My anxiety is more than certain people can handle. I’m too quiet. Too annoying. Too sensitive. Too irritable. Too much.
My anxiety has driven loved ones away — but my forever person has seen me at my worst. The shaking hands. The hyperventilation. The mascara trails on cheeks. The messy hair. The sobs. And he is not going anywhere.
I have used the I’m fine line more times than I can count, hoping to save him from the bullshit that goes on in my brain, but he has placed a ban on that word. He wants to know what is bothering me. Even if there is no chance he can fix it, even if there is no chance he can even understand, he still wants to know because he does not want me to feel alone. He does not want me to feel like my problems are too silly to say aloud. He does not want me to feel trapped inside of my own mind.
There are times when I completely shut down, when I do not want to speak, when I do not want to leave the house, and he judges me or complains about me ruining his weekend. He knows my mind is already harassing me and does not want to add to the insults. He might nudge me to leave my comfort zone but he never thrusts me out of it without consent, he never pushes hard enough for me to shatter. He is gentle at all the right times
I have escaped to the bathroom to cry my eyes out alone, but he has rattled on the door minutes later, letting me know he would be there for me when I was ready. He makes it clear that — even when I give him permission to leave so I can deal with my issues alone — there is never going to be a time when he walks away and relaxes by himself while I am still suffering.
He has canceled plans for me. He has made phone calls for me. He has spoken to waiters and cashiers and clerks for me. And, on the days when my anxiety simmers, during the times when I am able to do those things on my own, he lets me know he’s proud of me. But he never says it in a condescending way. He never babies me. He gives me encouragement when I need it and pulls back when it’s time.
I have always been nervous about offering others a glimpse at my anxiety, but he has erased that fear. He has shown me even my darkest side is worthy of love.
My anxiety has never pushed him away. If anything, it has brought us closer together, because it has helped me realize he is one of the rare ones. He is someone who sees me, exactly how I am, and does not need me to change a thing. He loves me with or without my anxiety. And that’s one of the many reasons I love him.