It wasn’t until around 2007-8 that my anxiety started to become unmanageable. There was no real reason for this other than the fact that my physical health left a lot to be desired, and since I felt vulnerable in that sense, I felt it in every aspect of my life. What I should have made the effort to do was get to know myself better but I wanted something outside of myself to make me feel good, so I dumped the mammoth task onto my boyfriend at the time. Let’s just say, it made for some very intense fighting.
I knew, deep down, that my boyfriend was a great friend and would help me if I ever needed it, but I also knew he wasn’t right for me. I felt like I needed that support and so I held on far longer than I should have. In the end we were a lot closer than if we had ended it back then at University but I feel as though I could have saved myself a lot of heartbreak.
Why am I bringing this all up? Well I’ve realised that since the anxiety became unmanageable I haven’t been alone. My previous relationship spanned the course of 2006 all the way through to 2010, and then, in 2011, I met my current partner – and it is now 2014.
And what of the year I was alone? Well, I spent a lot of it swinging wildly between a love of being alone and independent, to severe depression and loneliness. Why? Well, I’m convinced now that it has a lot to do with refusing to take responsibility for my own happiness.
My current partner is, for the most part, wonderful, but like a lot of people on this planet is completely content with staying the same. This would be fine if I was the same – but I’m not. Especially over the past year I have become determined to leave my anxiety in the past and get on with life – and while I do this I discover a lot about myself that I make the effort to change. Old habits I used to do, well, I now recognise them as choices I’ve made and go about the task of choosing something different.
For example, when my partner and I joke around in a jesting nature a part of me listens and takes it seriously. Every time my partner jumps to the negative a part of me tries to pull away as if it has some aversion to it. I mean, logically we know that words are just words, and when people joke around it’s not meant to be taken seriously – but since I’ve made the connection that I am a sensitive person and will always be a sensitive person, I have to stop these “games.” No matter how logical I become I can’t ever switch off my sensitivity.
However, jesting is a huge part of our relationship, almost to the point where it has become the “norm” for affection. Instead of cupping someone’s face in our hands and telling them how wonderful they are and how much we love them, it is a playful push or a quick quip along the lines of, “you’re a fatty” or “my little crazy.”
I’ve realised within that I desire change, a change to a time when we are affectionate to each other like you see in the romantic movies. I’ve also realised that once a pattern has been developed (and it’s been over 3 years now) it’s very hard to get someone else to change, especially when they don’t want to. Not a lot of people sit down like I do to uncover the mysteries of themselves – sometimes it’s a lot more comfortable to just zip along with you’re behavours and patterns in the vein of, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’ especially if these issues don’t affect your day-to-day life.
It’s just one example, but one of many that makes me yearn for a simpler time when I was by myself – not because I need someone to do all these things to make me happy, but when I am alone I don’t expect it – and I don’t get upset when my significant other doesn’t take the time out to look after me. When I’m in a relationship I expect a lot more than, apparently, is realistic, and more than I really want to.
So, as I type here and look at a nice little sun patch in the garden I will be sitting in after I post this blog, I often wish that I had stayed single in an attempt to protect my sanity. I wish that I didn’t have anxiety and so I wouldn’t have to have latched on so quickly and move so fast with my current partner. I also wonder if I would perhaps be further in my mental healing because I am spending too much time relying on a partner to be there, or could I perhaps be further behind?
That’s not to say that I don’t like my relationship – there are a lot of positives – I just can’t help but wonder sometimes, “what if I had remained single for longer?”