Anxiety is like a toxic friend you actively try to avoid. Yet, somehow it always finds you, always at the most inopportune of times. When you are out for a walk and someone absentmindedly stares at you, Anxiety whispers softly in your ear, “She must be judging you.”However, that person is completely unaware of your existence. While you are paying for groceries but fumble while counting the change, Anxiety shouts, “You’re holding everyone up! Can’t you see they are getting impatient? You look ridiculous!” In reality though, everyone makes this same little mistake at some time or another. So, nobody hears this abusive voice but you.
The weekend is here and it’s time to go out. You are all dressed up, finally pleased with your appearance. A smile graces your lips. Then along comes Anxiety to stand beside you in the mirror and remark, “Those clothes are a little too tight, aren’t they? Do you really want to wear your hair that way? What if you stand out?” Although you look wonderful, the smile quickly vanishes.
Even a conversation of two is third-wheeled by the presence of your unwelcome friend, Anxiety. “Why is he not smiling as much as yesterday? Are you asking enough questions? Talking too much about yourself? He thinks your company is such a bore.” Before a social interaction is even over, you’re already internally exhausted. Your mind defeated by the lies Anxiety has told.
It sometimes gets to the point when the only option seems to be withdrawing from any contact at all. Hoping that without the company of others, Anxiety will quiet its unceasing voice. But of course, this is not true, for Anxiety always searches for an opportunity to ruin your peace. So even upon leaving calls unanswered and declining invitation after invitation, Anxiety begins its dance again. “They will all think that you are a terrible friend, you know? Why are you being so selfish? Can’t you think of anyone else but yourself?” In honesty, they aren’t angry with you, only growing concerned.
Even in the solitude of your very own home, Anxiety keeps calling your name. “Aren’t you being a little lazy? You need to get out more. You are just wasting your life inside these four walls.” You needn’t worry about this though. A day of rest isn’t an eternity wasted, don’t let your mind be fooled.
However, at some point, enough is enough so you cry out, “Why won’t your voice cease? Does everyone else hear and perceive the things you whisper to me? Or is this murmur in my head alone?”
Anxiety now takes a step back with a grimace on its face, its task completed once more. Your mind gets overwhelmed and things grow confusing until all of a sudden, everything becomes hazy. Anxiety’s friends have now come to play. Good old Fear seizes the recesses of your mind. The “What Ifs?” call your name. Panic grips your heart in its strong fist. “You won’t escape this time!” they all jeer in unison.
Finally, a surrendering scream exits your lungs. Your whole world goes black with a collapse and a fall.
After Anxiety and its accomplices have devastated your mind and body, they leave you for just a little while. As you recover, you swear to yourself that this time will be the last. Anxiety will have no place in your life anymore. It will never claim victory over you again. But is that really true? After you are recuperated and refreshed, the opening for Anxiety to slip back in is renewed. “Will it be as bad as last time?” you worry, while slipping back into the familiar, old pattern. Anxiety has begun to take its course once more.
Angelica Williams is a sixteen-year-old homeschool student in Maryland. When she’s not studying, her days are spent writing and making frequent trips to second hand bookstores to feed her reading addiction. She also enjoys baking and spending time with her many pets.