My anxiety is not a weakness. It’s my best friend.

Photo by Tanja Heffner on Unsplash

I knew the words “separation anxiety” before I knew how to spell my last name.

Even as a child, long words with heavy meanings were the only way I knew how to describe the bone-crushing terror I felt at the most mundane events. Loud noises were the worst, but I was known to jump at the sound of keys clacking, heavy footsteps, and even an ill-timed cough. I was frequently kept…