An Open Letter To My Anxiety – I Can And Will Defeat You

Dear Anxiety,

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.

Yours sincerely,

35 Comments

  1. Erica
    January 20, 2018 / 1:58 pm

    I can absolutely relate to this. This last week was an “every single night” week and it’s the most exhausting thing ever. You can do this, we are both stronger than this!

    • January 20, 2018 / 2:16 pm

      Sorry to hear that but Just remember a bad week isn’t a bad month, year or life. It’s just one week of many! Hope you are feeling better now lovely and thank you for giving my post a read 😊💖

  2. zaynahshehraz
    January 20, 2018 / 4:22 pm

    I’m sorry to hear that you have been battling your demons. Remember that you are stronger than you believe and to be kind to yourself. Thank you for sharing such a personal account of your anxieties.

  3. January 24, 2018 / 10:17 pm

    It can be extremely hard! but thank you darling, you too!x

  4. January 25, 2018 / 10:00 am

    This is so powerful, I can really relate and I’m sorry you have to endure it but you are so strong and even to write this takes guts. You’ve got this!
    Katie
    littlekaatie.com

    • January 29, 2018 / 10:06 pm

      Thank you Katie! that means the world to me to have such support. thank you for taking the time to read and comment as well. lots of love x x x

  5. January 25, 2018 / 2:39 pm

    Thank you for your comment, it’s sad a lot of people can! X

  6. January 25, 2018 / 6:47 pm

    Very good post! I can definitely relate!

  7. Maria
    January 25, 2018 / 8:22 pm

    I can’t believe how much I can relate to this. Just writing and sharing this is both a powerful and brave move, and I believe you got this! You can do this!! ✨ I’ve been having a couple weeks of the “every single night” visits.. and I find it exhausting the way it drains my days.. Thank you for sharing this post! ❤️

    • January 26, 2018 / 7:59 pm

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read my posts! I appreciate it so much. I’m sorry you can relate to this so much, it’s a shame people have to deal with this, I wish you all the best lovely 💖

  8. January 26, 2018 / 12:55 pm

    Can totally, totally relate with you. I hate how anxiety takes over me–it leaves me hurting and drained at the same time–and it’s so much worse, as it’s coupled with depression. But you are so strong, and thank you for writing this open letter.

    We’ll get through this, and we will win.

    Layla || http://www.legallyunblondeandbeyond.inspirelight.net

    • January 26, 2018 / 8:00 pm

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read. It’s horrible to think so many people have to deal with this and I’m sorry you are one of those. You’re right though, we will get through this together ☺️💖

  9. January 29, 2018 / 8:15 am

    Powerful! Thank you…..it’s 3am and my squatter wont let me sleep right now

    • January 29, 2018 / 10:04 pm

      They are the worse kind of nights aren’t they, just no you aren’t alone! hope things get a little better for you and thank you for taking a read, means a lot to me x x x

  10. March 16, 2018 / 5:23 pm

    Wow. A powerful post, thanks so much for sharing and writing so eloquently on how anxiety has touched you but also how you are working to let it not take over your life. Well done. I’m very impressed and moved.

    • March 20, 2018 / 2:19 pm

      Thank you Kylie, means the world to me. Anxiety is a tough thing. X

  11. September 26, 2018 / 7:09 pm

    I can completely relate to this post. I have also struggled with anxiety since my early teens, and you put everything I would want to say into words for me. We are not our anxiety, and it doesn’t control us. Thank you for sharing this Ashleigh!

    Paige x
    paigesummerx.wordpress.com

    • September 26, 2018 / 7:13 pm

      Oh thank you so much for reading! Sorry to hear you also struggle with this! I’m glad you agree that it doesn’t control us 😊💓x

  12. Kim
    September 26, 2018 / 7:31 pm

    Loved this!! Such an open post x really nice x from #grlpowr! Kthetop14.blogspot.com

    • September 26, 2018 / 7:33 pm

      Thank you so much! That means the world to me ❤️

    • September 26, 2018 / 7:39 pm

      That’s very sweet of you! Thank you for taking the time to read ❤️

  13. September 26, 2018 / 8:10 pm

    such an inspiring post! sorry to hear that you are struggling with this but remember you are strong! i hope you feel much better! xx

    • September 27, 2018 / 7:33 am

      Thank you so much for reading! I am strong and I do try everyday! messages like this definitely do help me x x x

  14. September 26, 2018 / 8:49 pm

    This is worded so beautifully. I can completely relate to this i’ve had bad anxiety since having my children, its always been there just no where near as intense. I’m slowly getting there and i find blogging really helps.

    • September 27, 2018 / 7:35 am

      Thank you for reading lovely! it’s very sad to see the number of people who do struggle but I am so glad to see that blogging has helped you. I find that blogging makes me feel a lot better as well, having people going through the same things definitely helps! all here for one another x x x

      • September 27, 2018 / 7:45 am

        No thank you for writing this and being so open about it! It really does help! X

  15. October 4, 2018 / 4:51 am

    I’m sorry to hear you have to deal with this so much. It was a beautiful post! I coach 26 women in softball right now and I try to remind them everyday that who you are is enough. I hope that you can believe that too!

    • December 18, 2018 / 11:48 am

      Thank you for your kind words Lisa! I appreciate you message so much. That’s a lovely thing that you do for those women and i’m sure your words help them each and every time.

      Very sweet of you x

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