Confronting Anxiety

Confronting Anxiety

Penned by Instagram artist thoughtbuckets, An Ode to My Anxiety is a conversation between a young person and their anxiety. It is a portrait of somebody who is done reasoning with their anxiety and has began confronting it.

An Ode to My Anxiety

I used to refer to you as feisty.
You were a go-getter: kept me on my toes, alert against all that was out there and all that I couldn’t control.
You pushed me to work harder, always afraid of not achieving enough.
I’m grateful to you.

But now anxiety, you make me feel like I’ll never enjoy life.
Like I am only worth as much as I can produce and when I cannot you make me feel small.
You make small things seem like the end of the world and you make big things easy to avoid.
But the biggest thing I have learned through you is that I cannot trust what I cannot control,
and I cannot control a lot.

How do I uncondition my brain from the lessons you taught me?
How do I stop looking for ways to escape in every room I enter?
How do I get rid of you?

How do I get rid of you?
I stop trying to get rid of you.
Because you thrive on insecurity and shrivel up in the presence of acceptance.
You need my participation in order to wreak your havoc,
And I used to feel oh-so guilty if I did not surrender.

But I am done trying to decipher
What you want and
What you need
Because I have my own needs and wants that I neglected to see.
They were always second to yours

Now, I would describe you as a frenemy.
You still hang around.
You still give me that small nudge that I need.
And at times… you still push me til I’m back against a wall.
But now that I can see you for what you are,
I am not afraid to fall.

Because falling isn’t as you portrayed it,
A never-ending spiral.
It’s a time to recollect and re-evaluate
what matters to us and let go of
what doesn’t.


Image Credit
FeatureKat Smith at