I have anxiety. It comes in ways of biting my nails, tapping my feet, playing with my septum ring, and keeping myself busy. It’s a constant voice in my head saying things like, “You’re not good enough”, “You’re needy”, “Your boyfriend is out to hurt you”, “Your friends don’t even like you”, “why meet someone new when they most likely won’t like you”, etc. I feel a constant need to be perfect, present myself as perfect, and not fail at anything. Schooling wise this was an amazing thing because it made me study hard, learn hard, and succeed. I have always had a perfect 4.0 GPA (and still do). I love school because I feel it’s the one thing in my life that I can succeed at every time. My anxiety is by far the worst part of me. I hate it, I struggle with it, I’ve been struggling with it, each day it’s different, it makes me dislike myself.
It affects not only my personal life, but drives a wedge between the people that mean the most to me. It’s a juxtaposition between wanting to love others, but facing a fear of rejection. My anxiety has caused so many problems for me in my relationships. Far too often it pushes the ones I love most away.
This was a huge problem in my longest relationship I had with a guy (of about 3 years). I always thought he was out to hurt me, always doing something that was going to hurt me, it made me compare myself to everyone that he had contact with – including his best friend (I could go on, but won’t). I never felt good enough for him, and even believe that anyone else was better than me; why would he chose me when I am not good enough. I honestly convinced myself that he was cheating on me. Why was he 30 minutes late from getting back to work? Was he with someone else, ‘hanging out?’. My constant questioning him about it made him actually go out, and talk to other guys behind my back. I was the issue, he was’t. He had much patience for me, which I greatly appreciate immensely. But enough was enough, and he dind’t want to constantly assure me that nothing was going on. I pushed an amazing guy away, and it was all because of me.
Eventually we called it quits, and it felt as though my life had took a whole 360. My anxiety soared even higher. I told myself “see you aren’t good enough, you never were.” I thought I was never going to be able to find someone else. My anxiety was so bad that I went to work, and went through the motions as though I was an emotionless shell. I would come back to my best friends place (because I couldn’t at the time afford to live out on my own), and would go right to sleep. I barely ate, I barely talked to anyone. I didn’t even go home for the Holidays. I stayed by myself, and made me hate myself even more. I was caught, and was stuck. I was not going anywhere but backwards.
It took until my best friend ‘smacked me in the face’, and said that I need to get out of this dark place. I needed to wake the fuck up, and put back together the pieces of myself. This was a process, and let me tell you it took me a long time. I was by no means completely better, but at least I was able to get my personality back.
I had lost almost all of my friends because I surrounded myself with friends that were his, and neglected mine through the process. It wasn’t until after the fact that I had done some serious damage to my own friends. I did, however, thankfully had my 2 best friends who I could fall back on for support. I had to get out and meet new people, but what was my problem – I was scared to death to meet new people. My social anxiety made me a nervous wreck to even go to a bar and talk to a new face. BUT you know what I did, I made new friends. My friends that are now my main friend group were starting to take shape. I was able to build an amazing friendship with them, and met even more people through the process.
Fast forward to a more recent time where I have met yet another amazing guy. I immediately clicked with him, and a spark for him started right after I had met him. We had great conversations, and talked about everything. I told myself I got this, how lucky am I that I found such an amazing guy! Well no it changed, I got caught up in my mind again, and pushed him away. All it took was ask him multiple times to be sure that he wasn’t talking to other people, or sending ‘pictures’ on Snapchat to others, etc. Here I was again back to accusing him of doing things when he was not. Even though he says it was not my anxiety that caused the breakup, deep down I know it was the case. I understood, and I get it. Dating someone with anxiety is not easy. We are going to have our moments when we just think anything that can go wrong, will and are going on. I regret everyday that I even brought it up, and questioned him about things because who knows where we could be at this moment.
I wish I could say what I need to do to fix it, but I do not have any idea. Sometimes I can talk myself out of the inner mental struggle, but I am most times than not, always strong. I drove him out, just like the others, and I dislike myself for it. I refuse to be on medication and be that person who takes a pill every morning for breakfast. Yes it might help me, but I refuse to do something that could have side affects on me. I’m not going to dive in on the use of medication to ‘treat’ people (might possibly talk about this in a future post).
For anyone who dates someone with anxiety, I know it is not easy. It will not always go well, and there will be times of doubts. I know that you can be strong, and it’s up to the both of you to just keep an open communication about the issue with one another. We will need your reassurance, often, and it might frustrate you. But what you don’t want to do it just run away from it because we honestly cannot help it. You can do it, you can help us be strong and keep grounded. We need it, we need you to tell us that everything is okay – even though we may ask often.
For anyone who has anxiety, you are more than your mental illness. Even though I hate using mental illness because it makes it seem bad, it is in fact a mental disorder. But you can get past it, you can succeed. It is okay to fail, it is okay to have doubts, it is okay to be fearful. What you don’t want to do is hold it in, and not talk about things because it will build up – talking from personal experience. You are everything that you say that you are not. YOU CAN GET PAST IT! It is a part of you, but it does not have to define who you are.
Enjoy, and much love;