I want to start by saying that you are the strongest person I know. You are the only one who has seen me at my worst, as well as, at my best. Any person with mental illness will tell you that opening up to someone is the hardest part of finding a support system.
There are a few things I want to tell you, but I am too afraid to tell you in person. First off, I should tell you how afraid I was to become so attached so quickly to you. From the sweaty palms, the stupid conversations I made to get your number, to the hours I spent in my room wondering how I’m going to tell you I love you, its scary. I began thinking about a future with you as we started adventuring together more often, something after college, maybe get a dog together or something that wont poop in the house as much. I wondered why the hell are you so damn important? Am I just being super clingy? It wasn’t until I was gazing at your smile, at Buttermilk Falls as you sat on a bench, that I realized I didn’t feel anything. I didn’t feel anxious, or depressed, worried, or overwhelmed. I felt love and I felt happiness course through my veins, and the feeling was intoxicating. I feel so stupid and juvenile for saying this, but for a few moments, you were my cure. Now when I see you, as I become more fond of your qualities, I don’t feel any pain. To put it in perspective, imagine a headache for two years, pulsating and slowing tearing away your sanity, when all of a sudden, the headache is gone and you can finally enjoy your life, that’s the effect you have on me.
I’m afraid to take medicine because I don’t want to become a shell of the man you fell in love with. I want the goofy, playful, adventurous me to stay, and I’ve been ill for so long, I’ve forgotten what I used to be like. I remember how we discussed that our pasts relationships were ordinary, and that for a relationship to succeed, we need to be extraordinary. I was afraid I would lose that.
You may not understand this, but I’m most afraid not to be anxious. Crazy right? I’m afraid that I will be so relaxed, and so care free that when reality hits, it will tear me apart beyond repair. It’s my OCD that allows me to remember where we sat during our dates, its my anxiety that determines how much I care about you, and its my depression that gives me a clear idea of how much your presence and love really affects me. I’m afraid that one day I’ll be okay with you going out alone, and then I learn that you never came home. I’ll think, if I had just been more cautious, we could have that future that I imagined.
I want to tell you that as much as you love me, I’m afraid that you will tell me that my anxiety cannot sustain this relationship any longer. It’s happened before, and the experience made me cold, unforgiving, and closed to affection. I thought, “who wants to love me?” I no longer want to fear this, and show you simply and only that I’m capable of the highest capacity for love, and that mental illness will not discourage me from getting better.
As I come to face my fears in the upcoming months, I can promise you I wont half-ass my efforts to get better. I can tell you that as much as I don’t want to do certain things, I want to do them more now than ever, just so I can show you what I’m capable of. I will do everything I can to show you the real me. The me that doesn’t worry about you, except out of love. The me that wants to go out with you, not so I can keep an eye on you, but because I love the idea of dancing with you until 2am. The me who can show you that I have so much untapped strength and confidence, that I’ve been afraid to show you for so long.
I want to show you that I am a guy you can spend years with, years full of adventure and excitement, years of surprising each other with gooey-cute ideas on Pinterest, and years where I can look back and see clearly how far we have come.