This is a hard one for me. It’s so personal and something that I’ve never contemplated talking about before. I have only really spoken to Eleanor about the depths of my anxiety but now I’ve realised that my way of dealing with it, is to throw myself into the unknown and to make sure I’m out of my comfort zone, more than usual.
This post isn’t a letter to my boyfriend, or me moaning at him but a safe space for me to express what I wish he understood. It’s so easy for people to say ‘I know how you feel’, but do you? Really? Do you understand?
I’m hoping this post may relate to a few of your experiences, and hope that you’ll read to follow me through my personal journey and battle with anxiety. Maybe you’ve decided to read this because you’re in a relationship with someone who has anxiety and you want to understand their point or view or maybe you’re struggling in a relationship and hopefully this will help you to feel less alone.
In a separate post I’m going to write more about my anxiety, my struggle and my triggers but for now here’s what I wish my boyfriend knew:
- I don’t control it. I have no control over it. This will never change. My anxiety is random, some days I might feel anxious about going to the cinema and other nights I might feel like I can’t make that planned family meal. I’m not trying to spend less time with you or get out of family events, but the thought of going is making me sick
- I can’t turn it off – I wish I could. I’m not trying to put a downer on your evening, but if I feel the need to leave or just to spend time in my own space – please understand. There is no off switch to this illness and I don’t know how long I’m going to have it for
- When I tell you I feel sick, don’t reply with ‘you always do’. This makes me feel upset, and like I don’t want to share things with you. Yes, I probably feel sick most of the time – put yourself in my shoes, how do you think this makes me feel?
- Don’t tell me to just chill – see above
- It doesn’t define me
- This isn’t your fault. I don’t love you any less. I’m not falling out of love with you, sometimes I just need my own space and sometimes I don’t feel like going out
- Be patient, don’t get fed up with me if I feel like another pj day or if I ask you to ring to order a takeaway. It’s not always going to be this way
- I know this is difficult for you, not just me
- Sometimes I have absolutely no idea why I feel this way and it scares me
- Never stop trying, or stop making plans – I might say no a lot of the time but the one time you don’t ask will be the one time I would probably say yes
- I’m sorry – you didn’t ask to carry this weight on your shoulders but thank you for all that you do and for being by my side through it all
These are just some of the things that I wish I could tell him, or for him to understand about my anxiety and hopefully he’ll read this one day and not be mad.
If you feel like the people around you don’t understand your illness or battle, then get in touch, I would be more than happy to listen to you, and to speak with you. Let’s not go through this alone.
Thank you for reading.