I have a valentine this year. We have been dating for around a half of a year. I had ups and downs throughout our relationship, and so has he, which is normal. I had dealt with my bits of high anxiety and depression that have affected him. He has never dealt with anxiety or depression in his life so at times it can be hard for him to understand what I’m feeling. He still shows up, though, again and again. With my depressive thoughts kicking in, it can be hard to comprehend why. I even remember telling him at the beginning of our relationship, “I feel like there’s something wrong with you because you like me.” I know that’s a sad thing to think about myself, but I sometimes do.
Since the beginning, I have been waiting for him to screw up massively. I wrote about it in a previous post (link here). But he hasn’t. Yeah yeah, there have been fights or bickers, but nothing major. Below are three ways that my Valentine has helped me cope with my anxiety and depression. I have others who have helped me immensely, but this is just to explain my valentine specifically.
1. Showing Up
Most of the times my thoughts are not based on what is actually happening around me. I have catastrophic thinking, filtering, mind reading, overgeneralizing, polarized thinking, fortunate telling, etc. (Duff, 2015). I always think the worst. No matter what. One way he helps over anything is by keep showing up. By him showing up over and over, it helps cement the idea that maybe my negative thinking isn’t real. It’s a hard thing to let go of because I view it as protecting me from getting hurt. But the longer my thoughts don’t come true, the more comfortable I am.
2. Challenging Me
He also challenges me. He doesn’t let me get away with saying or doing stupid shit even when I have high anxiety and depression. He challenges my thinking when I need it challenged. I can get wrapped up in myself and say mean things. He doesn’t just take it. He knows when he needs to make a boundary or when he needs to push through. He does not coddle me when I’m feeling depressed or anxious, but he also doesn’t leave me to hang dry either. Sometimes picking myself up is the best thing for me. Other times I need help. He is not there to solve every problem or fix me. He’s just there for me when I need but also giving me the space to be able to take care of myself as well. At times, when it seems like I forgot, he reminds me of things I enjoy doing that keep me well. It’s refreshing.
3. Being Supportive
Sometimes I feel lost or like a burden. The other day I was feeling depressed and stressed and needed to cry. I was mainly crying because I felt stupid for feeling the way I was feeling. He came and just said how he also feels stressed for the same reason I was. The simple thing he said calmed me down, and I was able to get up and move forward. He reassures me that I don’t have to be happy all the time or feel well all the time. We learn. We move forward. We come up with ideas and boundaries. I never felt not supported by him.
Happy Valentines Day Everyone ❤