By Holly Riordan
I feel like a shitty girlfriend every time I make an excuse about how I’m not really in the mood to go out tonight. Every time I follow my boyfriend around at a party, because I’m terrified of being stuck in a conversation with friends of friends. Every time I get quiet around his parents, even though I should be comfortable around them by now.
I hate how long it takes me to get used to a new situation. I don’t want to be the girl who seems like she’s stuck up, quiet, a bitch.
I want to be the girl who hugs his mother hello, who makes jokes that his father laughs at, who doesn’t need alcohol in her system in order to spend the night with a group of his closest friends — who should also be my closest friends since we see each other so often.
I feel like a shitty girlfriend, because my anxiety stops me from acting carefree and fun.
Even when we’re alone together, there are times when my anxiety gets the best of me. Even though I’m more comfortable around him than anyone else I’ve ever met. Even though I trust him. Even though I don’t mind when he sees me scared and vulnerable.
But still, I can’t help myself from feeling insecure.
I feel like a shitty girlfriend, because I start fights over stupid things. I get mad about the way he looked at me or spoke to me. And I get quiet when we have a waitress who can talk with ease, who can instantly make anyone like her — because she’s the type of girl I wish I was and imagine he wishes he was with.
My anxiety makes me feel like a shitty girlfriend, because I know he wants me to admit when something is bothering me, but I still pretend I’m fine. I lie to him to make things easier on myself.
I’m so used to hiding my feelings, I’m used to acting like I’m okay when I’m not at all. It’s hard to get used to opening up to someone. It’s weird to know that someone likes me for me, even when I’m having irrational thoughts that would make anyone else in my life uncomfortable.
My anxiety makes me feel like a shitty girlfriend, because I ruin dates by overthinking. I worry about whether we’re going to get somewhere on time or follow the right directions. I worry about everything there is to worry about. I can never enjoy a good thing, even when I’m sitting beside the love of my life.
My anxiety make me feel like a shitty girlfriend, because that’s what anxiety does. It makes me doubt myself. It makes me hate myself.
My anxiety makes me feel like a shitty girlfriend — even though my boyfriend keeps reminding me that it’s not the case. That he’s lucky to have me. That he wants to be with me forever, whether I’m suffering from anxiety or not.