As the party bustles on, Avery, Anxiety, and I draw in the corner.

Anxiety: Resident, Not Boss

Submitted 20 days ago
Created by
Kerry Krieger Clifford

Anxiety tries to talk me out of parties and social engagements. If it were up to her, I might not have left the house at all the weekend before Christmas. I would have missed the get-togethers, gift-shopping, and final errands. I would've half-assed Christmas. That would have been a terrible shame since even at my best, I tend to three-quarter-ass it.

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She would have kept me from spending precious final moments at a Christmas Eve-Eve party with a dear friend who is moving away. I'm all about soaking it up when I know it's about to end. And I don't appreciate the wrestling match I have to go through with my emotional demons just to get out the door. But I acknowledge them and push through. Why give them the energy of my denial?

Anxiety came with me to that party. And I sat with her in the corner instead of fighting my way through the crowd. My friend and her daughter and I talked and drew pictures. We laughed and made plans to see each other again. Some folks came over for chats and Season's Greetings. Others brought me wine and snacks. Anxiety and I fested and feasted without moving from our chair.

When I watched my own kids laughing and chatting with family friends, Anxiety must have taken a walk outside or something. Maybe she went to "check the weather" with the other smokers. Who knows? But she wasn't there for the Christmas caroling or for dessert. 

She didn't really show back up until it was time to say goodbye. She whispered in my ear, "What if someone wants to start up a conversation that you aren't prepared for?" "What if you don't say goodbye to everyone that you should?" "What if..." she echoed. "What if?"

"Hush," I told her. "Thank you for keeping me on my toes, but I have to do this now. Soon we'll be home in bed and you can take a nice, long rest."

"Feel free to sleep in while I have my coffee in the morning." 

Merry Christmas, Anxiety

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