This is a reaction to this article.
The romanticization of mental illness is nothing new. It’s all over the internet in poorly written personal essays explaining how to love someone with a mental illness. We are painted as sensitive, tortured souls, who just need someone neurotypical to come along and distract them from the tragic failings of their own brain chemistry.
This particular article details how and why people who suffer from anxiety will love you the way you deserve to be loved:
“People with anxiety are sensitive and old souls. They have so much heart. And they are going to pour all of their energy into this relationship.”
PSA: not all people who suffer from anxiety share the same personality characteristics. We are not all old, sensitive souls. Some of us are Type A control freaks who spend Friday nights knocking back tequila shots. Anxiety is not part of our personality, it’s an illness.
Do not look for someone with anxiety to dedicate everything they are into this relationship. Many people with anxiety do give their all to relationships, and will leave their own well-being by the wayside. Their anxiety will send them scrambling to patch up perceived transgressions. This is not a bonus, this is not a strength, and to take advantage of this and capitalize on this is nothing short of emotional abuse.
The person who wrote this article obviously has no understanding of what an anxiety disorder is really like. It’s not being able to fall asleep because this pervasive feeling of worry, of dread has settled in your stomach, reached up and wrapped itself tight around your lungs, your heart. It’s constantly being exhausted because you can’t sleep, because just being alive has coiled itself into knots that bunch up in your shoulders, your neck. A person who suffers from an anxiety disorder is not some trembling, dreamy-eyed romantic that will use their “broken” pieces to love you harder, love you better.