An Open Letter to Anxiety and Worry

(This is a redraft of an old post; it was nice to edit and (hopefully) improve.)

Dear Anxiety and Worry,

You are old friends of each other, but sadly, no friends of mine. I don’t like to be unkind, it’s just we have nothing really in common and it’s time to change the nature of our friendship. You can’t keep showing up and working through your long standing rivalry by playing endless games of rock, paper, scissors in my beat-up mind. Again, I was brought up be kind, but you’ve gone too far.

I want you to know that I don’t disrespect or dislike you. Worry, I know you ensure a certain level of thoroughness that help keep things in order, things in check. You help ensure a certain level of responsibility to those around us. You allow us to show love and compassion for our friends and family. And Anxiety, I am well aware that your adrenaline inducing behaviour saved our ancestors from being eaten alive. For the fight or flight instinct, I thank you. It is just you have overstayed your welcome. I am no longer in danger of being eaten by a woolly mammoth. Yes, please keep making sure I look when I cross the road. No, do not continue to insist that I check the tap five times before I leave the house to avoid causing biblical scale flooding.

Now I’ve taken a moment to give credit where credit is due, it’s time to address a major complaint. That is a complaint about your inconsistency. Your complete lack of follow through. Yes, you are fickle. The sickness and anxiety that I might wake up with seems to be preparing me for a bad day, making me alert. I know this is done with good intentions. I am sure you just want to make sure I made good choices, check things properly and don’t come to any harm. But, Mr Anxiety, you have no follow through. You get me all stressed out and ready to fight, then ensure a complete inability to concentrate, to focus and to solve the problems you’re setting me up for. You only do half a job. I thought you were meant to help me sense the woolly mammoth, then get me to either hit it over the head with a club or run like mad? Right now, I’m left terrified, staring at the beast with no idea what to do about it!

Another issue I have with you is your flakiness. You never make appointments, never show up consistently and never apologise. You drop by when you feel like it and expect us just to drop everything and catch up on your news. Well sorry, but it can’t be like that any more. From now on, you are only welcome in times of real danger. You are welcome just before a test, as long as you bring just the right amount of adrenaline to get me through. Oh, and flowers.

I think I have made myself perfectly clear. Expect to be ignored, dismissed and rejected from now on. I expect no reply to this note. All I ask is you mind your own business.

Yours faithfully,
A. Worrier

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