Tuesday 14 July 2015

Breathe In, Breathe Out

A long distance relationship isn’t the most ideal scenario for someone who suffers with anxiety or gets easily worked up and/or worried by the smallest things. I’ve had a lot of experience with this in the last three and a half years. Being a person that has had to deal with bullies throughout most of her life, I found it difficult to understand that I would ever be able to find someone who would love me for me. Especially since the target for a bully is to make you feel worthless. The bullies from primary and secondary school succeeded with that and to this day I still find it incomprehensible that I have someone in my life who loves me unconditionally and who doesn’t care what other people think of me because he feels differently and more positive about me than I have felt about myself.

One of my biggest fears is (or used to be quite often) that I’m not the amazing person Davy thinks I am. That this so-called “amazing Jane” of his is just the surface and that there is something much, much worse deep inside. In the three or so years we’ve been a couple, he has seen many sides to me. He has seen the goofy side of me, the passionate (and prepared to do anything for the love of my life) one, the insecure and worried about everything working out side, the book nerd, the stubborn side and the I’m not taking any bullshit side. And yet I still get terrified that one day he will be fed up of my constant mood switches and want to be with someone else. I even ask him “what if you decide you would rather have someone who doesn’t get anxious as easily?” and he ALWAYS, and I mean literally ALWAYS reassures me that there is no one else he’d rather be with no matter the distance between us or what has been said or done, that at the end of the day he would choose me every single time. And I am so grateful to have him as mine, and to be his.

The distance hasn’t made it easy for us, to always be so open with each other. At the beginning of our relationship, we were so naive about things. We knew we wanted to make it work, to last forever (as every young or old couple does at the beginning) and that the distance would be easy to overcome if we just went with the flow. But as most things in life, we learn that it’s not quite as easy as that. We stopped communicating as a couple early on and we forgot to be as considerate towards each other, many of our calls would turn to awkward or tense quietnesses, unsure of what was going through the other person’s head. In that first year, we discovered a lot about navigating a real relationship and the key to continuing the strong bond you started out (as friends) with is to keep communicating. It’s taken us a few years to get back on the level of communication we had before we were a couple, and still we have tense moments - all relationships do - but we know we can get through anything if just tell each other as soon as we can. Whether we do this through weekly love notes (through email), WhatsApp or Skype or writing it down in a journal, we have to make sure it gets out of our heads as soon as possible. Allowing the fear to fester and to actually seep into my thought train is probably one of the most painful mental experiences a person can go through. Being in love is scary but also a beautiful thing, and if you allow the fear to control the outcome of your relationship or your life you will never feel happy, fulfilled or satisfied with anything you do.

Regardless of your fears, you have to communicate your thoughts and feelings to each other. Your significant other can’t read your mind and definitely can’t feel the same feelings as your body is projecting when you feel scared. Even when you’re both scared of being apart, or closing the distance, you have to let it out because keeping something inside for so long will eventually drive you to resenting each other. You’ll resent the other for not reading your mind (when no one can, unless you know you connect that shit up to a machine that has that ability but hey, I don’t think that’s been invented yet?) and you’ll definitely resent the fact that you feel uncomfortable opening up to them. So before it gets to that point, I really do recommend you open up to each other as much as you can. You don’t have to always have the tissue boxes close and tears running down your face to count as opening up to each other, but even when the smallest doubts or fears start crawling in, you need to release them out in the most calmest way possible.

Fear is one of the most manipulative emotions out there. It can make you feel worthless to the point you don’t want to carry on living, it can drive you to making bad mistakes and worst of all - it can make it seem like everything is so much more terrible than it really is. But trust me, as long as you breathe in and out, slowly, and you can be honest to yourself and your partner, fear can be conquered. And one day you will finally be happy with the person you are and who you are becoming. Don’t allow your fears to force you to miss out on all the good parts of being a human!

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