Anxiety in relationships is hell. There are 7 things I want my loved ones to know and understand about my illness.
For me, anxiety in relationships is common. I am almost impossible to live with, ask anyone in my family and the response will be interesting.
It’s not that I enjoy being angry, frustrated and impossible, it’s just my reaction to the chemicals racing through my brain, the weather, my friends, and hell, it’s everything…vs me…it’s all too much. I call it life, while most people refer to it as anxiety. For loved ones, it’s the beast from below and hit the deck if the beast is in a mood.
Although you may not understand, we need your support!
Okay, enough with the horror story, and the beat-myself-up mentality. What I really want to convey is that I have a heart, just like the rest of you. I want peace, I want friendship and I want to love. The sad part is, these things are 10 times harder to achieve for someone with anxiety. To help you, my loved ones, here are 7 things I want you to know about anxiety in relationships.
1. I really love you
So, I seem to be unappreciative of what you do. I get it, I’m an ungrateful brat. But really, I notice every single little detail of every single kindness you hand out. When you hug me, it’s all that I need at the moment when you call, I hang on every word and when you sit there beside me silent and desperate for a solution, you are offering a temporary solution already. Sometimes just your presence is amazing, and I really do appreciate everything you do for me.
2. Thank you for trying
It’s hard for you to understand, I know, and sometimes I push limits to the breaking point. I want you to know that no matter how much you think you can’t understand me, and maybe you don’t, what matters is you try. I see you try, as you talk to me for hours and offer help. As you stay up with me till the dawn, I remember who cared enough to sacrifice time. Thank you.
3. I can’t control it
Contrary to what you may believe, I cannot control this beast. I don’t enjoy thinking negatively or speaking the worst of any given situation. I really try to look at things from the bright side, but my mind keeps pushing into the dark. As much as you want me to cheer up, I can’t flick these feelings off and on like a switch. Boy, do I wish I could do that.
4. I know it doesn’t make sense
I get it, those things I say sometimes makes no sense, and the way I feel seems irrational. But there’s one little part of me that sees irrationality as completely logical. It’s backward really. In my mind, dramatic scenarios of what could happen are perfectly normal. As a matter of fact, the more I think about these irrational things, the more probable they become.
5. I have to feel it
I accept comfort for the way that I’m feeling, and I love it when you try to help me feel better. The problem is that I cannot be talked out of what I’m feeling, just because “I should”. Please don’t discount my feelings and tell me that I should just cheer up. To me, what I’m feeling makes sense and I need to be able to process it. Helping me process these feelings is fine, that’s what I need from you.
6. It’s not your fault
No matter what it seems like, I’m not upset with you. Even if I grow angry and lash out, it’s not your fault. I know it’s strange to watch me go through patterns of questioning and doubting, but it has nothing to do with you. I love you and I need you. You are one of the constants in my life and your strength sometimes gets me through my darkest days. My anxiety is never about you.
7. I am not my anxiety
My illness does not define me. I have reached a place where I know and appreciate myself aside from my disease. I may lose control, seem irrational and even fall apart, but I am still the same girl on my bad days. Please remember me when something else is in control.
We care about you as much as you care about us!
I’m almost impossible to live with, but I live and strive every day to be a better me. Sometimes, I may fail, stumble-I may even fall on my face, but anxiety will not win! I want you to know that there is hope, especially when you are in dark days with your loved ones concerning anxiety in relationships. Please, never stop trying to understand, it’s the effort that sometimes gets us through the day.I love you, we love you. You are our light in an otherwise dark world.
By Sherrie H.