I want to tell you something about me. It’s something that you may have already been able to see—or maybe I have masked it well and it will come as a surprise.
I want you to know that I have anxiety.
I have severe anxiety.
I have anxiety about the way I dress, the way I talk, the way I drive, and the way in which the world revolves around me. It isn’t something that I just switch on or off. It is like the moon orbiting—it just moves and flows, and sometimes it is really dark, and sometimes it is too bright. It isn’t just a chemical imbalance or the results of my childhood trauma. It is a combination of both the good and the bad. It is listening to my favorite song over and over to calm down. It is never listening to my favorite song because it reminds me of my past. I don’t just get anxious about one thing or about everything. My anxiety is the most paradoxical thing about me.
No, my anxiety isn’t my identity, but it changes the way that I date. It changes the way that I function.
You see, as I am falling in love with you, I am journeying through waves of overthinking that regularly overtake me. I stress over what you’re going to think about my personality, my body, and if you’re going to leave me as the others have. I overthink my reactions and wonder if I am too much or too little. I try to reason with myself, but the internal dialogue takes over, and pretty soon I’m left thinking that it will only be a few minutes before you tell me that you have found someone better.
I want you to know that I have anxiety, because if you don’t, I won’t make sense to you. I want you to understand what it is like for someone who has been abandoned and ripped at the seams to date again. I want you to grasp the fact that it takes daily battles with bravery for me to actually put myself out there. I want you to feel my pain as I worry about my heart’s safety, and yours too. I want you to know that sometimes I require a lot of reassurance, and I hope that you will be okay with that.
More than anything, I want you to know that I am lovable through my anxiety.
I want you to know that my anxiety makes me very caring and empathetic, and it can lead me to be a unique shoulder to cry on. I want you to feel that even though I overthink, that it is worth moving with me through the uncertainty. I want you to feel that although I get anxious, I have the ability to be a good partner and an even better best friend.
I want you to know that despite the difficulties my brain has, I can love the hell out of you. I want you to know that I will do my absolute best to not let my overthinking get the best of us, but that sometimes it will. I hope that when it gets the best of us, you will forgive me. I hope that you will walk slowly with me through the unknowns and help to remind me that I am safe again.
I am trying with all that I have to be brave enough to love you through my anxiety.
Please, love me through it as well.