An Unexpected Friendship

I woke up to a beautiful view, a terrible headache and anxiety laying beside me like a one night stand. The headache was a result of the numerous old fashions from the previous night, but how had anxiety crawled into bed with me was still a mystery. I didn’t recall spending the evening with her the night before, then again, it was all still a blur.

The only problem was, anxiety is definitely not a one night stand, but rather, a love hate relationship that will never permanently swing any direction. Like the ocean waves, anxiety is persistently there. Sometimes she drowns me, but sometimes I ride her.

The hate part in our relationship surfaces in our petty arguments that pile like stacks and then tumble down once they’ve reached their peak. I’ve learned to deal, but it’s not always easy when she won’t give me space. Fortunately, anxiety is illiterate and so I vent to you, white blank page.  

It’s never enough to simply BE when anxiety is with me. She always wants me to DO. She’s not particular about what it is I do, as long as it’s something. She hates the word nothing and much rather prefers something, even if that something turns into nothing.

Anxiety lives by the motto “You can sleep when you die,” respectably cliche and responsible for the permanent purple circles around my eyes. She grows angry and restless when I sleep in. Like any good friend I try to be considerate of her and wake up early, even on weekends. Sometimes sleep knocks her dead for a while and then I have a peaceful morning. It’s quite rude of sleep to do that, but I’m grateful when it happens.

I used to be good at living in the present. I still am. It’s just the in between moments when I’m spending quality time with anxiety that inhibit me from spending time with present. She’s particularly affectionate on the subway when I’m trying to get lost in a book, squeezing me so tight my shoulders become tense and the knots in my back grow tighter. I don’t want to be rude, but sometimes I have to draw the line; “Anxiety, I appreciate the love, but I need to breathe. People need to breathe or else they die” and she loosens her grip. She’s very reasonable. You just have to take the time to reason.

Some people don’t like anxiety. I didn’t either until we became friends. I had coffee with her one day and found she’s rather insightful and has very interesting things to say. It’s hard to listen sometimes, but I make an effort.

The love part our relationship comes when she whispers in my ear and her words flow onto a white blank page. It’s a quite unexpected friendship, but those are the most rewarding.