We love our partner. Pretty much to the end of the earth, if we're honest with ourselves.
Not far off 'til death do us part, in richer and poorer. I'm not going to say that those words haven't been playing on my mind of late.
Because at a certain point in a relationship, there comes a point where you have to have a spoken or unspoken conversation about how to go forward. In general terms of commitment and monogamy, but also with respect to mental health and boundaries of care. Oh yes, we're talking the heavy-duty stuff here. Love that awkward but wholesome conversation for us.
It's so worth having and powering through to achieve some clarity.
I know that I'm not alone here in suffering from anxious moments, but it really can feel alienating, bewildering and frankly out of control to not know what's happening from one moment to the next.
But you do need to be aware of your own needs. You aren't a burden, and even if you are asking something of someone, you are within your rights to do so. If you are in a relationship or friendship or they are close family, as long as you are reciprocating prioritizing the relationship, you deserve the proper attention.
This isn't something to be meek and mild about, truly.
You owe it to yourself to ensure you are surrounded by the right people who are educated and know you well enough to look after you.
Everyone gets it slightly differently, and it jars differently with each person's individual personality. It's difficult to diagnose young, particularly in girls as it manifests in much less typical ways than people generally know to look for. It's limited attention span, inability to focus, constant need to fidget – you can't sleep, you spiral, basic tasks become impossible.
The feeling as though you have constantly forgotten something. Or like you have a To-Do list as long as your arm and no way of making an inroad to it. It can be ultimately summed up as the feeling of your stomach dropping on a rollercoaster. Except you aren't convinced that you will ever reach the bottom and level out again. That's the terrifying thing.
It sneaks up on you. That's the troubling part.
You can be minding your own business, thinking you were fairly content in your life situation, and suddenly you have an off day at work and stub your toe on the door and you're crying in the bathroom stalls at the gym. How did we get here? Why do we continue to get in this position every Friday night?
Anger? Why are you angry? Is that really the emotion that you're feeling at the moment, or is it frustration? Why did the toe stub hurt so much? How dare it? In fact, does your toe hurt so much less than your heart at the moment? Why does your heart hurt? You haven't talked to people for a few days and your phone's been dead down the side of the sofa for the best part of a week.
Are you feeling lonely? Have you hugged anyone in a while?
Called your parents? Had a full meal with vegetables and nutrients and things that might not corrode your liver, like that whiskey and red bull combo you have going there? No? maybe try to engage with your needs. Your body might feel a little numb; your emotions might feel spent. You may feel spiritually bankrupt.
The point that I'm leading to here is that no matter how much you love another person, and no matter how much they, in turn, love you back, you can't control how you feel at all points. Neither can they. Often, if communication starts to toil on the back burner, those in a relationship can quite forget that their actions can hurt the other person. And that's a tough pill to swallow.
It brings to the surface questions of failure, emotional availability and one's ability to truly be there for another person. But that's the kicker. We can't be there for someone all the time. A lot of the time, yes. But not enough or with enough accuracy to satisfy their emotional needs all of the time, and certainly not sufficient to alleviate stress or anxiety.
Therefore – it's so essential to know where you both stand in these matters.
No one is expecting a new relationship still in the honeymoon phases to necessarily be the all or nothing emotional support for anxiety. But communicate that. With time you will learn each other's tells. You can be there to sooth her with a massage or back rub. Or distract her with nonsense if she senses that she's spiraling. You can take her out of the house to escape or restore her safely to it when you're out.
In short, there's no hard and fast way to deal with anxiety. It isn't something that can be cured, but it can be managed and supported. It takes time and patience and lots of asking questions.
Checking in with her, reading her silence. Showing affection and attention where appropriate. Indeed, giving space when she needs it, even if it's hard to leave her to her friends.
You will know what feels right for her. and she will thank you for it.