1. Love is scary. It’s full of feelings that we aren’t sure how to handle. As anxious people, we have a fear of unexpected things. We like control. We want to be able to prepare. When falling in love, you never know what’s going to happen or what you’re going to feel, and to us, that’s scary.
2. It can’t be controlled. As much as we would like to control everything we can to lessen the anxiety around us, love is something that is uncontrollable. Sometimes we are able to just let go and feel all those warm-n-fuzzies, but other times, we’re left feeling as though our world has just turned upside down and we aren’t sure what to do. That leaves us feeling anxious.
3. We worry our illness can become a burden. We have learned to hate this word, burden. The connotation it carries is unfair to at times. But, we understand it. Anxiety has the ability to make us manic, irritable, obsessive-compulsive, sad, lonely, and so many other feelings that we aren’t so great at handling. The last thing we want is to feel like we are just making our new lovers life harder on them.
4. We will pull away. At one point or another in a new relationship, our feelings will get the best of us, and we will retreat back into our turtle shell of loneliness. Why? Because sometimes the world just gets too much. And on a “too much day” we just need to feel like we are in control. Pulling back is one way to do that for a lot of those who suffer with anxiety. When we’re anxious we feel we can do a lot better alone, even when we desperately want our new love there to calm us.
5. We worry about the future. This is a common thing for new people in a relationship, but those with anxiety have an uncontrollable tendency think about those past, present, and possible futures all at once and create a mess of thoughts. Sometimes we can dream of the best future possible and make ourselves happy. And then we also have the innate ability to prepare for the worst and make ourselves sad with over thinking the bad. Those things can be overwhelming.
6. The word “love” can make us cringe. A lot of people with anxiety also have some self esteem issues. A lot of us feel like we just aren’t worthy of such a major emotion. Everyone wants to feel love and be loved at one point or another in their life, but people with anxiety and self esteem issues just feel it isn’t possible for us.
7. We’re afraid to ask for help from a new partner. The relationship is new. It’s fresh. Why would we want to darken it with our secret mental illness? That term alone is enough to scare some away. Lets face it, “mental illness” isn’t exactly something we wear on our name tag.
8. If we do continue our journey into the big, scary world of “love” and you want to help us deal with our anxiety, great! Sadly, you will probably be asking the question, “how can I help you when it just gets to be too much?” Guess what our answer might be? “I have no idea.” That’s right. We often have absolutely no idea on how to voice our thoughts or feelings on how to help us cope. Over the years we’ve learned to keep some ideas in our back pockets of how to help, but they don’t always work.
Basically, we are just like everyone else when it comes to fears of love… Multiplied by one hundred. We want love. Everyone does. We are just scared no one will put up with our daily battles and nervous behaviors.
But, believe me, when an anxious person fights and goes through the journey of love, however scary it may be, it’s well worth the shot at it.. Just to say you tried.