To The Person I Date Next, This Is What I’d Love To Tell You About My Anxiety

By Kirsten Corley

Relationships are nearly impossible for me. And I refuse to blame anxiety for it.

But the honest truth before we even date, I’m going to analyze every word and text and interaction like it’s something to be studied. I worry. I’ve seen so many relationships start and end so quickly without any explanation and I’m left pointing at myself thinking it’s me who is flawed.

I overthink and overanalyze everything. It gets to a point where I’m the one ruining something before it even begins out of fear.

It’s ironic the fears I have of something ending almost manifests itself into a reality. I know this. But I can’t help it either.

My mind takes off and I just follow it’s destructive lead doing my best to control what I can.

I won’t talk about it at all.

I won’t sit you down and tell you this is what I have, this is what I live with.

It’s simply a part of who I am that doesn’t need explaining because as you get to know me you’ll begin to see it a little more.

It’ll reveal itself in texts messages and responses that come at you like rapid fire. It’ll reveal itself in how punctual I am or the obvious stress lines across my forehead if we are late and the reminder not to speed if I’m the one driving.

It’ll reveal itself in the to do lists, that I almost always complete and the calendar I have booked for weeks.

You’ll see it when I wake up almost every day at the exact same time minutes before my alarm even sounds.

You’ll see it on the nights I’m tossing and turning and you just pull me in to try and get me to go back to sleep.

You’ll hear it in the scenarios I play out to you about my friends and how I wonder if they are mad at me for something and how my mind won’t be at ease until I apologize. And even if you tell me it’s unnecessary I’m going to do it anyway.

You’ll see when we go out, most the time I’ll be fine. But every once in awhile on an off night, I might drink more than I should. I’ll wake up the next day not remembering much, wanting to apologize and understanding if you want to end this thing.

And you’re going to look at me confused because I know all it was, was a bad night. But I’ll spend the next three days beating myself up over the fact I let myself get like that.

Most the time it’s going to seem like I have it all together. But it’s almost like I have it “too together” if there’s ever such a thing. My grades were excellent in school and I still read and try and learn something new often. I’m an overachiever in every sense of the word. I enjoy being the best at things. Not to make others look bad but my self-worth is defined by achievements and doing well. So I’m going to be pushing myself sometimes completely over the edge. And it’s in those moments where I’m going to need you. Because when something doesn’t go as planned and I completely fall apart.

That’s the ugliest side of anxiety when I show you a weakness I don’t like anyone seeing.

In my head are this constant stream of negative phrases. And you won’t notice the lack of confidence I have at first. In the beginning, I’ll hide that well but as you get to know me, you’ll see there’s vital insecurity within myself and no matter how much you compliment me I’m my own worst enemy.

I’m going to need reassurance sometimes. Just that little boost, you aren’t leaving, you still care, you are thinking of me. And I know that sounds desperate but sometimes the littlest things send me off in a world of my own trapped in thoughts that aren’t reality.

Anxiety tells me a shit load of lies that I don’t want to believe. But sometimes I do.

So I’ll explain to you this is what I’m thinking right now and why. And you aren’t going to understand. Sometimes it isn’t about understanding but just listening.

It’s not always about finding a solution but just being there with me for the problem even if it’s one I created myself.

I worry about people leaving a lot. And when that happens just tell me you aren’t going to. That will mean everything to me.

It’s in those moments where I’m going to push you away from that I actually need you most.

I don’t like seeming weak or needy. Anxiety makes me feel like I am.

And just as I have learned to live with it and function, the person I end up dating will also.

And if you can accept this about me and love me through it, in return I’ll give you the best of myself.

There’s so much more to me than my anxiety. It’s just a small part of who I am but not all of me. And I hope whatever it is I lack I make up for in other areas. Because I’ll always try unbelievably hard when it comes to everything in my life and a relationship is something I’d hold to that same standard.

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