A Letter To My Fear

Dear anxiety,

I’ve known you my entire life, yet I have never taken time to address you directly, which is  a regrettable action on my part. You have put in so many decades of effort into your craft, and I need to say a few things about it, because my life has reached a crossroads, and I can ill afford to have this great burden lead me down the wrong path again.

I can remember a time when were not yet acquainted, when I was very young. The reality of adulthood being so far away from my mind, I was free to be my true self. I think about my adolescent years quite often with fondness and yearning. I long to revisit those simpler times, but then again, many of us share the same sentiments.

If I could recall our earliest meeting, I would have to say my teenage years. My struggles with weight started early on, and I never took it seriously. I struggled in school, struggled to socialize with friends, and struggled with a general uncertainty about my life and my self-worth. It was the little things that made knots in my stomach, like doctors/dentists, saying something stupid in front of my friends, or even just making conversation. Of course, these are not uncommon, however they merely laid the foundation for what was to come in later years.

Many times I thought I had rid myself of your influence, especially during church camp. Being there gave me an opportunity to separate myself from everything you tried using against me, and it allowed me to clear my mind for the first time. I would leave there feeling like a new person, a better, more confident version of myself. I’ll say one thing though, you’re nothing if not persistent. You laid in waiting, ready to pounce on my fragile psyche at the first opportunity.

Fast forward to present day, at nearly 600 pounds, struggling to keep a job, my very life hanging in the balance, with depression weighing down my heart, mind, and spirit, and you, my anxiety, still remain. Some days it feels like you’re sitting on my chest, mocking my feeble attempts to pray you away. You hid my joy away and locked it behind closed doors. Sometimes, I can sense it nearby, like I’m pressing against the doors to get closer to its warmth, but I’m always reminded of your icy presence lurking in the shadows.

Despite all this, I still trust that God’s fully in control and will never leave me, despite how distanced I feel from Him. I know He has never stopped loving me, and that love is something I can lean on for comfort in times of desperation. His presence stills my stormy waters and saves me from drowning in my fears. So to my anxiety, you have been put on notice. Your eviction is coming, and you won’t have my weight, health risks, or my uncertain future to use against me anymore. My life belongs to my Lord, my Savior, My God, who guards my heart, and gives me peace and joy.

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

No longer yours,

James

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Psalm 42:5

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