I’ve been thinking about writing this for a long time now, but I wasn’t sure I’d be able to find the words to explain it. The issue is putting the most haunting thoughts in your head down on paper, which means actually having to come to terms with what’s going on, often leading to the realization of just how dark a place your mind can actually be.
So before we start this, you need to know about anxiety. I don’t mean getting stressed or feeling over whelmed type anxiety, I mean completely crippling, soul destroying, life changing anxiety. It is a word that gets thrown around so often I’m not sure many people actually know what it’s really like to have to live with it, day in and day out. Trying to pretend nothing is wrong and attempting to live a normal life when in fact you have the weight of the world on your shoulders.
I’ve written this as an open letter to anyone who is trying to date someone with anxiety. Because it will not be an easy journey, probably the most difficult, but I can promise you the girl you’re trying to get is having an even worse time, and it’s all in her head which means she can’t do anything to stop it.
The first thing you need to know is we’re sorry.
All of the things I am about to talk about we are sorry for. But we can’t help it, we wish more than anything that we could but we can’t, and we are so sorry.
We have a wall built up so high that it seems unbreakable.
We have anxiety because of a previous event in our life that happened before we even knew you, but it’s one that we carry around. Because of that, we have built up a wall so high it becomes difficult for us to even have normal conversations. We can’t talk about what we think or how we feel because we can’t put it into words. Our wall was placed there by ourselves to protect us, but unknowingly it causes us greater upset and pain when someone we care about gives up on us because they didn’t get the love back that they were giving us.
We find it difficult to love.
We find it difficult to comprehend the idea that anyone could ever love us. We know we are complicated and view ourselves as burdens and actually can’t imagine anyone ever loving us the way we are. But when we do love, oh we love so hard. We fall so deep in love that even we can’t understand it and sometimes we don’t realize it. By the time we do, we’ve already gotten scared and pushed that person away. Meaning we are then left alone again because someone left again, but it was all because of us. That’s what we’ll think anyway. It doesn’t matter how that person treated us or what they did, we will always blame ourselves.
We overthink everything.
Didn’t reply to our text for an hour after reading it because you were genuinely busy? We won’t think that. Our minds tell us that we were annoying you, you’ve looked at your phone and rolled your eyes and put it back down because you don’t want to talk to us. Said something in a slightly different tone or just didn’t smile the way you normally do because you are in a bad mood? We don’t know that. We think you’re tired of us and that we’ve pissed you off. But even if you tell us every second of every day that you love us, we won’t believe you.
We contradict ourselves.
We want the security of knowing you’re always there, yes, but don’t do it too much. Don’t suffocate us. Our anxiety doesn’t like that. We want it, but the voice in our head thinks it’s too much to cope with. We know this is completely irrational, but we can’t help it.
We cancel plans and bail last minute. Even if we really want to see you.
You probably think that making plans with us is near enough impossible, and to be fair, it is. It’s almost impossible for us to make plans ourselves. We want to see you and spend time with you and all we think about is doing cute things together, but then the day comes and the reality sets in that we actually have to do it and it gets too much. Our heads start to spin with what ifs and it sets us into a depressive type state where we just want to stay inside in the familiarity of our bed. It seems like we don’t like you and to you suggesting we go for a drink seems so simple.
But to us it is so much more than that. It’s having to get ready and decide what to wear, over thinking every outfit you put on. Do I wear make up?
But how much is too much? Will he get put off by my makeup? What if he gets too close and sees the imperfections on my face? What if he thinks I’ve made too much of an effort or not enough?
And where would we go? What will we talk about? What if I laugh too hard or act stupid and he thinks I’m weird? What if we go somewhere I haven’t been before? What if we run out of things to talk about and there’s an awkward silence and we don’t know how to fill it? What if he doesn’t enjoy himself? What if he’s expecting me to be a certain way and I’m not what he’s expecting?
What if, what if, what if.
This is just a small insight into our minds. It’s stupid, right? We know that. But we can’t help it. This conversation in our minds is draining in itself, and by the time we’ve done all of that we’ve panicked and bailed with sometimes the lamest excuse or we’ve simply not replied to you and hoped you’ll just leave it.
But we don’t want you to leave it.
We need you to understand that sometimes we want to be by ourselves. And sometimes the only way you can see us is in a place that is completely familiar to us, somewhere casual with no pressure.
We know that asking you to understand all of this is completely unreasonable.
We know that and we’re sorry. So usually what we do is push people away because we don’t think it’s fair that you have to put up with all of this. We’ve pushed people away for a very long time because people always leave, they don’t stick around long enough to discover that if you date a girl with anxiety then, yes, you’re getting the bad stuff, but you’ll be getting a girl who will love you so deeply even she doesn’t know just how deep. She will care about you more than anything in this world and will think about nothing but you in anything and everything that she does.
But we understand that we are complicated and difficult to love, which is why we end up seeming like a closed book or “emotionless,” but you need to know that those girls who act like they have no emotions are often the ones who crave a love so deep the ocean would be jealous. They just don’t know how to get over the massive hurdle that is their mind.
We are confusing and can have you second guessing yourself the whole time, but I beg you, if you are trying to date a girl with anxiety, please do not get mad at her. Please do not pressure her into seeing you, please do not get annoyed if she cancels or bails last minute or says no to plans.
We want to be those girls who go out and socialize and has a bunch of friends and can spontaneously go for drinks, but we can’t. So if that’s what you’re looking for you need to go somewhere else. What you’re getting is a girl who doesn’t even understand herself and it can sometimes feel like a losing battle, but you’ll be getting a girl who will love you unconditionally if you stick around long enough to see it.