An Open Letter To Anxiety

Dear Anxiety,

Throughout my life, I have been reminded (sometimes through words and a lot of times through actions) that I’m not easy to love. I tell people all the time that I’m there for them, even at odd hours, even when I’m dealing with a battle, emotional, psychical,I hardly manage the guts to speak about, but still tell them I’ll be there, only to find out that they don’t need me to be there. I tell them I don’t want anything in return, not because I’m selfless but because doing it for them makes me feel like I’m worth something, that for someone I am the topmost priority. Amidst all this, if I’m asked to talk about how I feel, I’m blank. I can’t manage to tell them what it is because it seems perfect to them; my world, my life. That’s the exact reaction Deepika Padukone got when she said she’s been dealing with anxiety issues because duh! The girl’s got everything right.

Throughout my life, this is the battle I have dealt with, I have been told and constantly reminded that I’m not easy to love, that I’m too distant for someone who’s been up close. That I might be able to heal their souls but still find it tough to bear mine in front of them. And do these statements surprise me anymore? Not really! Am I disappointed with myself when suddenly I have zoned out and nothing in the world at that moment can bring me back to my usual self? I’m rarely surprised when they say they love me, I’m shocked if they continue to say it even after seeing that side of me where anxiety grips in. After all, why would anyone want a loophole like this in their lives in the name of love?

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In spite of me being the one putting in all the efforts, I feel week, I feel insecure, I feel lost. That thought of not being good enough, the fear that one day they won’t need the love I have for them, makes me feel as if something just chiseled off my chest. It feels weird that in spite of love being the most powerful emotion, I feel weakened by it. I feel worthless when it hits me my love is not needed anymore because that’s the only thing I know; that’s the only emotion I feel I do complete justice to and that’s the only way I know to lead my life.

Amidst all the anxiety gripping me, I have realized that it’s totally fine to be selfish. Its ok to fall completely and madly in love with yourself first than others. Its ok if you want to keep yourself as your number one priority and not them because what love will you give back to the world if it doesn’t start with yourself first. Let it be raw, let it be imperfect. Let it be everything but fake because you know something life begins at the end of those mug shots. It’s not picture perfect always and that’s fine. It is not Instagram worthy always and that’s ok because real memories are when you totally have no time to think about posing for that perfect shot. Life is candid my dear friends and that’s exactly what it makes the most beautiful experience ever.

So, despite the flaws, despite the battles, I’m so glad there are people who have managed to stick with me to tilt the balance in my favour. I’m so glad that these people haven’t looked at me as a project, to set me straight, rather have landed the weight they had in my favor towards my end of the scale. Despite me trying a million times to push them away from my chaos, they decided to rather embrace that madness, kiss that chaos and show it off like that a victory medal. When my heart aches for love and I felt empty as the shell, these were the people who taught me to love myself. So when my heart aches a lot and I can’t point out why, I read to myself my favorite lines:

“All you who sleep tonight;

Far from the ones you love;

No hand to left or right

And emptiness above

Know that you aren’t alone;

The whole world shares your tears

Some for two nights or one,

Some for all their years.”

-Vikram Seth


That Girl In Red Pyjamas

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