” “should have’s,” and “could have’s.” It tells you that you made the wrong decision.
It tells you that you’re not good enough.
It reminds you of all the things you’ve ever done wrong and how things could have been different if you had done them right.
It invades your physical being as well as your emotional.
It makes you feel like a ghost of yourself, because you’re no longer living in the present, but your mind is stuck in the past or set in the future.
It makes you question every relationship you’ve ever had and doubt that anyone has ever wanted you around.
It makes you feel unworthy of love, friendship, or a good life.
It reminds you of past failings and gives you visions of a bleak future.
It makes the smallest of bumps into the biggest of mountains.
It gives you a feeling of despair and desperation that grips you tight and won’t let go.
It makes you feel as if nothing will ever get better.
As quickly as that one single thought appeared, it invites it’s friends to join in until your mind is swarming with these dark creatures.
They start as a quiet murmur, but quickly become the only thing you can hear.
These feelings and thoughts, they eat you alive.
You try to ignore them. You try to distract yourself long enough to not hear those thoughts in your mind.
It works for a while, but they always come back eventually.
Combating these thoughts is hard.
There are days when all you can do is be proud of the fact that you got out of bed and got dressed for the day.
There are days when it feels like you’ll never be happy again.
But you know that’s not true.
No matter how persistent these dark thoughts are you try to fight them with hope.
Hope is the weapon that you arm yourself with when these thoughts wage war against you. You fight so hard that your whole being is drained.
You don’t let the darkness win.
It is a constant battle, but you know that things will get better.
You know that there’s hope. You know that there is always a reason to keep going. To keep living.
To keep loving.
And you give yourself a break. A break to be, to feel, to live.
You know that you are stronger and braver than you feel, and you know that you can make it through this difficult thing called life.