Going through a breakup sucks, plain and simple, it just sucks. There is no happy opening sentence to this blog. Having your heart ripped out of you is one of the worst feelings I have ever experienced in my life and I am sure a lot of you can relate. But how does it impact someone who suffers from anxiety? I’ll tell you, it makes it a hell of a lot harder. Anxiety has a way of gripping onto your weaknesses and holding you back from doing what is best for you or simply moving on.
Throughout my 27 years I have been through two difficult breakups, completely different ones at that. One which I felt trapped in and the other I lost all due to my anxiety. My first serious relationship started when I was 18. The relationship started off like any other, cute texts, late night calls, blah blah blah… But it quickly turned into a mentally and verbally abusive relationship. One that I am ashamed to admit that I allowed myself to stay in for just over two years. Why? Because he was my first boyfriend, the first man I ever loved, or thought I had loved back then, and the only man I had ever been with physically.
With the type of OCD /anxiety I have my brain constantly told me that I couldn’t be with someone else because a woman should only ever give herself to one man, so I was trapped in an abusive relationship thanks to my own brain. But it wasn’t just me, the man (I’m being nice here) I was with had a way of manipulating my brain into staying with him. He knew my weaknesses from the start and always took advantage of my forgiving nature. I knew I didn’t love him, but I couldn’t get away, until my family moved out of state and I went with them. It was my way out, but even with being almost 1500 miles away he still had a way of controlling my mind for over a year, until one day I had the strength to realize how toxic he was, and I cut off all ties, for good. It was honestly the best day of my life, but it wasn’t easy. I sought help through my family, friends and even therapy to get through that time, so believe me when I say this, if I can get through an abusive relationship, so can you.
For the next couple years, I went onto date other guys, some good, some bad, but nothing serious, until I met my most recent ex. I was twenty-three, causally dating, not expecting anything when I fell completely in love with a man, I honestly thought would only end up being a quick fling with. I opened myself up in a way I really never thought I would be able to again because he treated me with so much respect and love from the start, a way I had never been treated before. But I was scared, would he accept me and my anxiety? I thought he did, he was always there for me, always comforting and helped me through some tough times, until my anxiety ended our relationship, of over three years.
Yep. I am going to be as brutally honest as he was. He doesn’t want to be with “a woman like me”, which apparently was how he truly felt about me. My anxiety held our relationship back and I never saw it coming, but I can’t blame him, it’s a lot to handle. But it’s a part of me that whichever man I end up with in the end, will have to accept. It’s not going to be easy, but relationships in general are not easy and when you love someone, you love them for the good and bad.
It hit me hard, harder than I have ever been hit in my life, and even though it has been a good six months since the initial breakup, it still feels like it was yesterday. But it opened my eyes to who I am as a person, anxiety included. It gave me the strength to find my path and love myself more than I have ever loved myself before. Of course, it still hurts. Somedays I feel like I am on top of the world and others I can’t understand how someone can just up and leave their best friend and the one they claimed to be in love with. Talk about mind f**king, try having OCD/anxiety for a minute, imagine that your biggest fear is being alone and BOOM the one person you thought would never hurt you disappears. Literally shuts you out as if you never existed. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but I got that sh*t down and I can truly appreciate the love I was given.
I guess you could say that my ex helped me in the end because if we never broke up, I wouldn’t be where I am today, doing things I have never done, achieving goals that I once use to only talk about to recently nailing an amazing position with a company I would have been scared to apply to a year ago. I know my worth now and I know more than ever that if you truly love someone you never give up on them. So, in the words of Ariana Grade, thank u, next. (Sorry, I literally had too).
*Deep breathe* Well, that wasn’t easy to relive, but it feels good to let it all out and see just how anxiety impacted my past relationships. Through some of the most difficult times of my life, when anxiety tried to take over and push me down into a deeper hole than I already was in, strangely it honestly made me stronger and I know it will only continue to mold me into the woman I am meant to be. But I do want to say this, if you suffer from anxiety, or any form of mental illness do not settle for what your mind wants you to think you deserve. Abuse is never ok, in any form and you do not ever deserve it. Seek help, take a break if you need too and at the end of the day know that it is ok not to be ok. Your stronger than you know.