A Letter to My Anxiety by Amelia E. Tuttle, LAMFT

Dear Anxiety,

Its me.You remember me. I’m the one who you clawed into in traffic last week and made me take it out on my poor mother who just called to say hi. You tricked me into thinking I was justified in being upset, but I’m onto you now!

I bet you love Halloween because you’re a trickster. You trick me into believing I’m being taken advantage of, or unappreciated, or incapable, or less than, or simply not good enough. Maybe you’ve been around my whole life, or maybe you came about after a stressful transition, or maybe after something scary happened. Maybe others in my family have wrestled with you too, or maybe I’m the only one I know who feels your claws on their back.

That’s the bad news. Here’s the good news: I’m stronger than you! I now know how to take your power away. Through practice and the support of my family, friends, and therapist, I can identify when you’re peaking around the corner and use my coping skills to keep you away. I recognize my triggers and prepare myself for your arrival. I practice mindfulness. I sing along to the radio because our bodies automatically take deep breaths when we sing. I use my self-talk. I use a mantra to keep calm. I can identify all the positives in my life, because we all know how you love to take me on the shame spiral. I make the time to take care of myself.

You will probably be around forever, Anxiety, but I can accept that as part of my life’s journey. I’m more confident and stronger in myself and my relationships, because guess what, Anxiety? You don’t control me. I control you!

Until next time….Amelia

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