To the People Who Love Me Through My Anxiety
This piece was written by Kirsten Corley, a Thought Catalog contributor.
I know sometimes I’m difficult.
Loving me comes with double texts and triple texts. It comes in the form of phone calls and the only person who still leaves voicemails.
Loving me comes in the form of many screen shots, as I ask if I worded this properly. It comes in analyzing how to say something, sending you three different choices. It’s being paralyzed with fear of saying or doing something wrong that I don’t do anything. Then you give me a little push.
Loving me comes with talking me through everything.
It comes with hearing many unrealistic scenarios play out that seem all too real in my mind. It’s the overthinking and analyzing things and talking about the same thing or person longer than you’d like to sometimes.
Loving me comes with late night conversations because I can’t ever sleep.
It comes in telling you about my previous night out, as I’m milking a hangover and you simply respond, “You didn’t do anything wrong. No one hates you.”
It comes in listening to me get worked up and holding me when I cry.
It’s the reassurance as you tell me, I’m enough. It’s the confidence you instill in me, even though I have to hear it over and over again. Because there are moments when I never feel good enough or I never feel like I’ve achieved enough.
There are moments when even if I’m falling apart taking on too much, I will never ask for help. But you help me anyway even when I don’t ask.
It comes in me being my own worst critic and you having to be my number one fan.
Loving me not understanding why I don’t see myself the way you do, and you doing everything to try and change that. It comes in fixating upon flaws you don’t even notice.
Thank you for loving me in ways I’m still trying to learn to love myself.
Loving me comes in the form of being my strength sometimes. Because as much as I’d love to stand strong there are times I get knocked. There are moments of rejection that completely shatter me. It’s in moments of failure I beat myself up over it and you’re the one telling me to stop being so hard on myself.
It comes with apologizing too much. Instead of wondering why I said it, you simply accept it, tell me it’s OK and you we move on.
It’s the phrases like “don’t worry” or “you’re overthinking this.” If we got a dollar for every time you said that to me, neither of us would have to work.
But more than anything, loving me comes with an acceptance of this is who I am and you’re OK with it.
And you should know there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you. As much as you love and care for me, in words I struggle to articulate, I love you even more. I can honestly say I’d be lost without you and I am so grateful to have you in my life.
Because I know I’m not easy sometimes. And I do everything I possibly can to show that appreciation, even if it comes in overcompensating sometimes. I care. And it’s something you understand about me that takes people a little while to get. Anxiety is caring too much and I can’t make it stop. I can’t care less about people if I tried. And while a lot of people may look at this as a flaw, people like you see it as a strength.
You’ve never once tried to change me. Thank you for that.
And if I can give you anything in return, it’s the same love and loyalty you’ve shown me.
Because there are a few things people with anxiety completely suck at — texting, patience, not jumping to conclusions. But of the things we’re good at, it’s loving people with everything we’ve got.
And I’m always going to worry about people coming and going but with you, by my side, I never seem to. Regardless of things I’ve done and mistakes I can’t forgive myself for, I look at you because you’re the one thing I got right.
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