Two years ago, every morning, I would wake up to the pounding of my heart. It was as if it was excited by a battle cry. My stomach churned. I felt bile rise in my throat. My mind awoke with thoughts of “what if..” “why didn’t I?” “I’m screwed.”

Anxiety paralyzed me. All because of one thing: worry.

People don’t always understand what anxiety looks like. I didn’t. I wanted to deny that anxiety had weaseled its way into my head. How could I be anxious? I was tougher than this? Pull it together, Brooke! Suck it up! Stop worrying! Just do it! You’re lazy! Pathetic! Scared! It’s not good enough! You haven’t done enough! Stay up later! There’s no time!

Worry was personified. It strangled me. Choked me until I could barely breathe. Paralyzed me. Drip dripped on my forehead like some twisted torture keeping me up, reminding me that I had more to do. It never left me.

The future was every minute. The present didn’t exist.

That was two years ago.

It reminds me that thoughts and behaviors aren’t permanent. With help and diligence, anyone is capable of changing their mindset.

I will never stop fighting for the present. And I will never again live in fear of the future.

5 thoughts on “Worry

  1. Woah, Brooke, this is amazing. This is such honest and raw writing. I love it. This line stopped me in my tracks: The future was every minute. The present didn’t exist. I’ve never really suffered from anxiety like that, but I can relate to that line. I also love how you wrote that worry was personified. What an image.

    I’m so glad you’re writing again this month. I really can’t wait to read your stories again.


  2. It’s awesome you know yourself and were able to recognize your needs (even when it is easy to pretend and ignore). I also would be a terrible ELA teacher without just recognizing how eloquently your blog was written…. 🙂 Worry personified…absolutely!!!


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