An open letter to my anxiety

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Dear Anxiety,

You suck sometimes.

You make me think that I’m not popular or important.  This sees me checking my blog posts, newsletter subscriber list and social media on a daily basis. You make me want to see if people like my work. You make me feel like I have to be validated in order to be doing the important work.

Sometimes I want to give up on what I do. I mean, I have been working my butt off after all. Working and not having overly a lot of fun, well, it isn’t fun. The poetry I write these days is all about stillness and craving quiet, yet you provide noise. So much noise.

Anxiety, you make me melt down when the unexpected is thrown at me.

Like when computers don’t work and I have a class to run or a podcast to tape. I like a level of predictability. It feels good. I don’t like being asked at the last minute to do something, or to change something ‘just like that.’  I’m organised and when you throw a curly one at me it makes me annoyed and frustrating.

Often when I’m anxious I can’t process things. I can’t hear what people are saying to me. They may be talking but I hear ‘ blah, blah, blah.’  I often ask ‘pardon’ just to make sure I heard right even though I heard the first time.

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Anxiety you make me doubt myself.

Anxiety, you tell me that I’m a lousy mum. That I’m lazy because I chucked my child in front of the T.V so I could mindlessly scroll the internet to catch my breath. Sometimes you make me feel bad because I don’t want to craft with my little boy and even though I have taken him out to music or play groups a handful of times, I honestly want to stab out my eyes.  I hate craft and I don’t really like singing about the 2 fine gentleman. What they met in a lane you say? Screw you gentlemen, unless you are armed with artisan coffee and are meeting me in the lane, don’t come mocking me with your fineness.

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Anxiety you make me feel like I have to do these things. That I’m not a good mum if I don’t do them.

You make me feel like because I hate cooking dinner that I’m not good wife material (even though I know I make a killer dessert).

And every time I received a call or a text message that says ‘Diana, call me back. I have something I need to talk about’ I automatically go into ‘I’m in trouble mode.’  What did I do? I must have done something wrong?  And then when I get the guts to call back (because phone calling people equally sucks when you have anxiety) and the person is actually calling for a good thing, I feel bad that I default to ‘I’m in trouble mode.’

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I hate that you make me feel like I have to work to earn my worth.

That even my relationship with God is sucky because I don’t always read my Bible, I fall asleep when I pray and I’m not the model Christian I should be (you know I swear when I’m stuck in traffic and the guy has pulled out in front of me and cut me off).

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Sometimes, anxiety you make me over work to cover my emotions and that sucks even more because then you make my dreams all weird.

You know like I’m late for school and the principal is ringing me and I can’t answer my phone or find my uniform kinda dreams.

Oh and I guess that’s a good thing you allow me to dream because some times anxiety you like to keep me up all night. Typically this would happen when I’m really stressed, have something important on the next door or have had something bad happen. These are the times you keep me up to chat about all the possible things I’ve said or should say. Insomnia really sucks anxiety, I’d prefer the dreams actually.

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Anxiety you make me feel like there are favourites out there in the coaching world.

Like I’m not a good coach or that if my website was my pretty than maybe people would take my business seriously.

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And here’s the thing anxiety:

:: My little boy loves me singing “2 fine gentlemen” and if I had to be honest I don’t really hate singing it to him (maybe it’s some of the other weird songs though).

:: I may not like craft but I’m darn good at taking my 2 year old out to parks, giving him cuddles, pulling funny faces at him and praying over him as he sleeps in his cot.

:: I may melt down when the unexpected happens but I have an amazing group of friends and family who can recognise my meltdowns and will step in to help. (Because anxiety, I’ve told them about you and what you do to me and now they know how to help me).

:: My work, although important, does not define me. The level of likes or comments I have does not equate the amazing plan God has for my life and this amazing business. I mean, heck I’m helping women with anxiety feel freedom from this anxiety. Why wouldn’t I have some level of attack on my life when what I am doing is so flipping awesome?

:: Even though I like my personal space, going out to these play groups and to music actually brings my son joy and by being around other mums who ‘get it’ can actually be super refreshing some times. (If you see me leave straight after though, it’s because I’ve peopled too much).

:: And I’m not always in trouble, even if you make me feel so.

:: Anxiety, my relationship with God? Well, yeah, sure it can always be better but isn’t the nature of faith asking questions and having a go? Isn’t that the marvellous touch of grace after all? A love so amazing that it washes over all of our failings and weaknesses and says ‘darling, I love you anyways. Come closer. I hold you in the palm of my hand.’

:: And dreams…well…even though you are a bit random at times, they give me a good indication of what I have put away deep in my subconscious. They help me to start getting in tune with what I need.

So anxiety, even though you suck, I know you’re just trying to protect me.

And here’s the thing…

You don’t have to protect me that way.

I’ve got this. God’s got this.

Now go away! (Until I need you to protect me next).

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What would you write and say to your anxiety? Let me know below. If you liked the post please share using the buttons below. xx

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Diana is a spirituality life coach who works with anxious women who want to say ‘yes’ more. She knows what it feels like to be in a place of darkness – to not know yourself and where your inner light went – and how to move forward once you come out the other side. With seven years experience as a high school teacher, Diana asks the right questions to guide you into a deep acceptance of who you are helping you see your true beauty. You can learn more about Diana and get instant access to the Freebie Vault (free e-books, guides, prayers + toolkits), when you sign up on the V.I.P list. You can also send an email to Diana at: thebutterflyhouse@dianabraybrooke.com.

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