My anxiety is my shadow. It has hung over me, followed me around, and woken me up in the middle of the night throughout my entire life. It goes by any number of names: fear, insecurity, shyness, and pride. It shows up at the most inopportune times, and out-stays its welcome almost every time. It critiques my writing, the way I do or don’t do my hair. It whispers, “stay down, don’t raise your hand, your wrong”. It has predicted my failures and fine-tuned my doubt. It has attempted to remodel my home, life, and mind with a frequency attune to light speed. It has become an integral part of me.
It has been with me since the beginning, and it ties me to me. I have shared my childhood, my family, and all of my relationships with anxiety and while it may not be the best of company, it has never left me. It has never cheated on me, abandoned me, or found a younger model. It always has my back because that’s where it lives. It doesn’t give the best of advice, but at least it tries. It really just wants me to stay safe at home, alone. When I accepted this reality, my mind and my life changed entirely. Meet my anxiety, it’s always with me. It’s my shadow, it protects me.