Monday, January 31, 2011

Dear Anxiety

I haven't been around the last few days because a virus the likes of which I have not seen, nor wish to ever see again has assaulted my home! We have been sick since the beginning of the January, and it all spiraled out of control on Wednesday morning. I had a fever, John had a fever. And on and on. Somehow the girls have avoided it. I replaced toothbrushes, bought everybody their own tube of toothpaste. Bought those automatic soap dispensers. Sanitized until my hands hurt. The downstairs bathroom actually got cleaned after every use. And since that was John's central 'meeting place', that meant it was getting washed down every 20 minutes for one entire day. Really. Any other tips?

Anyway . . .

The other morning I started strolling through my favorite places and found that Kate at Mommy Monologues had posted an amazing letter called Dear Anxiety. It was so refreshing and empowering. I was jealous with the want of that power, the strength I felt in her words that morning. So, I've summoned up my strength and I'm writing Anxiety a letter of my own. And I think I'm going to make a habit of it. Thank  you very much, Kate. I knew you were a smart one.

Dear Anxiety,

You are a small, impotent, ugly thing and I will not give you any more power over my life. Oh, I know you like to try to convince me you are big and bad and going to crush me. But I am better than you. I will not bow down under your cold claws. I will not run and hide in my house when you call.

Anxiety, when you throw yourself at me in the form of  newspaper, or television or even other people, I will not back down. I will speak up for myself. I will walk away from the paper. I will turn the TV off. Yes, Anxiety, I am fully aware that I must live in the real world and you are everywhere. But that does not mean that I will succumb to your details, your stories. I will not allow you into my thoughts where you fester and brew and grow. I will not bring you into my bed where I cannot sleep because you mock me. No, anxiety, I will banish you.

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This smile? I will keep.
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Anxiety, I take back my every day life from you. Once again, I hold joy, happiness, gladness, in my hands. I will laugh while my children play in the snow and not worry about the snow collapsing. I will sled with my children and delight in it, not fear for them. I will play because I can. I will not listen to you tell me how we could be hurt. I will lay with them at night and marvel at their sweet faces, their perfect bodies. And I will not hear a word you say about anything. I have listened. I have planned. I have slept with my cell phone next to me, shoes at the ready, baby sling at hand.

 I am prepared, but I am no longer a prisoner.


I have fought the fight. And I am winning. You anxiety? You lose.