Dear Anxiety

Dear Anxiety,

You are not a welcome guest in my life.
You’re not even a guest, more like an unannounced visitor.

A party crasher.

That guy that makes a scene and ruins what would have been beautiful.
That person who thinks that no one will notice him, he’s just passing through, after all.

But they do.

Maybe just one person will notice him, but it’s one person too many, one is enough.
It only takes one person for him to spread his disease, wheedle his way into fragile hearts.

And he succeeds.

It’s only a small acknowledgement, at first, maybe some longing here, some tears there.  
He lies in wait in the inner depths of your mind, studying every insecurity and vulnerability.

And then he EXPLODES.

Or maybe implodes would be better diction, for he expands yet stays contained in a single mind.
He’s no longer just studying your weakness, oh no, no siree, he’s preying on them, feeding.

But he’s never satisfied.

He always comes back for more, because there are other parties, but he only wants to be at yours.
Why should he waste his time with someone else when he’s successfully infected you?

You are the only one.

That’s what he’ll tell you, anyway, he’ll tell you that he loves you, he needs you, he craves you.
You are his one and only, his soul mate, but you suspect he’s been seeing mistresses on the side.

And you’re not wrong.

But he doesn’t want you to focus on that, no no no, focus on the time we’ve shared, he says.
Focus on what I do to you, what I do for you, what I do with you, because we’re always together.

Always and forever.

And what he says frightens you, startles you, when you open your eyes and realize, he’s right.
He is always with me, always haunting me, always following me, chipping away.

Chip, chip, chip.

He takes a little more away with each passing day, and maybe it wasn’t noticeable at first.
But now that he’s been around a while, those little tiny bits and pieces have started to add up.

Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.

Do you remember that from what, middle school? Because I sure do, very well, in fact.
Those little pieces are so numerous that I need mnemonics to help me calculate how many.

Multiply here, carry the one…

But I can’t, seeing that it’s one of those unanswerable questions in life, you know what I mean?
Like how when you  calculate the answer to life, the universe, and everything, the answer is…

Forty-two.

Forty-two important people, forty-two chance encounters, forty-two memorable occurrences?
Forty-two good movies, forty-two states you can remember, forty-two stories, forty-two friends?

Forty-two what, exactly?

Forty-two, can you help me figure out how to expel this trespasser, this vermin, this plague?
Forty-two, can you help me figure out what my life means without this parasite upon my life?

Who are you, forty-two?

What are you, other than a number, when did you get here, from where, and better yet, why?
Clearly you’re here for a reason, forty-two, so can you help me? Can you fix me? Mend me?

…maybe you can.

Because, forty-two, if only for but a brief moment, you helped me forget, helped me erase.
Forty-two, you are the hero in my life who approaches the party crasher and distracts him.

You take him away.

You take him and smack him just hard enough for him to realize what a fool he’s been.
You take him, and in exchange give back the life that used to belong to me, and me alone.

Forty-two.

Fix me a fire, forty-two, because you’ve helped me put that little spark back in my eye.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a flame yet, oh no, not even close, it’s just a beginning.

A humble beginning.

Maybe it will rise from the ashes, like a phoenix, to be born again in full glory.
Maybe one day the wind will pick it up, and it will set the world aflame.

But it’s not ready yet.

Right now, it’s just picking up the pieces of kindling beneath it, hoping to grab onto something.
Any twig or fleck of hope that will help it burn just a little bit stronger, a little bit brighter.

A little bit anything.

And one day, it will get there, but maybe not quite tonight, not even tomorrow.
Maybe not even the day after tomorrow, because picking up the pieces is hard, you know?

You do know.

Maybe that spark will start out in pieces, but one day–mark my words, one day–
He’ll come to me, he’ll plead, and he’ll ask to be made whole.

And I’ll oblige.

Because I can’t be whole myself until I make that spark whole and let it burn.
Burn with everything it’s got until it is magnificent, sparkling red blaze.

An inferno.

I will be an inferno. I will set my heart on fire so the party crasher can’t even get close.
Can’t even get a little bit of the way close, a fraction of the way close to my heart.

Never again.

Will he wrap his arms around my neck, absorbing each and every gasp and breath.
Never again will he kick me down and not let me up, even when things are patchy and rough.

I’ve had enough.

Enough, enough, enough, I am not weak, I am tough, you will not be my drug.
Enough madness, I’m not crazy, I swear, but I guess you hear that everywhere.

Give me a chance.

Maybe you’ve collected your kingdom of hearts, but mine will not take part.
Mine will not become a hollow, heartless shell, with only shadows left to tell.

Give me opportunity.

To stand on my own two feet, and simply be…me. Me, and only me.
Without you. That’s all I want, all I know, all I need. And now I see.

Give me belief.

That one day, all will be right, all will be clear, and I’ll have nothing to fear.
That I will fight, raise my mighty spear, and scream for all to hear. 

I am no warrior.

But I believe. In the strength of myself. In the strength within me.
The strength of knowing that I will find peace, that I will find serenity.

And I want only to be free.

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