The Mighty Logo

What Having a Crush on Someone Is Like When You Live With Anxiety

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

The unexpected happens every now and then. For me, it manifests itself in the form of feelings for someone. I didn’t plan it. I don’t want them, and I certainly don’t understand them.

You see, when you live with anxiety, sometimes feelings are the enemy. We are trained to ignore our feelings; or at least learn to suppress them, so it’s startling when feelings for someone else become unavoidable.

Anxiety makes everything so much difficult. I don’t go through the stages of a crush like a “normal” person. Conversations may give me butterflies, but I spend the next three days (at least) dissecting every look and word that was said.

Suddenly, I can’t control my own heart. I have all these feelings and I feel guilty for feeling them. My anxiety has a field day with the uncontrollable.

As much as I try, this isn’t something I can plan or control, and that terrifies me. The lack of control when it comes to my emotions is the worst part of it all.

All of a sudden, bad thoughts are amplified.

I am no longer just looking at myself as a separate entity, but I am comparing myself to this wonderful person, and no matter how many times people tell me I’m great, I think I will never be good enough for him.

It’s too much. I feel the need to constantly ask my friends for reassurance. I don’t annoy him right? But what does it matter? Anxiety keeps me from doing anything about it anyway. Sure I can fight my fear and get a couple words out, but in the back of my mind I know I will pay for it later.

I know if I so much as say “hi,” my mind will become a flurry of insecurity. Crushes aren’t the same for me. They are miserable, and they make me question myself. I hate it, but I can’t control it, so I worry. I worry about being good enough, and it hurts.

It hurts waking up every day with the same person on your mind, but feeling you are not enough for them. It hurts to know I could have so much joy with a wonderful person, but because my mind is filled with anxieties and doubts, I can’t.

So there it is. Having a crush when you have anxiety is painful, frustrating, and everything in between. It’s wanting to talk to them, but being scared they will hate you. It’s crying at night because you think you said something wrong, and not having the courage to do anything about it. Having a crush when you have anxiety is like walking into a danger zone. Anxiety leaves you unprotected, but in your heart, you know you must leap forward. Along the way you are likely to be hurt, to be broken, and you won’t come out the same. It’s utterly and absolutely terrifying. And I know crushes are nerve-wracking for everyone, it’s in their nature. The difference is, crushes don’t just make me nervous, they make me hate who I am because I believe I’m not good enough. In my mind, anxiety makes me less than and no one would ever choose me.

At the end of the day, sometimes you can’t make anxiety better. I can’t tell you, or myself, the magical words to make anxiety leave the alone, but I can tell you this: You have an indescribable amount of worth. No crush, heartbreak or stress can rob you of that, because you are and always will be amazing.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Unsplash photo via Erik Lucatero

Originally published: February 6, 2018
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home