How To Keep Your Relationship Alive When You’re Too Anxious To Do Anything
An anxiety disorder can have a huge impact on your life. As someone who suffered from such a severe anxiety disorder for almost a decade, I can contest to that statement. It can affect your health, your social life and definitely your relationships. As the person with the anxiety disorder, you won’t always consider how much of an impact it has on the people in your life too.
This was certainly something I didn’t consider anywhere near as much as I should have done. At the lowest points of my mental illness, I struggled to leave my bedroom. I was too scared to go into the kitchen to make myself a sandwich for lunch, let alone go for a walk or have a meal at the dinner table.
And I didn’t contemplate how this would have impacted my boyfriend at the time. Because no doubt it did. I was so wrapped up in my own head and my own anxiety, I couldn’t see beyond that.
Anyone with an anxiety disorder will tell you that you spend a lot of time in your own head. In fact, it’s almost impossible to focus on anything else but the thoughts whirling around and around in your mind at times, so it’s not entirely surprising that relationships can sometimes suffer.
As the person with the anxiety disorder, it’s not something to feel ashamed or guilty about. Having a mental illness is all-consuming at times and can completely warp your views and change your life. But there’s absolutely no doubt that having people close by, loved ones to talk to and relationships in your life will be beneficial to you in getting through it and coping with it on a day-to-day basis.
If you’re the person with the anxiety disorder and you feel like your condition has affected your relationship, know that you’re not alone. Here are some things you can do to help your relationship along if you’re too anxious to do anything:
Talk to Your Partner
Communication is absolutely key. Your partner doesn’t know what’s going on inside your head. They’re not mind readers. So don’t assume they know how you feel – they probably don’t. If you’re going through a hard time with your anxiety and feel like you’re too anxious to do anything, tell them. Explain how you feel. And allow them time to digest and understand. It can be very hard for someone who’s never experienced anxiety to understand how it feels.
Of course, this should always be an option if you’re suffering with your mental health. But seeking help is the first step. Contact your GP or a therapist or even call a helpline if you need to. Learn to be open and honest about how you’re feeling and the more you do that, the easier it will get to talk about.
If, like I was, you’re in a place where your anxiety is so bad that it’s preventing you from doing literally ANYTHING, but you’re aware of the problem and you want to overcome it, then I suggest starting small and starting somewhere. Anywhere. Even if you have to start with your own backyard, a simple walk down your road or a drive around the block.
Starting somewhere is always better than staying where you are and the smallest steps all add up in the end. This is something your partner can help you with and encourage you. Set goals together and allow them to be part of this journey with you.
Make Plans at Home
If you’re too anxious to go out and do anything there are plenty of things you can do at home! I think 2020 has definitely taught us all that! If you’re able, arrange date nights at home. You can:
– Cook together
– Have a movie night
– Have a games night
– Go camping in the garden
– Build a fort
– Have a cocktail making session
There are so many more options of things you can do at home together as a couple. And although you will want to start the process of getting outside more, this is a good place to start in order to keep your relationship alive if you’re currently too anxious to do anything.
Allow Them Their Own Time and Space
Look, everyone in a relationship should be doing this anyway, but if you’re the person who’s too anxious to go anywhere and do anything – like I was – it’s important that you allow your partner the time and space to go out and do things.
They have needs too. And going out with friends, exercising in the park or going out for dinner might be important to them. Remember that and don’t get bitter or disappointed if they need to go out or spend time outside.
I know it will be hard to stomach at first. You may feel a lot of anger or guilt or maybe even sadness that they’re going out without you. But they’re in this relationship too and it’s important to recognise that. Relationships can be hard at the best of times. And with an added mental illness on top of it, it can seem almost impossible at times. But it is possible to manage your relationship and keep it alive whilst you recover or heal.