What Being In A Relationship Is Like When You Suffer From Social Anxiety

What Being In A Relationship Is Like When You Suffer From Social Anxiety

It's like a back-handed slap to the face of the person you're with...

"I'm having an anxiety attack."

It was my first one in what seemed like months. I could barely keep from crying as I blurted those words out while on the phone with my mom.

"Take long, deep breaths. Focus on your breathing. You need to breathe," she said, knowing I'd pass out if I kept hyperventilating.

I was racing back to the Donald Tucker Civic Center for an FSU basketball game, after being informed that my purse was too big. The game was about to start and my boyfriend had been saving me a seat alongside his friends, and I had to walk three blocks by myself in the cold.

I was already stressed about having to drive to the Civic Center by myself, since I had never been. I couldn't find parking anywhere close enough, so I trudged along in the 40 degree weather, miserable and cold. Upon arrival, I was informed that my purse was "too big" and I wouldn't be allowed inside.

Suddenly, it felt like everyone was looking at me, whispering to each other, pointing out that I wouldn't be able to go into the game. It felt like I had a giant neon sign above my head that said "Mock Me."

It really wasn't a big deal. Looking back at it, I overreacted. I called my boyfriend, cussing and on the verge of tears, telling him that I was done, I was going home, and I spat out "have fun with your friends" as if this was all his fault.

After I had called my mom and she had talked me through my anxiety attack, I texted my boyfriend and immediately apologized. "I'm so sorry baby, I was just freaking out. I'm really sorry, I promise I'm not mad at you."

Dating with anxiety is not an easy feat to accomplish. Just when you think you've got a handle on things, one minor inconvenience sends you into a frenzy, feeling like everything is your fault and everyone is bothered by your presence. Anxiety isn't always watching paperwork pile up on your desk and deadlines approaching. It's walking into a crowded restaurant and not being able to hold your head up and look around at people.

For the longest time, I always thought my boyfriend would get bored of hanging out with me for long periods of time. We went for a hike with my dog on a nice Sunday afternoon, and upon our return home, he said he was going to hang out with his friends and watch some football. I broke down, sobbing, begging for him not to leave me.

It could all be separation anxiety, which I first experienced as a child, visiting my father's house on weekends while I cried and pleaded to see my mother. It wasn't anything against my father; I was just so used to always being with my mother, that without her, I couldn't function.

Now, I don't like to be alone. I like alone time where I can clean and write and gather my thoughts, but after a few hours, it feels like no one wants to talk to me, or to hang out with me, and everyone acts like I don't exist. So I begin to panic, and stress that this is how it ends for me- all alone, with nothing and no one.

Anxiety, for me, is this constant, overwhelming feeling in the back of my head, that everything is a lie and everything is far worse than it seems. It makes me have irrational fears, like being late to anything, or that everyone is staring at me and can see my fear of being alone.

It's almost embarrassing to have an anxiety attack while in a relationship. It's like a back-handed slap to the face of the person you're with, saying that you don't feel safe or comfortable with them, which isn't necessarily true. When my boyfriend asks me to meet him somewhere after work, I can feel knots in my chest because I know I'll have to look for him when I get there. I know that people are going to look at me and realize I'm lost, and talk about me under their breaths.

He's tried to talk me through it, often trying to make light of it with some jokes, but he doesn't understand that this isn't something I can click on and off. Anytime we have to go into a crowded place, I always make him go in first, so I can keep my gaze low and not have to look anyone in the face.

For Halloween, I wore a bandana around my nose and mouth, which surprisingly gave me confidence, and allowed me to lead the way through the crowd at a party, with my head held high, making sure to make eye contact with everyone. It was like I could hide my anxiety and fears behind that piece of cloth, even though there was no reason to cower in a corner with my head covered.

I know many people that have got a grip on their anxiety, and they've found a way to keep it level and not freak out every time something goes wrong. I've used the grounding technique, where you look around and name five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste, and it's helped me through some of my more mild anxiety attacks.

Anxiety is so much more than just a term for "freaking out" that people throw around. It's something I've had since I was a kid, and I'll need to learn to overcome it before it consumes me.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

Literally, so hot RN

Literally, so hot RN

A Dozen Reasons Why Wine Is Better Than Your Boyfriend

Why listen to your man whine, when you can just dink some wine?

If you are in a relationship, married, or single like me, you’ve had a man make you want to rip your hair out. No matter how much we love them, sometimes we just want to strangle them. One key to our success in dealing with the men in our lives is wine. Sometimes a glass of wine fixes it all, but a lot of times, it takes a whole bottle. Let's just face it, wine can be a way better boyfriend.

1. A bottle of wine can’t steal all the blankets or get mad at you when you steal all the blankets.

You know exactly what I'm talking about.

2. Wine doesn’t talk back.

3. When you fall asleep a bottle of wine won’t stop cuddling with you.

7. You don’t have to share your food with a bottle of wine.

8. When you decide to like a certain type of wine there are no surprises! They don’t magically become someone they said they weren’t.

9. Wine loves you as much as you love it.

10. Wine understands that there different nude lipsticks, and yes I need them all.

11. Wine won't just send you those 2am "What's up?" texts.

We know "what's up", you know "what's up", but we just don't care enough to respond.

12. Wine just never lets you down.

Cover Image Credit: andrewrennie / Flickr

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Relationships Are Made For Working Together, Not Working FOR Each Other

Your relationship is not a job.

I do not identify myself as a feminist in the way most do. My idea of feminism is strong women, ones that do not back down to a challenge, a woman who is not afraid to speak out for what she believes. A woman who is not afraid to be an individual.

But recently I have seen a lack of women empowerment in the communities I am apart of every day.

As college students, both male and female, we feel the pressure to be perfect at all times, in class, in our organizations, in our community. While both sexes feel these mutual pressures, there are some pressures the opposite sex cannot identify with.

Because I am a woman, I understand the female side of these "other" pressures.

As college women we are expected to be educated, involved, leaders in the community and of course find love. As I grow as an individual though, I find myself putting these priorities into an order of importance. Me first, love last.

I strongly believe that you will never find someone who will truly love you until you can see the beauty in yourself first. But, while I may have these ideas in my head my own opinion can only get me so far.

I ask you, when did our worth start being valued on how well we please our significant other?

I have been fortunate enough to meet an incredible amount of powerful women within my two years at this university. However, it is not rare that I see one of these once, so powerful women, get into a relationship and start to live off of the approval of their significant other.

This is where I start to worry, is it possible to be an individual in a relationship?

To me, the answer is yes, but to so many, it seems the answer is no. I do not think there is a correct answer to this question but I do think that it is one that needs to be brought to attention.

It breaks my heart to see girls that were once so strong and independent cry because their boyfriends did not give them enough attention that day.

But most of the time I find them trying to figure out what they did wrong, and then immediately overcompensating to take care if the problem.

To me, a relationship works like this...

As a girlfriend you are there to support your significant other when they need you, you are their equal, you should use each other to become better people. Cleaning up their dirty work, keeping their lives on track, making sure they are being good people... this is not your job.

This is where I lose the ability to understand relationships. These strong powerful women that I have talked about tend to lose themselves because they are trying to make something of someone else.

Our future is molded by today and if women continue to live to please their significant others than we will never go stringer as a sex. I encourage women everywhere to strive to not lose their individuality when they give their hearts away.

Relationships are made for working together not working for each other and until this idea is put into movement our community as females will struggle to grow.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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