Dear Mr. Anxiety – by MPH

via Letters to the Mind blog project
Contributing Author: MPH

Dear Mr. Anxiety | Letters to the Mind


Dear Mr. Anxiety,

Do you know how it feels to sit in the middle of a classroom, worried that everyone behind you gapes at your back instead of the board? Look at how she bends over the desk, like a hunchback, her stomach scrunching over her thighs. Do you know what it’s like to scurry through the hallways, a place where you’re supposed to be just another face in the crowd, but it feels like everyone is looking right at yours? Why is she in such a hurry, why’s her head bowed so far forward? Nerd, why’s she so eager to get to class? When speaking in front of a group, do you feel like a sculpture on display, like your audience studies your clothes, your movements, your expressions, more than what you have to share? What is she wearing, why are her knees shaking? Is she still droning on about this? Ha, her shirt’s so tight on her you can see her bra. Is your world a battlefield, strangers the soldiers and scrutiny their swords, slashing through you with their cold stares (or the sheer possibility of them)?

They’re going to look up, they’re going to see, ouch I just tripped, I can feel my heart in my stomach, pounding, pounding, they can hear it, they know they know that I’m afraid to say more than two words, they know how pathetic I am.

This string of thoughts, this parade of pain, doesn’t march through your mind. No, you live up in your skyscraper, high and mighty and unharmed. The world is more like a playground for you, swings sets and monkey bars constructed of innocent people’s insecurities and worries. You’re the unjustified bully in the sweatshirt, and I’m the girl with the pigtails, cowering under the slide, hoping and praying that you won’t attack her today.

You’re the puppet master of all of your victims. We live at your mercy, and bend to your will. You tug and pull at our strings, kick our hearts into unhealthy rhythms, cackle at us from behind the scenes.

But we aren’t your victims, are we? We shouldn’t be, at least. We shouldn’t feel abused by our own minds. We shouldn’t have to cower in the corner of the playground, too frightened to join the fun. You’re not half as brave as we are, you only pick and prod at the things we most fear. But it’s about time that we are able to come out into the open, and if not rid ourselves of our fears, then at least keep you from using them against our will. You may live in your skyscraper, but you are not untouchable, and when we make our way through the battlefield, we will make our way to you, too. Don’t think you’ve got us, me, under your thumb so easily. You are not unbeatable; it only takes the time and patience of a true warrior, like all of us.

© MPH 2015

About the author:

Since middle school, I have struggled with feelings of anxiety, especially social anxiety. For years, and on a daily basis, I blindly battled my anxiety, unaware that there were others experiencing the same thing. Though I now understand why I panic in social situations, it is still a challenge every day not to worry about the slightest glance or word thrown my way in public. Through writing and talking about it, I hold out hope that it will improve. I am an avid writer. I live at the mercy of my many dreams, including moving to a big city to be a publisher, moving to the Appalachian Mountains to become a hiker, and making a difference any way I can.

Blog: The Tarnished Mirror

“The path to heaven runs through miles of clouded hell.” It’s Time, Imagine Dragons

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☀ Memee

A Thanksgiving List

A Thanksgiving List | Memee's Musings
Photo by Brooke Cagle

We come together from far and near a day like none other for this is clear.

Rhubarb pie so tart and sweet, ice cream atop I’m eager… let’s eat!

Innocent babes dressed in tiny suits and sparkly gowns with nothing to do but be passed ’round and ’round.

Television commentators giving the play-by-play because the tv screen is much too far away.

Everyone’s happy and eager to help but the men all they do is whine and yelp!


A big basket of rolls fresh from the oven… please pass the butter before there’s nothin’!


Lingering flavors perfume the air, but loving moments are the contagion that’s there.

Infectious laughter spreads throughout the house as each woman hears the snore of her spouse!

Sleeping angels, old and young, now the juicy gossip has begun!

The cornucopia of thanks and blessings we’ve shared replenishes the fruit of our souls. Goodbye! So long! It’s bittersweet, and as we walk to our cars we’re already eager for next year’s Thanksgiving tradition repeat!

Prayers, Positive Thoughts, Thinking of Yous and the Passing on of Good Luck

Me and My Grama Prayers, positive thoughts, thinking of yous and the passing of good luck, these are the things I am thankful for!  Last month my 91-year-old grama flew all the way from Illinois to the Pacific Northwest just for the opportunity to spend some long-overdue time with her favorite granddaughter. Am I her only granddaughter, well, yes, but still… we have always been more like mother and daughter and I’ve always called her my soulmate or soul sister. She is the one person on the planet I’ve never kept a secret from. Yes, she is My Person.

She is 91 and I turned 46 while she was here visiting with me. We’d planned a month together and ended up with nearly two. She arrived on June 7 and my birthday was June 30 and she had tickets to fly home (with my aunt) on July 6. And for the month we really only had two things planned, 1) spend lots of quality time together and 2) attend my birthday party taking place at my friend Joan’s house on June 28th.

We had a wonderful visit with a lot of quality time and then the day of my party rolled around and unfortunately she wasn’t feeling very well though she wanted to meet my friends. And so my mom drove Grama and I over and my friends — wonderful friends that they are — all came out to the car to meet Grama. And though the meeting was short and Grama didn’t get out of the car they all found her to be “adorable, delightful and funny”. Some people even said they could see a resemblance… though perhaps it was more in personality than looks.

