Anxiety tells me things I should know are untrue.
She whispers in a voice inaudible to anyone else, but I hear her. Clearly, and with vigor and conviction.
She feeds on my self-doubt and worry, like fucked up nourishment for her evil mission. A veritable mental vulture who preys on the dying.
One particularly weak day, she convinced me my boyfriend sent me away to the grocery store so he could leave me under the cover of darkness, and sneak away. Much to my surprise, and her chagrin, upon my return, he was there. Still. Always, I hope.
She dictates my wardrobe choices, her chatter about my body, and how it should be hidden above all costs, chirps in my brain, as I don another sack or over sized something.
She convinces me I can’t be a writer. A good mother or productive employee. A viable candidate for a job. A strong, beautiful woman. A caring daughter. A productive, protective partner. She casts doubt, that maybe I did deserve that, or was asking for the other thing, or certainly this will be the day something awful will happen. Maybe it was my fault. All of it. Everything.
I never invited her to the party. I never asked her to stay. She’s an all too familiar stranger, a squatter in my mind I’d evict the second I knew how.
For now, I fight however I can manage. Sometimes she disappears with a simple hair flip or some decent music. Other times, like now, she’s almost impossible to shake, and the voice on repeat telling me all the things I can’t do and he’s never going to marry you and your family still thinks you’re a fuck up and you’re going to get fired and you’re fat and you’re ugly and your house is a wreck and you’re a loser because you haven’t finished your laundry and just wait until you see what tomorrow brings because if you thought today was bad…
So much for sleeping tonight.
Breathe. I need to breathe. And acknowledging her awful presence to someone other than me helps, too. Sometimes I stand in the mirror and smile while I she spews her rhetoric, to help lessen the blow. Other times I punch a pillow. Or take a walk. Or lie down and let the bitch wash over me with all she’s got. Eventually, she tires out, too.
I’ve been able to outlast her this long. Here’s to one more day of winning the race.