Anxiety are the beginning stages of relationships, you struggle to get through normally because in you always seem to ruin something before it begins.
It’s staying up at night and tossing and turning because you wonder how someone feels. It’s questioning if this is really something or is it all in your head.
Anxiety is being excited about a date but thinking they’ll cancel last minute. It’s staring at your phone waiting for it.
It’s every past relationship on repeat and hoping this one doesn’t end the same way.
It’s an ending that emotionally destroys you. It’s trying to handle it with grace and dignity but at the same time, you’re in tears wondering, when things changed and what you did wrong. It’s beating yourself up for it, even when you’re friends tell you, it was him not you.
Anxiety tells you, ‘no, it’s not that they were the wrong person, it’s that you’re flawed and not good enough.’ And you look at yourself fixating on things you wish you could change because that’s probably why it didn’t work out. Anxiety is striving for perfection even if it kills you.
Anxiety is every text and not wanting to be the first one to send it.
It’s stressing how to word something properly because you care but you don’t want to come on too strong.
It’s the agony of waiting for a response as reread what you just said. It’s wanting to send a double text but knowing you shouldn’t
It’s social media adding to it and making it 10X worse. It’s never just a like or a view or a share because you’re staring at your phone wondering if it means something more.
Anxiety tells you, ‘they’re ignoring you on purpose. They don’t care. They are going to leave. They’re mad at you.’
Anxiety is believing lies made up in your own head.
It’s the weight lifted off your chest when they respond but you still worry.
It’s wondering at any moment, ‘are they going to change their mind about me?’ It’s playing out that scenario in your head, just so you’re ready for how you’d respond to it.
Anxiety is anticipating the worst in people, even though you have the best intentions. It’s caring but the insecurity of caring too much.
It’s questioning and doubting, everything someone thinks, says and does.
It’s finally getting a relationship but you’re paralyzed with fear of it ending, even though it just started.
Anxiety is pushing people away because you think it’s for their own good.
It’s is being everywhere on time and needing your partner to be the same way. It’s wanting things to go according to the original plan and getting upset when it doesn’t.
It’s messing up and making a mistake and your immediate assumption is, they’re going to leave or dump you. It’s being unbelievably hard on yourself even though you’re the least judgmental person ever.
Anxiety is being painfully insecure and not being able to help it.
It’s standing in a crowded room, holding his hand, as you meet his friends but all you want is for them to like you. It’s trying too hard that they don’t sometimes.
It’s wanting to drink but worrying about drinking too much. It’s the apology the next morning you didn’t even need to say.
Anxiety is wanting to explain to him, ‘this is what you’re dealing with or this is what you’re getting and I understand if you want to leave.’ But at the same time, you just try and hide it.
It’s learning to trust him slowly.
Anxiety is explaining to your partner, ‘this is what I thought, it’s completely illogical, I know but I need you to just tell me I’m wrong. Tell me we are okay.’
It’s needing constant reassurance.
Anxiety is your partner wrapping their arms around you when you completely break down and they just have to keep telling you, ‘it’s fine.’ It’s someone else being strong when you can’t be.
But it’s also the fear of letting someone close enough to see that side of you because you’ve always been strong for yourself and you fear vulnerability.
It’s that critical voice inside your head that you hear on repeat. Even when they compliment you, you don’t believe it at first. And they don’t understand why you don’t see yourself the way they do. But there’s something beautiful about teaching someone to see themselves through your eyes.
Anxiety is the beauty and appreciation of someone really knowing you and accepting you because you still struggle to accept yourself. It’s watching them change the way they act or what they do, just to keep you more at ease. It’s the comfort in a simple phrase, ‘I’m sorry I didn’t answer this is why…’ It’s a feeling of wholeness when they say, ‘I still love you, even with this thing WE have to live with.’
It takes a rare person to love someone with anxiety and it’s not always that easy. But if you can figure out how to, you’ll receive a love that is unconditional. You’ll be with someone who truly appreciates and accepts you. You’ll hear thank you too often and I love you even more. It’ll be a love that tests you and challenges you but it will make you realize some people are entirely worth it.
Kirsten Corley is a poet and author of the new book, But Before You Leave, available for pre-order here.