Dear Friends: Why My Anxiety Ruined Our Relationships

Posted on July 22, 2016

Most everyone is aware of anxiety. It’s that gnawing feeling you get in your gut before a test or butterflies before you do something out of your comfort zone. General Anxiety, however, is living every waking moment of your life under the pretense that something awful is about to happen, or someone doesn’t like you, or is gossiping about you. It affects 4.2 million people in the United States alone.

Unlike, GAD, most people have not heard of Cyclothymic Disorder (or simply Cyclothymia). Cyclothymia affects only one to five percent of the population. Not because it’s special, but because it is usually misdiagnosed as Bipolar II or ADHD.

Cyclothymic Disorder is a very mild form of bipolar disorder. We still ride the same waves, but our waves are much smaller and less intense. It’s like riding a six-foot wave instead of a monster 50-foot wave.

Chances are, when we met I was riding the high of the wave. Since I go through cycles and they can be frequent, I most likely was funny, smart, witty, and over-the-moon positive. Just f*cking happy. Like, all of the time. My nickname is Sunshine, and I’m pretty sure I got that when I was riding that wave like a pro-surfer.

This was when we started to make future plans, and ebbed out our scheme for world domination. Lots of drinking, dancing, singing, and more drinking ensued. Everyone loves a happy drunk. I was probably really productive during this time, too, and you would have seen me just “loving” everybody or my job. Everyone at work loved me, too, so you weren’t the only one to be disappointed at the end.

I am no pro-surfer, however, and like every good wave, there are mushy waves that are impossible to ride, or waves that you catch and wipe out immediately on. I’m sorry to say that these are probably the waves that killed our relationship.

I became a recluse and would stay indoors to binge-watch TV. I would also lose a lot of weight (25 pounds) due to being malnourished. My digestive issues were so bad that I went months just eating rice and fish, because nothing else would stay down.

I would write poetry, or just sleep all the time because getting out of bed was really difficult that day. This is the crash that happens with Cyclothymia. I’m sorry, friend, but those were the most extreme and difficult days to face.

These are the days I would think that you didn’t really like me and were probably gossiping behind my back. These are the days that I would think to myself that you would be much happier if I wasn’t around. These are also the days I would find time to write you an email or a text starting to distance myself.

If you asked me out for dinner, I probably had some lame excuse like, “I’m broke,” or “I don’t feel well.” While there may have been some truth to it, the real one was a lot harsher than what you think. I just didn’t like myself and felt your life would be better without me.

With Cyclothymia, you never want to hurt yourself or others, so there is no worry of self-harm or suicide. The damage becomes real, though, and I tear myself up for being stupid, unlovable, and worthless. These are also the times that my job performances began to suffer because of my low-self esteem, and instead of being on top like I was in the beginning (with an over inflated ego), I was now on the opposite side of the spectrum, hating myself and my job.

Panic attacks would come and I would find myself feeling faint and lightheaded. The once proud “Employee of the Month” was now sulking and tired at work, and couldn’t explain why, a few weeks ago, her dream job was now a job from hell.

I wish that I had known about my disorder a long time before we broke up. I know that there is nothing to do to ever rectify the damage that I have done to our relationship. I feel awful for the way I left you, and there is no way to come back from that.

All I can do is ask for my new friends, and the ones that have stuck by my side, to keep supporting me and understanding that I am going to have good days, and bad days. I might even have a few “normal” days mixed in there, too. If you can do that, I will champion for you no matter what.

I am a very loyal friend if we can get through this together. If I start pushing you away, don’t push back. Let me be. I may just need time to recharge. I’m like a battery: I start off fully charged and ready to be with everyone, everyday, then my battery runs lows and I need to recharge, sometimes for weeks.

But I always come back, friend.

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Category(s):Anxiety, Ending a relationship issues, Friendships

Source material from PsychCentral


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