Everyone says you learn the most from your first love.
They're the person you tell people about years after it's over because when you look back, you see how much you leared.
However, what happens when you put your first love and chronic anxiety in a room together? For me, denial ensued 2 years and 8 months of it, to be exact.
At first, it was great, as every new romance is. Every morning, I woke up happy and could not wait to talk to him and see him. Everything was great, right until the honeymoon phase ended and the comfort stage began.
My first love happened to be my first relationship, and for me, the end of the honeymoon phase sent me into fight or flight mode.
Why was he texting less? Were other girls more interesting to him? Why does he never ask to hang out anymore? Why does he have tinder now?
Every day, analyzing his ever move absorbed my life and bombarded my brain.
I didn't want to be one of those girls who overanalyzed everything, but I felt as if I was going insane. I felt as if I could have become a Victoria Secret model or the next Mark Zuckerberg and he still wouldn't have cared.
So, like anyone who suffers anxiety and is tryingto make a relationship work, I took it upon myself to go seek professional help for $20 an hour at my college's mental health clinic. I was told my thoughts were normal and I should start exercising more to rid myself of the anxiety. I should try and go to bed earlier and I should adopt a healthier lifestyle. I should give him a space when he's angry and not pressure him to do anything.
I was paying $20 an hour for a woman to tell me I should completely change who I am so my anxiety would subside. And, at the time, I thought this was a great idea.
Maybe, if I bought him a $200 briefcase, he would send me a good morning text.
Maybe, if I tookk him back for the third time, he wouldn't walk out of my apartment again when I told him I loved him.
I woke up every single day full of anxiety because something just didn't feel right. Even if he did something nice, which was rare since he was "so busy with work," I felt as if it wasn't genuine.
When you have anxiety, people automatically assume it's your job to fix it. If you get rid of your anxiety, your relationship will be perfect, right?
"Go see a doctor; it will help, I swear."
"Maybe you should get on medication."
"You need to stop worrying about the things he does and doesn't do!"
However, what it took me 2 years and 8 months to realize was it's not anxiety that causes relationships to fail; It's you trying to force a relationship with a toxic person who is the source of your anxiety.
It took me 2 years 8 months to realize my anxiety isn't a curse, it is who I am.
It is what makes me wonderful.