To My Husband Who Watches Generalized Anxiety Control My Day
I’ve seen a lot of these articles going around lately, and I guess I could just share those, but everyone has a different experience and struggle when it comes to anxiety. Some people are fine until they’re triggered by something. Some people, myself included, are not fine and the triggers just make it worse.
GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) has so many different severities, with way too many symptoms to keep track of. When you have generalized anxiety disorder, you seem to obsessively worry about every day life events that wouldn’t be a concern to most other people. Just trying to get through the day is exhausting enough without anxiety feeding on every ounce of energy you’ve been able to gather up after a restless night of fighting off bad dreams.
As I’ve said before, anxiety gets to choose how your day goes. It gets to wiggle it’s way into your life at the most inconvenient moments. Worst of all, it gets to affect your relationships in many different ways. So here’s another letter. A letter to the person whot’s more important than anxiety. A letter to the person who matters most.
My body hurts again today. It’s taking everything I have to relax, but my shoulders just want to be connected to my ears. I just want to say I’m sorry for having a mental illness. I know it’s not really my fault, but I will always feel that I’m to blame. I know you don’t understand what I’m going through, and I don’t make it any easier by not talking to you about it, but that’s just another thing anxiety does. It keeps everything inside. It doesn’t let you come up with the words to explain how you feel. It feeds on fear. The fear of saying something wrong, or making you believe I’m completely out of my mind. If I say something you don’t want to hear, it will have a domino effect and I’ll eventually drive you away. Writing this is taking all of my emotional strength, and it’s only 8 a.m.
You usually know when something is wrong. Most of the time I’ll tell you about something small that is bothering me to avoid having to talk about the monsters inside of my head. I so badly want to tell you everything, but like I said before, it just isn’t that easy. I try to tell you little things at a time that seem harmless, or tell you what triggered me to have a bad day. By keeping things from you, I’m hoping to save you from worrying about me, but I really know it’s only going to put a strain on our marriage. Hiding my thoughts always turns into hiding other parts of myself from you. I know that hurts you. It hurts me too.
I wish I wasn’t this way. I know our lives would be easier without all of my baggage. You didn’t sign up for this, but neither did I. If I could have one thing in life, it would be to take all of this away. To take away the pain it has caused the both of us. I hope I can get a handle on this someday. Everyone says it just takes time, and I’m hopeful that time is on our side.
I do my best to work on myself. I’ve tried everything I can think of with no luck. But I’ll keep trying. I’ll never stop fighting off my demons. However, I do ask one thing from you, because I can’t continue to do this alone and keep my sanity. I ask that you see the signs, and give me a hug. Most of the time I just need you to touch me for a minute so I feel more at ease. When we’re sitting on the couch and I’m trying to catch my breath, pull me closer to you. When we’re walking through the store and I’m clenching my fist or picking at the skin around my nails, grab my hand. When I’m biting my lips or the insides of my cheeks, grab my face and kiss my forehead or just smile at me. I know you may think that these small gestures don’t help, but they do. Your affection lets me know everything is going to be OK, even if it’s only for a moment. Your love keeps me going every day, and I can’t thank you enough for that. I love you.
Your “crazy” wife
We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.
Thinkstock photo via Archv