Anxiety is something that I typically don’t talk about much. I mention it here and there because it’s such a huge part of my life that is really difficult to get away from. As much as I try, I can’t keep my anxiety from touching every part of my life, and every relationship I have, and every activity that I do. And that’s an extremely difficult reality to live with.
I’ve mentioned before that my boyfriend is an incredibly outgoing person. He has never had to deal with anxiety, or depression, or any other incredibly common mental health issue personally. And it’s very difficult to understand how crippling and frustrating it can be if you’ve never had to experience it before. He’s incredibly understanding and does everything that he can to learn about it and figure out how to help me out of my downswings. If I’m having a spike in anxiety, he will ask me after I’m calm how he can help me avoid those situations, or how he can adapt to ease the difficulty of dealing with those situations that can’t be avoided.
I so appreciate everything he does for me. And sometimes I feel horribly guilty about it. I find myself asking, “but won’t it be better for him to find someone without these issues? Won’t his life be more fun, or less stressful, or less frustrating, more exciting, if he were with someone who didn’t have to deal with these feelings?” Sometimes I wonder if there isn’t someone out there who would fit his life better than I do. It’s hard to feel like I’m worth all the effort he’s putting in for me, when it feels like I’m not doing the same for him, just putting more requirements and restrictions into a situation that should be freeing and fun.
But when I have those thoughts, I try to pull myself back a little bit. He’s choosing to stay. He’s choosing to put the effort in. He’s choosing to make a relationship with me work, to accommodate the things that I can’t control, and to support me when I’m having trouble holding myself up. While he doesn’t have mental health issues to work around, I compensate him in other ways. Relationships aren’t always 50/50, even though I want to make them that way as much as possible. Some days, it’s 60/40 toward him. Sometimes it’s 30/70 toward me. And yet other days, we are fighting for who has the larger percentage because we want the other to feel more appreciated than any other person in the world.
These are the things I try to remember when I find myself in downswings. I try to remember that it’s not always easy. It’s not always fair. It’s not always balanced, or equal, or anything. Sometimes, the relationship will be all about me. And sometimes, it’ll be all about him. Those days when I feel unworthy of him, I try to remember that my anxiety is a nefarious little demon whispering half-truths and insecurities into my ear and that they are not reality.
PS: I know this post isn’t actually posted on a Monday. In the future, I will try to post my articles about my journey with my mental health specifically on Mondays and under the tag “Mental Health Monday” so you can easily find/avoid them as you choose.