A Love Letter to My Hypochondria

Updated: Jul 7, 2021

As the state of the world grows more and more intense my hypochondria flares up again. Instead of chasing it away, I wrote a love letter to it.

Hypochondria: abnormal anxiety about one's health, especially with an unwarranted fear that one has a serious disease.

Dear Hypochondria,

Thank you for bringing yourself into the light. If you were to remain hidden you could possibly swallow me alive. You’re uncomfortable to look at, your voices ring loudly in my head and you sound just like my intuition. You cause a physical sensation in me that makes my heart beat really fast, my brain quake with electricity, my insides hot and my blood boil.

"...if I’m attached to fear that means I’m simultaneously attached to love since one can’t exist without the other. And if I lose power from fear the power I gain from love is insurmountable."

It’s hard to sit and think about you. Currently, my mind has more time to be drawn to you and seek you out. In fact, I have to remind myself that you’re a visitor and you’re not invited into my sacred space all the time. It’s hard to set boundaries with you. Every day the news reminds me that nothing is permanent. People are dying by the thousands, why must you make me believe that I’m next based on insufficient evidence? I don’t need you to yell at me every time I feel something hurting in my body. I don’t need your assumptions and harbingers of doom. I’m incredibly in tune with my needs and my body now, don’t ruin these new spiritual gifts for me after all the hard work I’ve done.

I get confused when I listen to you and more often than not, the lines of what is real and what is not are massively blurred. You make me ask myself questions like “Am I really feeling this?” “Is what I’m feeling serious?” “Am I in need of direct and urgent medical attention?” I don’t like these questions and I don’t like you. Though if my anger is directed at you, it’s truly misplaced. I can’t remember a time in my life where I haven’t had you around. My whole life you’ve whispered in my ear and hovered over my shoulder. Are we friends? Are you protecting me? I’ve never had a relationship this long but I think my obsession with you is unhealthy.

You’re complicated. And it’d be easy to label you as villainous and toxic. But I’m an idealist and an optimist and I tend to see the best in people. You see, it’s treading upon tricky territory but I’m happy you exist. You convince me that I attach to fear but if I’m attached to fear that means I’m simultaneously attached to love since one can’t exist without the other. And if I lose power from fear the power I gain from love is insurmountable. I’m a force to be reckoned with but I’d never know that without you. It just depends on how you think about it.

Maybe instead of fearing death, there’s an aspect of fearing life and success that's been hiding deep within the shadows too, and once I’ve realized this all the pain will go away. If I’m well, there’s pressure and expectation to succeed in a capitalistic society and if I’m unwell it’s socially acceptable to heal. This notion in and of itself is, well, sick. Just like the way you make me underestimate myself. I’m not made of glass and I can handle way more thank you think I can. If you watch I can show you.

I know this letter might sound mean but the truth is that though I don't like you, I still love you. You make me appreciate the part of myself that’s drawn to darkness so that I can appreciate the light too. You make me aware of my own personal power and of my growing awareness and emotional intelligence. Lastly, you help me realize that I’m not defined by you. Visitors may come and go but my love for you will remain eternal. For now, I know exactly who and what you are and my very own potential now excites me. If I wasn’t a threat to you, you wouldn’t try and bring me down. I am not naive enough to think that you won’t return therefore, I look forward to our tumultuous yet peaceful co-existence.