No matter how you try and rationalize it, being a girlfriend with anxiety is hard. Being anyone with anxiety is hard.
I’m not sure anxiety ever gets easier to deal with. From my experience, the second you think you’ve mastered it, it evolves. It begins to take shape in a new form that’s different and scarier than the first. The worst part is, you’re never prepared.
It makes you feel like a bad daughter, a bad sister, a bad friend, a bad girlfriend, and an all-around bad person. You feel defeated.
While being a girlfriend with anxiety is hard, I think I’m learning and I think I’m getting better at. At least I hope so… maybe a little bit each day. So here’s what I’ve learned and I hope you can take it with you as you begin to date with anxiety.
Find someone who understands and respects mental health.
My best friend dated a guy who said, “mental health isn’t real…it’s a way of seeking attention in relationships.” The second she told me, I knew it wasn’t going to work out. If you struggle in terms of mental health, you must find someone who not only understands, but is ready to take on the journey with you. It’s scary, yes. But trust me, when you find that person, you won’t feel ashamed about yourself anymore–you will feel safe and you will feel loved.
Be transparent, even if it’s hard.
For the first six months of my relationship, I hid my anxiety. I would call my mom from the car outside his house, explaining to that I was so nervous I thought I needed to come home. It’s hard to handle on your own. Once you feel comfortable, be open about your anxiety and how it manifests itself within you. Opening up is hard. But hiding this aspect of yourself is harder and it doesn’t deserve to be shunned.
Let them help you.
For as long as I can remember, battling anxiety was something I did on my own. I could figure it out, so I can continue to handle it without help. But if someone has fallen in love with you and is committed to helping you carry your “baggage”, the best thing you can do is let them. While they may not know how at first, with time, they will become your ally. Trust them. Let them see the good, the bad, and the ugly. How can you expect them to help if you refuse to let them in?
I understand how it feels, thinking you’ll never find someone that will love you because of how your brain has decided to work. But you are worthy of love. No amount of anxiety should keep that from you.