Maintaining a seemingly normal life while dealing with anxiety can present a lot of struggles for me. I’ve decided that in order to help me deal with these struggles I would create a new post series titled: The Anxiety Diaries. I have read (and attempted to respond to) all your replies, and messages regarding my posts about depression and anxiety and it means the world to me that other people can relate. So I hope this series helps you too. Whether you live with depression and anxiety or know someone who does I just want my thoughts to be understood.
Disclaimer: My views, and ideas of and in relationships are not that of everyone else’s. Not every human has the same anxieties or thoughts as I do.
Aside from that disclaimer I wanted to start this off by prefacing: I am the perpetually single friend. Not in an early series Sex In The City Miranda sort of way but an “I don’t get into committed relationships” type way. I date people, I talk to people, I see people, but I do not commit to them. This is not due to my fear of commitment or emotional abandonment, but honestly, it might be, but more so my lifestyle choices. I am openly flighty. I spent the greater part of my early 20s as an emotional robot. I had some feelings, and some were what I believe to be love. But for the majority of it all, I was in it for myself and sought only after pleasure. Never a sense of security, or the desire to grow with another person in a relationship. I don’t believe this is a matter of my anxiety, I do however believe my current relationship views are fueled by my anxiety.
Following the death of my father last year, I am now doing something most have done their whole lives and I am FEELING. It was incredibly overwhelming to be smacked with so many emotions, many I had never felt before and I often still have trouble now processing them. I have said and written it a million times over but my dad was my best friend. This was the person I went to with any problem, rant, or even just to tell a story to. I often worry that my emotional dependence on my dad has set me up to have trouble opening up to potential partners. I still feel as though my dad was taken from me, so the fear of someone I open up to be taken from me (or just leaving) is very much a reality for me. Related, there is always the thought in the back of my head that I will never be able to have a partner meet my dad, and vice versa. In the rare occurrence when I was smitten by someone I would tell my dad, and he would be genuinely happy for me and excited to meet the person who made my resting sad face a happy one. I don’t want every problem I have in a relationship to be brought back to the death of my father. But, even when I am happy I feel guilty about it.
I want to circle back to a post I did a while ago on ‘bailing’. The post titled: I’m Sorry I Bailed, I’m Too Sad To Move was a hard piece for me. Almost any piece that is not pop culture related is hard for me to post, but flows easily when I write it. I was able to better explain why I was a no-show for a lot of parties and dates in that post. I find it far too easy to maintain the comfortable chats, and sense of emotional security by utilizing social media and texting. A very real fear for me becomes not being able to live up to the person I am when I write. The only way I know how to express myself (Aside from yelling of course) is writing. Texting makes me feel safe about my feelings. I can send a message and then flip my phone over like a 16-year-old. The message is sent and worst case scenario, I change the subject. And of course as easy as it is to type how I feel it is just as easy to bail on plans. And bail on my feelings, because let us remember how flighty I am. Being flighty also means I grow tiresome and bored of people easily because I think everyone thinks this way. I will stop being intimate with a person, speaking to them on an emotional level, and dodge any contact with them the minute I feel they are bored with me.
Okay, I am not totally incapable of a relationship I just prefer to keep my feelings safe by not committing. I continue to suffer from my silver medal complex and feeling second best is never fun. 2 years ago I wrote a piece based on a relationship I was in about this. In Never Good Enough I wrote:
“In one of the most significant romantic (not-so-monogamous) relationships of my adult life, I spent the majority of the time feeling second best, despite the incredible amount of support, love, and reassurance that I was more than enough. It took me a while to realize that no matter how much reassurance from my “partner” was given, no matter how many false promises were made (to be fair, I believed in the promises at the time), the feeling of being second best was yes in large part to their actions, but more so my own internal issues.“
Years later and this all remains true for me These feelings, these anxieties and these thoughts. I believe that I am now more upfront with my feelings, I will push you away if I don’t feel as though you should “have to deal with” me. I still lack a grasp on how to properly articulate how I am feeling about certain things. I can’t explain being jealous but not jealous of the time a partner spends with another person. Attempting to put into words that I want to be alone without it coming off as a personal slight is near impossible. Perhaps I just have yet to find someone who I’m suited for and vice versa.
At 27 years old I now find myself seeking a partner to reach mutual prosperity and pleasure in life. A person to understand my anxieties and fears and push me to be a better version of myself. For now, I will stick to being a cat lady.
Truthfully I am goddamn scared of a relationship at this point in my life and anxiety. I’m afraid to give myself in my entirety to another person. I’m afraid of being a burden. I’m terrified of becoming emotionally attached to a person who cannot handle my anxiety. I feel as though I will be the problem, always. I believe that everyone is afraid of being hurt whether you have anxiety or not.
For information on couples therapy check out BetterHelp