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Dear Psyche,

I’m not trying to “fix” you. I’m not trying to get rid of the parts of you that make me unhappy. I just want to have an honest conversation with you, and meditate on how you make me feel. All feelings are worth being felt, but some are harder to embrace than others.

You make me self-conscious. I don’t like to admit that you have this effect on me, but you do. It’s good to be self-aware, but you scrutinize my every flaw on repeat, screaming at me what I need to fix about myself. It often feels anti-woman to be self-conscious or insecure, as so much of the power of the patriarchy is to exclude us from feeling desirable, but here I am, feeling ever-insecure and constantly trying to fake my way around it.

You make me anxious. It’s hard for me to pinpoint why, but I often have a weight sitting in my chest, which has been particularly heavy over the last month and a half. You’ve made me anxious ever since you made me self-conscious, which is unsurprising. I start to not like myself, and begin to worry that others won’t either. You constantly surprise me at how it’ll manifest next, from clammy hands to chattering teeth to not being able to digest anything. But the anxiety is normally manageable, and somehow even comforting at times.

You make me lack focus and act impulsively. I feel unmotivated and lack the energy to accomplish anything without the pressure of imminent outside repercussions. Enough so that I want to be tested for ADHD. These feelings are not unique to quarantine, but are exacerbated by the feeling that nothing is real outside of my home anymore. I want to be tested, not necessarily with the purpose of finding medication, but rather, I just want a why. Blaming you is blaming me and it feels like a fault of character to say I’m lazy and possess no intrinsic motivation. Instead, I want a shared, definable reason. Something that is me, is you, is us, but is also a recognizable entity to others (but does this mean I’m only motivated by others’ perception of me? Possibly.). Something that can be researched, and the words to explain it to others already exist.

These feelings can be interestingly intoxicating. You get drunk on the negative spiral and leave me feeling powerless to change. One could say you’ve been on a bender through this pandemic. You constantly challenge me, but don’t forget that I also value you immensely.


Forever yours,


One Response to “Dear Psyche…”

  1. Sean Hernández Adkins

    Z, there’s much to learn from what you’ve written here about the entanglements of anxiety. Any future would benefit from such emotional wisdom as, “all feelings are worth being felt” and recognizing the different manifestations of anxiety.


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