When I was growing up, I was raised to never depend on anyone for anything, especially not a man. I clearly remember my dad instilling these values in me, and telling me all the time how important it would be for me to support myself, to be independent and work hard, and to this day, I'm still so thankful for those lessons.
I was never really the type to catch feelings. I've always floated through life doing my own thing, talking to people who interst me, hanging out with whoever, but I never really got involved in anything too serious, until my first year of university that is.
I met my ex-boyfriend in March of that year, and he was the first man I ever really caught serious, real feelings for. I kept my guard up at first, because I was constantly reminding myself to be independent and not let myself need this guy too much, no matter how much I liked him. Eventually though, my walls came down and I realized that I'm actually capable of loving someone else a lot more than I ever thought I would.
Things were always pretty good with him and I. He gave me the freedom to do what I wanted and be myself, which I'll forever be grateful for, and I definitely tried to do the same for him until one day, something in me snapped. I've always known that I had anxiety, but I wasn't aware of how bad it really was until I was in the middle of this relationship.
Suddenly, I, who had never been needy a day in my life, became incredibly needy. I wanted to know where he was all the time, if he wasn't texting me back, I wondered what he might be doing, I became upset if I couldn't see him regularly, I was obsessive over what he was doing on social media, etc. It's not something I'm proud to admit, but it's something I've come to terms with.
Because this was my first relationship, I came into it with no real clue about what to expect or how to act; it was a learning experience for sure. I was under the impression that it was our jobs to make one another happy, and to do everything in life with one another in mind. I wouldn't make even the smallest decision in my life without input from him, or thinking about how it may affect him, and I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty toxic.
It was toxic not only for myself, being in the mindset of neediness, but also toxic for him in that I was putting pressure on him to act a certain way, or do certain things, or expecting him to solve all my problems for me. I was no longer the laid back, independent girl that my parents had raised me to be; I was a mess.
Coming to terms with all of this was not easy. In fact, it may have been the hardest thing I've done in my entire life, but it's also one of the most worthwhile realizations I've come to. In realizing that my anxiety was taking over my relationship, I was able to step back, and re-evaluate, and it's done me a lot of good.
I've realized that no matter how much I love someone, it is not their job to make me happy. I've realized that other people's actions are out of my control, so there's absolutely no point in me obsessing over them, or making something's out of nothing's. I've realized that communication is key, and that if I need reassurance, all I really have to do is ask for it. I've learned that not everyone loves in the same way, and that's okay; you just need to find someone who accepts the love you give, and loves you in the ways you need to be loved.
Writing this wasn't easy either, because I know a lot of people will read it, and whether they know me or not, it's going to impact them. I guess what I hope people get out of this is that you can love someone while you have anxiety, it just takes a lot of hard work. And if you don't have anxiety and you're reading this, just remember that your loved ones who have anxiety may be a pain in the ass sometimes, but they are worth it.
I have nothing bad to say about my ex, and I know he has nothing bad to say about me either. We've both left the relationship in a respectful way so we can continue to grow and better ourselves for whatever life throws at us next. I hope that for my sake, and the sake of anyone else I meet that I never go through those feelings of neediness again, and I hope anyone in the same position doesn't either.