After seven days of intense anxiety, panic attacks and anxiety attacks that have left me crippled, as though my world has been sucked into a vacuum in my chest, I’ve reached a conclusion. I will not live like this anymore.
I started suffering anxiety, aka My Fricking Flamingo, four weeks before our second baby was born. Now that she’s almost a year old, I have had enough.
Dear Anxiety, You Fricking Fecking Flamingo
You’ve lingered too long. Lurking in the shadows, pulling me down and smothering me, unexpectedly. And no one knows. No one sees the collision that happens in my chest when you decide I need a companion. No one sees because I can’t show them. I keep you hidden because I’m afraid. Afraid of judgement. Afraid of not being heard.
So I let you come along for the ride, driving on your road, because the doors are locked and you have the steering wheel.
And here we are. Travelling together yet again on days when I so desperately need you to leave. On days when my despair and frustration level me to the ground. On days when I can’t cope. On days when I thought I was better. On days when I look as though I’m okay to the outside world but inside I’m crying, screaming, desperate and feeling so alone, as you twist and churn my insides and my mind. As you mess up my words, making it impossible for me to explain what’s happening to me. You’ve kept me silent, as though I don’t suffer. You’ve made it look as though I have control, and for a while, I thought I had.
You convinced me I was strong, that I could look ahead and power on. You told me that I was better, that I had defeated you, only to be knocked and attacked again when I least expected it. You’ve left me voiceless. Unable to explain how I’m feeling, what I’m going through as you rip a knife through my ribcage.
For a while, I thought I conquered you and now I know I haven’t.
Your tight little game is wrapped up in my head and I can’t win. You’ve cleverly concealed the exit and barricaded the windows. You’ve gone as far as to suck the air from my very lungs.
Well, I’m done.
You’ve embarrassed me. Made me feel inadequate. I’ve questioned my judgement as though as I have been in the wrong when all along I’ve been your puppet. Dancing to your tune and tripping over your lyrics. You have rewired me and shown me up as I have attempted some form of normality, failing in the process. I’ve been chastised, patronised and misunderstood as you’ve pulled the strings. I’m tired. I’m overwhelmed.
I’m scared but I’m done. Done with you and how you’ve changed me. Done with you and how you’ve restricted me. Done with how I’ve played into your hands and let you control me. Done with how you’ve segregated me.
Take your belongings with you and kindly leave.
It’s time to take your bow and exit stage left. Let me live. As an unwelcome house guest, you’ve overstayed. Take the baggage and disappear. I don’t care where. I will not miss you. I will not think of you. I will not let you near me again. In any way I can, I will exorcise you from my mind and you will never hear from me again. Your game is over. I am breaking the rules and smashing the barricades that keep me locked up with you. I am breaking free and will destroy you in the process. I will find my strength because when I am strong you can not get to me. When I am strong you hide. But I know where you are and you are no longer welcome. I will not feel you burrow deep in my chest anymore. I am closed to you.
So long. Farewell.
I have hated knowing you.