My Anxiety

by bdhesse

“I can’t do it,” I say as I stare out the window.
She looks at me. There’s concern in her eyes. “Sure you can,” she says. “You just have to try.”
“I can’t,” I reply. “You don’t understand, I just can’t.”
“Why do you think you can’t?” she asks. “You haven’t even tried yet.”
I shake my head. “I just know it,” I say. “It’ll all go wrong. It always does.”
“What will go wrong?” she asks.
I look at her. Her eyes are bright. She looks so hopeful.
“I’ve tried to fight it so many times before,” I say. “It never works. I just can’t.”
“What are you so afraid of?” she asks me.
“Failure,” I say quietly.
“You will fail if you don’t try,” she says reasonably. “But you could succeed if you do try.”
I shake my head. “You don’t understand,” I say. “I just can’t. You don’t understand what it’s like. I can’t fight it: the fear, the worry. It cripples me. I freeze. I don’t want it to, but I feel helpless. I’m scared. Not so much of the thing itself, but of the anxiety that will accompany it. I don’t want to deal with it anymore.”
She smiles sadly at me. “I know it’s hard, but you need to face it,” she says. “If you don’t do this, it’ll control you forever.”
I nod and step outside.