Dear Anxiety – by Jenny Marie

Dear Anxiety - by Jenny Marie | Letters to the Mind

Dear Anxiety,

When I first met you, I was just a child. You terrorized me with panic attacks and wouldn’t leave me alone. It was bad enough you entered my life. It was much worse when you visited my nine year old daughter. Picking on children. How dare you!

I think you got pleasure out of watching, as you overwhelmed us with the horrifying symptoms of panic.

Did you think it was funny to see our hands tremble and our bodies sweat, drenched in fear?

Did you get enjoyment out of making our hearts beat so hard and fast, it felt like they’d jump out of our chests?

Were you pleased when my doctor told me I had agoraphobia?

Did you laugh when I had to pull over to the side of the road because my vision was blacking out?

You probably thought it was hilarious when I nearly had to run out of a store because I couldn’t stop my racing heart and dizziness. Didn’t you?

Were you happy when my daughter had to miss three weeks of fourth grade because she was petrified she’d have a panic attack?

Did you want her friends to know how ashamed she was to be different?

Was it fun to see my little girl cry when she couldn’t make herself walk into the classroom, in fear of you?

What about when you saw me cry because I knew how terrified my daughter was?

You always wanted to be in control. And you were.

But not anymore!

I’m sure you were unhappy when I reached out for medical help, after twenty years of dealing with you.

I bet you were mad when I recognized my daughter’s symptoms and took her to the doctor.

I’m sure you weren’t thrilled when our medication worked. I wasn’t afraid to drive anymore. Or go to the grocery store, the mall, or the movies. My little girl went back to school. She was able to play basketball, be with her friends, and even go to sleepovers.

We learned how to get rid of you. Our doctors helped us develop ways to control you. We’re healthy and happy now. Our lives are full and productive.

We’re braver than you give us credit for.

Anxiety, thank you for empowering us.

We know we’re strong.

If we fought you off, we can do anything.

Sincerely, Jenny Marie

© Jenny Marie 2015

About the author:

My name is Jenny Marie. I’m writing to Anxiety.

I’ve had panic attacks since I was a child. I didn’t reach out for medical help until my early 30s. I was diagnosed with panic disorder and agoraphobia. I truly thought I was alone, and that no one else experienced the same scary symptoms that I did. I soon realized there are millions of others with anxiety. My daughter started showing signs of panic attacks when she was nine years old. She’s twenty now, and both of us are nearly panic free. I hope to motivate others who are dealing with anxiety and mental illness.

Blog: Peace from Panic

Facebook: Peace from Panic

“You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – Christopher Robin to Pooh (A. A. Milne)

The wonderful photograph was taken by Ian Schneider and acquired through Unsplash. It’s a great source for free photos under the Creative Commons Zero license, so check it out!

23 thoughts on “Dear Anxiety – by Jenny Marie

  1. Jenny,
    This is a beautifully written and empowering letter to anxiety. I’m so sorry that you had to deal with anxiety and that your daughter had to as well. I can relate with some of the things you mentioned and I know how difficult it can all be. I think it’s wonderful how you’ve supported your daughter. The world needs people like you! Thanks for writing this, it’s given me hope.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I so relate to this post. I had crippling anxiety which made me do crazy OCD checking rituals for 10 hours a day, until 5am in the morning. I was so ill. The medication was the crucial thing that brought the anxiety down, calming the OCD. I then had EMDR treatment for the underlying cause of the OCD which was PTSD and am now almost OCD free!


  2. Reblogged this on Peace from Panic and commented:
    Hi Everyone! This is my letter to Anxiety, written for the inspiring Letters to the Mind blog. When I began, I didn’t quite know what to say. But the words kept coming, and it felt like I was pounding them out on the keyboard. I was surprised at how angry I was at Anxiety. Even though I rarely have panic attacks anymore, it was therapeutic for me to write this. Please check out Letters to the Mind and consider contributing. It can help you, and it also can help loved ones to better understand mental illness.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This is really encouraging to read! I’m so pleased that writing to Anxiety helped you, that’s exactly what this project is about and it is rewarding for me to know that it was therapeutic for you. I hope more people decide to contribute, or at least find hope in the current contributions.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Jade. I didn’t expect it to feel as therapeutic as it did! Thanks so much for your work on Letters to the Mind. It’s a wonderful project, and I hope many more people contribute!


      2. I really do appreciate your kind words about the project. I wondered whether it would be okay for me to quote what you’ve said? I may be writing an article about the project for a local paper and it would be great to include feedback such as yours in order to encourage others. I just wanted to ask you first, and only if the word count etc. permits when I come to write the piece.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. That is such a strong and beautiful letter Jenny! Thank you so much for sharing with us. I’m so happy you and your daughter are so much happier and freer! You’re an inspiration! Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I got goosebumps reading this. I am so sad to think of you and daughter having such a difficult time as children. It is hard enough for adults to live with anxiety, especially if they aren’t sure what its all about…to think of a child trying to make sense of that just breaks my heart.

    I am so glad to know there is a happy ending and you and your daughter are okay.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So sorry, I just came across your comment. Thank you so much for your kind words, I appreciate it so much! I agree, it’s really difficult to deal with anxiety and panic attacks as an adult. Kids can’t possibly understand what’s happening to them and why. And they have such a hard time describing the symptoms. (I know I did, my daughter did too). Thank you again!


  5. you inspire me. I had something profound to say about mrs. anxiety. but you tripped me up at the end when you snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. i honor you for staring down this cruel beast and finding a way to dismiss for it your life.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s