An Open Letter To Anyone Battling Anxiety


Somewhere inside of you, there is a fire that sometimes feels too large and too ferocious to extinguish. Oceans of unrelenting passion and energy dwell in the very depths of you. And within unexplored crevices of your soul lies a storm so vigorous it occasionally slips out of your subconscious and into the physical world as tiny replicas of rage, like a teardrop or a night of sleeplessness. And most of the time you want to pretend like you don’t know where all this is coming from, but you do. You do know. But you are scared.

So you try to shut it all down. You try to wrap it all inside and seal it with a faint smile. You go about your days as if you weren’t aware of your greatness. You compose yourself—you have taught it to walk a certain way, speak a certain way, live a certain way. You feed yourself half truths fully knowing they are ultimately lies, and you dress yourself up in clothing that makes you feel feeble, weak, invisible. You decorate your home with art that doesn’t translate for you and with coffee tables that are dull enough to match the persona you are going for. You do this because these things remove the spotlight from the core of who you truly are. You do this because it grays out the vibrant colors they want you to throw away. You do this because this way, you aren’t ruffling any feathers. This way, you are good. You are obedient. You are acceptable.

“You got this,” you whisper to yourself as you walk into a new day, fearing that if you lose control just a little, you might offend someone. “Keep it together,” a nagging voice inside your head tells you each time you are about to burst out laughing with your organic laughing voice and laughing face, and each time you itch to dance the way you know you are meant to dance. “Keep your head down.” “Stay seated.” “Zip it.” You listen and adhere because it is what you have been told to do.

Some days, you know you could be great. You just know it. There is that stinging sensation of vitality that often gets lost in your stream of consciousness, or lack thereof. But some days, it is there. It is there, and it is telling you how you could go places, meet people, and breathe good air in a world that finally allows you to exist under your own skin—a world of music that is so in sync with who you are it almost caresses your limbs when you listen to it. A world of real friendships that go beyond all the complexities and trivialities and are not afraid to thrive in simplicity. A world of food that is so delicious and so intricate it takes you to places you never even knew existed with every bite. A world of magic in every bonfire, in every sip of coffee, in every conversation. A world which rewards you with stars just by believing in them.

But right now, you are that: a crumpled up papyrus containing interesting stories. You are a treasure chest of gold buried in the dirt that is your fears. You are brave, and you are bold, but you are hidden away. You are remarkable, but you aren’t seen. You are loud and reverberating, but you are on mute. You are a dancing ballerina locked up inside an ancient music box. You are still living, but you are voluntarily using your fire to turn yourself into ashes.

But no more.

Let that fire out. Let it out so it lights up the world and doesn’t kill you from the inside.

Those oceans? Let them flow out of you like a parade of gentle waves. With them flow your heartbeats, and you will let them go where they must go.

And that storm. Cradle it. Nurture it. Give it nice things so that nice things come out of it. Let it grow in kindness so that it creates instead of devastates, so that it forgives instead of condemns. So that it loves instead of hates.

And in your silent hours of inevitable fears and limitations, hold your own hand and walk yourself through the darkness. It is easy to suffocate from where you are. So keep walking. Keep pushing. Smash and destroy whatever it is that’s in your way of getting out.

Soon enough you will see the light you spent your whole life trying to dim. That’s when you know you’re finally free.