May is Mental Health Awareness Month and before it ends, I would like to write something about related to it. If you have read my past blogs, I have been sharing my experiences in regard to dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic disorder. And in regards to my title: “Dating Anxiety” I want to point you towards the double meaning of it which I mean on how anxiety affects my dating life and at the same time/or if I am also dating someone who also dealing with anxiety. I will be sharing my experience in dealing with anxiety with my dating life and how it affects my mental health.
Dating in this generation is way different from what we saw in movies or read in the books when we were kids. At a young age, we already have pictured “romance” or “dating” in our minds. But as we grow older and as society changes, our views and perspective of “dating” have also changed. When we think about “dating”, we usually think of the person we are going to be with first and how that person will affect our mental state comes last. We are more into the “romance” and “sparks” or let me say our expectations without noticing that sometimes it can also lead to becoming toxic to our mental health. As to my past experiences, I have realized that when it comes to dating, taking care of your mental health comes first. Dealing with my anxiety has been also a reason why my past relationship hasn’t work. Even it’s just a fling or getting to know someone, I would suddenly felt an extreme worry about what is going on and what will going to happen. First, I’ll start overthinking that I always mess everything and it’s better to stop it right away. There were times that I’ll keep ignoring those red flags, or I’ll choose to stay in a toxic relationship/person because I thought that is what I deserve. Weird right? But hey I will never learn my lessons and become who I am right now if I have not got myself into those situations.
Looking back into my past dating life, I can still remember the time when I begged for love, and when I do so much for someone who is not sure about me. I let them take me for granted. I had lost my colors, I settled for the “maybe”, the “I’ll see if I can” and the “I can only give you this”. I endured the pain of every no, and over time I started to believe that maybe, just a maybe is what I deserve. That I should just be grateful for the rare “yes” and just sit in the corner, heads down and teary eyes, silently suffering. I can still remember how someone told me “Goodluck on finding someone who can deal with your anxiety because I’m not doing it anymore”. It took me a lot of time and a lot of heartbreaks to finally realized that I’m slowly turning into this person I feared to be. It has affected my mental health worse than I can tell. I suffered depression, I felt insecure, lost my confidence because during those times I thought I will never be enough.
I tried my best to get myself together and walk away from all the toxic people and situations in my life. Step by step, I dragged my feet, and that’s when I learned that one of the most difficult things to do in life is to walk away from the things you’ve always wanted especially if it’s no longer healthy for you. But I did. I finally did it because every day seemed like it is raining and I wanted to see the sun again. I have learned to love myself more and realized that I don’t have to look for my worth from someone else. Now, I am lucky to meet someone who understands my anxiety, accept it, and take care of me, as I do to him too. I have someone who won’t get mad at when on days when I don’t want to do anything, instead constantly make sure I’m okay. Someone who cares about why I’ve been quiet all day, not someone who gets mad because I’ve been acting different. He understands how important it is to take care of our mental health. Not just because it is his job, as a counselor but because he understand that everyone can have anxiety it is the matter of you dealing with it. Never letting it overwhelmed you and changed you to the person who you never wanted to be. With no judgment at all, I can always tell him what is going on inside my mind, and vice versa. We are always there for each other, helping and motivating one another.
Taking care of our mental health should be our priority as it affects our lifestyle, how we love ourselves, and most importantly how we reflect on other people around us. Always surround yourself with those people who not only bring positivity in your life but to those who’ll understand and take care of your mental state especially now with the pandemic going on- staying at home can also affect our mental health and it is very important to have someone with you. I know it took me a while, but I couldn’t be prouder and happier.
I did it, and you can too.