Anxiety makes me a stronger woman every day

Written by Valérie Pichet

As far as I can remember, I always had trouble controlling myself. I wanted to do it so badly and attempt to control everything around me that it became obsessive. I wasn’t able to let go because I always tried to keep myself bottled up.

I lack confidence in myself, but since I was always well surrounded, I felt safe. I relied on my surroundings to control myself.

Until the day, I had no one to trust.

Until the day, I decided to live alone for good.


Not depending on anyone has become my drug.

I don’t know what I was trying to prove exactly, but I was convinced it was the right thing to do.

So much so that I deliberately drove away people who were trying to get too close. I closed the door to people who cared about me. I was so sure I could do it all on my own.

But you end up hurting a lot of people trying to keep them away from you. Then, when they realize you don’t want their help, they end up walking away for good, which I didn’t necessarily want either. I’m aware of that today.

The real answer is; it’s important to be well surrounded, and it’s impossible to do everything on your own.

Especially when I have so many projects on the go.

So, it’s time I stop lying to myself because I won’t be able to do it alone anyway.


Which brings me to talk to you about a meeting that changed my life. A “person” who somehow managed to get through the “walls” I had built around me.

She became one of my good girlfriends, I may say…

A friend who’s quite intrusive. I’ve even sometimes lost control over her while trying too hard to manage her and to keep her away from me.

Now, to avoid wasting energy on her, I let her come and go whenever she wants, and to that, I am sure you’ll tell she probably isn’t a bad friend after all…

She bothers me a little, but I don’t want to do anything to try controlling her. She can do anything she wants with me… There are even times when she takes all my attention. My door is still open to her.

She’s rarely welcomed with open arms, but sometimes, I turn around and she’s right there with me… And it’s weird because when she’s there, it’s like mist in the air. Her presence literally numbs me.


I must say that I have a love/hate relationship with this long-time friend…

This friend I also call Anxiety.

However, we’ve been close lately. She finds flaws in my protective wall. Since I tried to do everything alone, she’s been this faithful friend who accompanies me on my sleepless nights and busy days at work.

I look like I’m talking against her, but rest assured, Anxiety is also this annoying friend who pushes me beyond my limits. She lets patches of light into my fortress and makes me realize that withdrawing myself from the world is probably the worst solution to manage myself.

Anxiety pulls me up with the strength I lack in stressful times. In fact, I’ve learned to live with her faults, but over the past few months, I’ve recognized her many qualities.

I would even say that my friend, Anxiety, is making me a stronger woman every day. She makes me realize that yes, I can do it alone, but that it’s not necessary to do so.

Thanks to her, I can achieve great things. She knows how to show me all sides of the story before making a hasty decision.

There’s no way Anxiety will completely disappear from my life. She’s one of those friends that makes your days colourful.

We had our ups and downs, and I learned to live with her as managing her is impossible. The hardest part is knowing when she’ll arrive as it’s always a surprise.


I know that soon, I will have to open myself up again to the world and stop closing myself from it. It worries me not knowing when or not being able to control this aspect of my life.

I’m just not there yet, I guess.

Do you realize that while trying to turn off the pain, I just temporarily put the symptoms to sleep?… Because I was so scared to deal with it. But it’s time to jump this fence. Because I’ve been walking along with it for so long, I can’t remember what freedom tastes like.

I thought being surrounded by people was a prison, but I was wrong, and I know that now.

The walls of solitude that erected around me, unfortunately, helped build this dark place.

Now, it’s time to face this world, this freedom. And perhaps my need to control everything will finally fade, who knows?

This post was translated from French to English by:

Hello! I’m Cassandra, 23 years old and in my second year studying translation at Laval University in Quebec City. I’m learning to translate three languages: French, English and Chinese, which is both exhilarating and challenging! I love jogging, reading and travelling. I’ve just got back from a one-month-trip through Europe.

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