I kissed Grama goodbye, told her I was sorry she was not feeling up for a party, but that I would be back to see her first thing in the morning. The party was great though I did miss having her there with me… my birthday was after all, why we had chosen June for our visit. The next morning I arrived home at about 10:30 a.m. My mother and aunt were up, milling around the house when I went into the spare bedroom to let Grama know I was back. And that was the end of my happy day. Don’t worry, she wasn’t dead, she wasn’t even hurt but something bad had indeed happened to her. She had fallen in the night and no one was awake to hear her.

I alerted my family to what was going on, asked my aunt to go to her immediately, told my mom to call 9-1-1, and then immediately got on Facebook and began telephoning friends asking for Prayers from believers and Positive Thoughts to be sent into the universe from everyone else, and then I went radio silent. She had not had a heart attack, a stroke or a seizure; she had not broken a hip or any other bone, there were no rips, tears, sprains or even bruises for that matter. And two days after checking into the hospital, they told us that they believed she was “tired”, “ready to go”, “dying”.

My mother and I thought so too. She already felt “gone”. The hospital said she might have a month to live, but it would probably be closer to 2 weeks. My mother figured a week while I could not imagine her lasting another 48 hours. My aunt was the lone hold out. She did not believe it. She would not believe it. I thought she was in denial and I felt a great sadness for her over everything else.

My mother, aunt and I spent every day with her at the hospital. My aunt held Grama’s hand and read hymns. I laid on the hospital bed with her, my arm holding her and spoke of God and his love, her safety, and the beauty of Heaven, and my mother spent almost every night with her (except the two I stayed over) and attended to all the errands or tasks needing to be done so that Grama was never along. Someone was always at her side. And when the day came that we gave her permission to go, to do what she needed to do without worrying about us, that was the day something tiny shifted in her brain. And the very next day she was stronger and she kept getting stronger every day as we continued our patterns of treatment as the hospital and all of their workers took care of her needs. This continued on until I finally surfaced on Facebook on July 8th, for just a few moments to write the following message:

“Hello to everyone who has been praying for my Grama… as each of you know, the power of prayer works. She has amazed all of the doctors, nurses and techs on the floor. She had been given an “her body is tired, she probably has less than 2 weeks to live” diagnosis to being up and walking circles around the nurses station, all in just over a week! (The first time she walked out of her room everyone got up from their computers and clapped, cheering her on, real smiles of happiness across their faces. She was the talk of the 8th floor on that day! It appears tomorrow may be her date of release to a rehab facility. We are so grateful for your prayers and know we have been given a blessing.”

I am now pleased to report that Grama got to fly back to Illinois on Tuesday. She’ll be in a short-term rehab facility there for a few more weeks and then home! And so this week I wanted to take my Thankful Thursday moment and give a great big shout out to prayers, positive thoughts, thinking of yous, the passing of good luck on to us as well as any good karma points being redeemable.

And, of  course, I am so thankful that my aunt was correct all along: Grama survived!

Your Most Precious Possession



Many months ago I was thumbing through a Voice for Health pamphlet at my chiropractor’s office. Now, I do not recall if I read the article though I am inclined to think I did because I brought the pamphlet home with me, folded and creased to a specific article which I had also dog-eared. So I assume it was in fact something I had purposefully thought of using or sharing… something. I have still not revisited the article, however, a little over a week ago I stumbled upon that open, dog-eared article once again. It’s title: Your Most Precious Possession. I said to myself, right then and there, this will be a future blog post! I did not however know at that time what my most precious possession was. Continue reading

The Peter Falk Bill… Let’s Make it Law!

Father and DaughterCongratulations to my incredible friend Catherine Falk on news that the State of New York recognizes all of her incredible efforts and work toward creating a nation that recognizes and supports the rights of adult children to visit their ailing parents… The Peter Falk Bill. Let’s let all the states know that every child deserves legal visitation rights regardless of age, divorce or blood status!

Tweet: Congratulations to the #CatherineFalkOrganization for the grounds they've made in #California and #New York with #PeterFalk #PeterFalkbill!

Please visit and like her advocacy page on Facebook and suggest it to your friends. And, as always, if you or someone you know has been blocked or is currently being blocked from seeing their ailing parents, please write your story down and send it to the Catherine Falk Organization so they can add your story to their national call of action because this is something that doesn’t just happen to families of celebrities or the wealthy… it is happening in all social classes so stand up and let your voice be heard!

In order to pass legislation, stories from people currently struggling with visitation of an ailing parent, become important to the assembly and viability of the issue. As well, we may be able to help with your issue

And just a reminder, it is now easier than ever to contact your assemblymen, congressmen, and senators to ask for change! So please, for our nation, do your part!

Tweet: Let your legislature know that adult children of ailing parents deserve legal visitation rights!#PeterFalkbill

*The two above tweet buttons are preformatted to make it quick, easy and painless for you to get the word out that you believe every child should fundamentally be allowed to visit their ailing parents. If you would like to create your own tweet about this post, click the blue circle with the twitter bird below (or share using any of those buttons). Please feel free also to reblog this on your own blogs. The more people who talk about it, the greater the chances that we end the cruelty that occurs when adult children are not allowed to see dying parents who cannot speak up for themselves. Thank you!