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Dear Anxiety

What do you want from me?

Why do you show up at my doorstep at the most inopportune times?

Is it that you want to sabotage what I'm doing? Surely, you can't be that evil, can you?

Can a pleasant thought not exist without you forcing your way into the conversation?

Is it your job to remind me of the worst case scenario at the very onset of any situation I find myself in?

What about my joy? What about me? Why are you not anxious about making sure I'm happy? Is that too much to ask?

Is your only agenda to bring me down every time you start to see me rise?

Do I have to learn, perhaps, to kick you off the ladder as I step up?

Or is it that I'm the one holding on, carrying you up with me?

Perhaps, that's what I'm doing. Perhaps, I should stop kicking, and instead just listen.

What are you really trying to tell me? Are you really that malicious? Are the sensations you bring really as crippling as I make them out to be?

Are your thoughts just so evil? Maybe, like a hot coal, they are most hurtful the tighter I clench. Maybe I just need to release my grip.

Maybe I need to open the windows of my home when you show up. I can still let you in, only now there will be a draft for you to exit freely. I'll no longer see you as a forceful intruder whom I either back into a corner or run from, but rather a gentle passerby, coming and going like the wind.

Anxiety, you are a lot of things. You are quick. You are conniving. You are painful. And you surely cause suffering.

But one thing you are - which I can be grateful for - is a teacher.

Every day you arrive at my doorstep, you invite me to look within myself, and examine my relationship to the thorns in my life. You teach me that thorns can be perfectly fine, so long as I don't clench them too hard.

Live with substance!

Gabe Orlowitz

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