If you’re going to love me, you have to love my fears. You have to love my worry and wondering and “what-ifs”. I might express those to you, and I need you to hold my hand and just listen. All you need to do is listen. Listen to my stream of consciousness. Listen to my panic coated words. They are my truth. You may not understand it, but please accept it. If you’re going to love me, you need to love my pain.
If you’re going to love me, you need to know that I’m going to cancel plans. I’m going to feel beaten down and tired and too weakened for the world. I’m going to feel too drained to be extroverted. I am going to cancel plans–with you, with your family, with your friends, with my friends. The social stresses will be too much, and I will succumb to the black fog of anxiety.
Please understand that it’s not personal, it’s just me.
Hold my hand when we walk into a party together. Entering a room full of people is so damn hard for me, but your hand makes all the difference.
Be my buffer. Introduce me. Push me to smile and nod and make small talk. Sometimes, I just can’t find the courage and words to do it myself. I will feed of your courage. I will resonate from your strength. Your support will ease my tension. Your love will help me grow.
If you’re going to love me, you need to love my weaknesses. Please don’t become angry when I can’t get out of bed–just love me instead. Hold my head in your lap. Play with my hair. Make me some tea. Tell me that I can do it. Encourage me. Pray for me. Love on me. Don’t give up on me.
Be patient. Please know that this piece of me doesn’t define me. Please know you cannot heal me. You cannot fix me.
But you can hold me and kiss me and make me laugh. You can pull me out of the dirt for a moment. You cannot make me whole forever, but you can help put me back together for a little while. You can be there the next time those pieces fall apart.
It’s okay if you become frustrated. It’s okay if you don’t understand how my mind goes to these dark places. It’s okay if you cannot relate to me. It’s okay. I know I am hard to handle. I know I’m unpredictable and emotional and hard.
Love me anyway. Love me through that.
If you’re going to love me, you need to love the ugly pieces of me. The nonsensical, inexplicable, irrational pieces of my heart that can make me hard and mean and sullen. If you’re going to love me, you need to accept my flaws, my ticks, and my brain that will never shut down and “just relax.” If you’re going to love me, you have to love my anxiety too.