Dear Mom and Dad, It’s me, your anxious kid.
I know you don’t say it, but my anxiety is draining us both. It’s okay, you can admit it. I see it on your face. I see it every time I am paralyzed with fear and you need to get to work. You are like a deer caught in headlights, your morning plans falling apart as quickly as I am. I know it is not easy raising an anxious kid.
I know you spend many sleepless nights worrying about me. Worrying about how I am going to function when I am older. Worrying about how I am going to weather life’s storms. You beat yourself up, wondering what you did wrong. What you did to cause such a fragile mind.
You did not do this to me. You are my biggest support. You are the only one who knows when I am starting to crack. You are the only one who knows when I really need a hug, even though my words and actions would say otherwise. You hold me up when I am falling down and pick me up when I can no longer walk. You translate my struggles to the world when I am not able to, and for that I thank you.
I want you to know that I am not as breakable as you might think. Yes, I crumble very easily – but there is a fighter deep inside of me wanting to come out. I am more than this genetic nightmare bestowed upon me. I am stronger than these genes that want to consume my very existence. I can rise above these thoughts. I can overcome these fears that try and hold me down.
I am going to need your help, but it won’t be easy. It will be a balancing act. It will require you to read me well and know when to push and when to stop. I am not trying to be difficult, I am trying to win a war that has been raging inside of my mind. A war that I can no longer battle alone.
I know you don’t like to see me suffer, but I am going to need you to not cave when I crumble. You see, my anxiety takes over when I am overwhelmed. I can’t think straight. I can’t function. All I want to do is avoid the situation. It is what my anxiety wants me to do – it is what anxiety demands I do.
Help me take small steps to fight back. Help me build my arsenal of weapons to defeat this dictator inside my thoughts. Encourage me, when I am weak. Offer me solutions, when my world is caving in. Small steps lead to big victories over time.
Learn to read my panic. There are times when I need encouragement and there are times when I need to retreat. Small wins are better than big losses. You cannot fight this war for me. Trust me, I wish you could at times. This war will take some time, I may not win every challenge. I may not be up to facing every fight. Teach me to dust myself off and try again.
I love you. I know I am not always pleasant. I know I can throw daggers when I am in the clutches of anxiety. Please know that is not me. That is not us. We are going to crush this. We are going to no longer allow anxiety to dictate our dance. We are going to dance to our own beat. We are going to dance to a better song.
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