Sara Illahi
2 min readDec 28, 2023


Written on 27/12/2023 — WIP

Anxiety has been a stealthy companion way before I knew about it — much like a secret lover who is too shy to come up and say hello. For most of my life, I had few to no ways to cope with it.

Much like a toxic and manipulative boss, my anxiety would spiral to the deepest and darkest nooks of my brain and keep me on my toes. 2 years back, it presented itself in the lousiest manner, ruining my minimalist life sustained by my ambivert personality.

After Googling how to get rid of it in a minimum of 2 seconds to a maximum of 2 days, I settled on naming my anxiety, which this YouTuber therapist lady kept referring to as Pure O (a type of OCD in which you experience distressing intrusive thoughts, still not recognized by DSM though). Anyway, the naming thing is a new coping mechanism that has been seen to yield results.

How it works is that you name your anxiety, whatever it may be, but in this case, let’s call it Simon. And whenever a thought pops up, you can simply call its name (Simon), and then you tell it to go away (since all of our anxieties have distinct historical references).

The trick is that you have to loathe it. Think of Simon as the most unimportant thing in your life, something you have complete control over. Despising Simon can also help. Here the thought arises and there you go, “SIMON, GO AWAYYY!!”.

The YouTuber therapist lady also said that positive self-talk can be super helpful. So I downloaded an app called Affirmations. This app allows you to choose the kind of affirmations you want to receive. I unknowingly chose marriage.

Imagine battling generalized anxiety and going to a marriage counsellor for advice. But affirmations can do wonders. I succeeded in resolving several hypothetical issues with my non-existent better half; he did turn out to be the greatest blessing, and I realized that I always had it in me to love my spouse unconditionally even though he didn’t exist.

My affirmations game was class at this point, but since it was serving the wrong audience, I dropped it and stuck to humiliating Simon.



Sara Illahi

BSc. (Hons.) Social Development and Policy @ Habib University’23 I Researcher I Freelance Writer I American University’18