In the beginning, it’s likely you won’t even know.
Sometimes, her anxiety is an invisible beast. And this can be even harder to explain. Nobody knows what’s really going on.
She says she struggles, but appears to be holding everything together so perfectly. You might even wonder if it’s as bad as she says. Maybe it’s an exaggeration?
Trust her when she says, it’s not.
Anxiety, even when it’s hidden beneath layers of smiles and coping mechanisms, is a chaotic thing. There will be days when she feels like everything is slipping. Days when her heart is racing and she doesn’t even know why.
Anxiety isn’t something you can easily point to and figure out. There won’t always be a simple trigger. And this might embarrass her. Especially in front of you.
In the beginning, she prays you can’t see just how debilitating her anxiety can be.
She’s afraid if you know the depth to her anxiety, you won’t love her as much. You’ll decide to find someone else. Someone with less baggage. A girl a bit easier to love.
But if you’re around long enough, the anxiety episodes that aren’t as easy to cover up will surface too. You’ll notice her fingernails are bit down to the nub, or that she’s obsessing over something insignificant. Maybe she cancels plans. Or gets so frustrated, she starts crying.
Anxiety can look different every time.
Loving her means loving all of her. Tell her you know that, and you’re not going anywhere.
When she’s having a bad day, and those will happen, don’t tell her to relax. Saying, “Don’t worry!” or anything of the like will not be helpful, though I know that’s what you intend. Instead, offer your support. Sit with her. Put on her favorite movie or TV show and let her see you’re not going anywhere when the road gets bumpy.
It’s okay for you to not fully “get it.” She just wants you to love her through it. She wants you to love her, anxiety and all.