To the person with anxiety who is falling in love:
Drop the dread and keep the hope. I know that those two feelings are often intertwined when you find your person. There is so much hope: hope that you have found the one you can be honest with, hope that they will understand your darkness, hope that they will stay. Hope in new beginnings. Yet it’s almost as if that hope is tied to dread; you can’t have one without the other. You dread not being good enough. You dread them leaving once you finally show them all of you. You dread losing everything. Your mind constantly runs away with “what if’s,” but if you want love, full, honest, and all-consuming love, you need to drop the dread and think, “What if this is everything I deserve and everything I have ever wanted?”
Let your anxieties out in the open. For those of us with anxiety, it can be hard to open up, because we feel like our anxiety is a burden or that people will label us as “too much” or “too sensitive.” Be too much. Be too sensitive. If it’s love, real love, it will strengthen you and your bond with the other person.
Savor the little moments. Let yourself shine during the small moments and savor those forever. The lazy mornings in bed. The shared looks across the table. The feel of his hand in yours as you drive along the coastline. The words “beautiful,” “mine,” “promise,” “forever.” Write them down. Save them for a rainy day when the doubts and fears threaten what you know in your heart to be true.
Feel the fear and do it anyway. Your mind may come up with millions of reasons why you should not fall in love. You don’t deserve it. You will only mess it up. They deserve better. This can’t possibly last or be real. This is too good to be true. Feel that fear and do it anyway. You will never know the future, but you can live in the present. It’s a choice to be present, a hard one for those of us with anxiety, but still a choice. To fall in love means to live in the present. Say the risky things. Make the first moves. Feel scared but certain; feel out of control in the most lighthearted, spontaneous, and natural way you ever have. Feel free. Love free. Be vulnerable and let your person in. You deserve it. You are worthy of love.
To the person with anxiety who is falling in love: keep going. Keep loving fiercely and with your whole heart. Use your fears to make your love stronger. Use your sensitivity to make your love deeper. Let love keep you present and ground yourself in your person. Fall in love intensely, fiercely, and authentically, and know that that love will always be enough.