In less than ten days I will be in London meeting the love of my life…and his family and friends.
As I’ve publicly spoken about before, I’ve lived with depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) for the past 12 years. No pill or psychologist has ever had any type of impact on my mental state. Instead I’ve learned to cope and exist to the best of my ability, ever mindful of the fact that these are things I’ll have to manage for the rest of my life.
Unfortunately, GAD doesn’t take days off and certainly isn’t on it’s best behavior when you’ve got big life events on the horizon. And this isn’t to say I’m not immensely excited for the week I get to spend with him and the things I’ll get to see. But unfortunately there is a great deal of stress this brings me also:
- Is he going to love me as much in person? Duh, but there’s always a chance he finds my puffy morning panda eyes scary or my snoring unbearable.
- Are his parents going to like me? This is my first real relationship. My experience meeting a significant other’s parents is ZERO. Do I shake their hands? High five? Wave awkwardly? Fist bump? THERE’S SO MANY OPTIONS! And it makes me cringe having to talk about myself since I’m not that interesting. All in all, I feel like they’re just going to walk away feeling like I’m not good enough for their son.
- Are his friends going to like me? Not only do I have to impress the parents, but the best friends. Luckily I’ve spoken to them here and there online so that lessens the nerves, but all in all as we all know a computer or phone screen is a safe place to hide behind. It’s when I’m presented with real life social situations things can go south. What if they take my silence caused by my heart beat and mind racing like a hamster on a wheel trying to power the perfect things to say and coming up short, for being a lame bitch. And more so, not only for his friends but also for my friends that I’ll meet while I’m there, what if I don’t live up to any expectations they’ve created in their heads? What if I’m not as “cool” or “inspiring” as they’ve imagined me in their heads?
Is the plane even going to make it there and back? I have a really terrible fear of flying. From here to New York? Yeah, I can bear it. From here to London…over the Atlantic Ocean…with no places to make emergency landings? That’s got me thinking about my own mortality A LOT lately and I don’t appreciate it.
And there’s maaaaany other things, but as you can see my mind is a scary, complicated, frazzled place to be at the moment…and pretty much every other moment of every day. Dating is hard, but it’s especially trying when you’re trying to manage a long distance relationship and mental illness and not let them negatively affect one another.
It’s difficult, but it’s not impossible, and I think in spite of my fears it’s going to be so worth it.