I’m Done Letting Anxiety Control My Life & Loves

I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety almost two years ago. At first it was terrifying, but now I know my anxiety very well. It speaks to me in its own voice because it’s sneaky AF, but I know how it operates and all the shady tricks it plays. Anxiety will be with me forever, but now I’m fully aware of how to keep it in check, and most importantly, how to get it to STFU.

  1. I know my worth and I won’t forget it. My anxiety tries to tell me I’m worthless, and that I should never speak in public or meet new people because I’m too [insert negative adjective here] and everyone will hate me. HA! Wrong. I’m brilliant and rad and wonderful. I will never second-guess that again.
  2. I remind myself that anxiety lies. Anxiety never speaks the truth or comes from a place of reality — it’s all worst case scenarios and ridiculous paranoias and while it’s convincing, I’m not falling for it anymore. Anxiety operates on a basis of irrationality and fear, so it’s baseless and I’m no longer buying the garbage it’s selling.
  3. I’m armed with the proper resources to shut it up. I’ve been on Lexapro since my diagnosis and I have no intention of getting off of it. I was worried that getting on any kind of medication for this would stifle my emotions but that’s not the case — at least not for me. I feel everything as deeply as I did before… except irrational fear. I also have breathing exercises and bookmarked articles to get me through the tougher days.
  4. I’m so much stronger than anxiety makes me seem. Anxiety has given me so many bad days, so many moments when I thought I couldn’t take the pain or unsettling feelings any longer — but I’m done letting it win. Every day that I get up, hear its negative bull and still get crap done like a boss, I’ve won.
  5. I have a wonderful support system. I have a family and friends who love and adore me and I know a lot of people who are going through the exact same struggle. They won’t let me get sucked into another anxiety spiral and I’m so lucky to have them. Knowing that I can give voice to the terrible thoughts I have sometimes and be understood alleviates so much of them pretty much right away.
  6. I know the way my anxiety operates now and I’ve learned how to deal with it. My particular form of anxiety is easily triggered by medical and social situations. So if I have an awkward run-in with someone, I assume they hate me and I can’t stop thinking about it for at least a day. Or if I have a pain in my arm, hip or wherever, I start seriously assuming it’s cancer until I reach a panicked mental state of planning my funeral. When I recognize the signs of heading down one of these two paths, I know to halt and take a breath, because neither of these are constructive or even real.
  7. I’m too determined to let anxiety mess with my goals. I have a lot on my to-do list every day. I don’t have time to stop and obsess about the weight of life’s problems or how much time I have left before my final breath. Instead, I’m gonna go ahead and get crap done. Sometimes powering through is the best way to shut anxiety down for good. When I’m busy accomplishing goals and crossing things off my list, I’m not thinking about any of the crap anxiety wants me to be.
  8. I know this battle will be ongoing but I’m going to keep fighting. I’m stuck with anxiety, unfortunately, and there will be good days and bad. I know I probably haven’t even experienced my darkest day yet, but maybe I’ve also yet to live my happiest day. That’s just life. Since I’ve accepted that, my anxiety has eased just a bit.
  9. Anxiety can’t kill me. I used to think it could, but now I know better. Anxiety has the power to make me question my decisions, my looks, my relationships, and my knowledge, but it can’t take me out. It doesn’t matter what anxiety tries to throw at me. I’ll still be here, fighting.
is a freelance writer for Bustle and Petcha, and editor for Wise Bread. She suffers from separation anxiety, and can't bear to be away from her dog for more than 20 minutes. Her dog doesn't seem to care either way. Sweater season is her favorite season.