Props to you for having the courage to write this. I have a long history with the same overprotective, manipulative friend. Turns out she means well but is a pathological liar. The biggest whopper she tells you is that you can’t possibly be safe without her, and that she’s so much a part of you that you simply won’t be you without her. So you mustn’t ever relax or forget about her, because your life depends on her!

All bullshit. Once you find a way to experience enough time without her whispering in your ear and stirring up your gut, you’ll meet yourself and the world in a way you never thought possible. It’s a quiet but life-changing revelation. Cognitive therapy, medication, meditation — I cheer you on in whatever method works for you. Don’t believe people who tell you you’re stuck with this level of anxiety forever. Been there.

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Writer & educator. The Startup, Writing Cooperative, P.S. I Love You, The Ascent, more. Award-winning short fiction. Visit me at

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