Last week was mental health awareness week so I decided to write up a post about something I’ve struggled with and that is relationships. I’ve written this post hoping that people will be able to relate and not feel alone. It’s so important that we start speaking up about mental health instead of sweeping it under the mat. This blog has always been a space where I’ve spoken about my experiences and it feels so fab to get feedback and other people sharing their stories or relating to mine. A while ago I wrote a post about living and growing up on a council estate (read here) and the feedback was just amazing. It inspired me to write more about my personal experiences and how I’ve dealt with them.
So, we’ve all experienced heartbreak at some point in our life or even some of you may be going through it right now. The type of heartbreak that shatters you into 15427648274 pieces and you’re trying your best to put yourself back together but none of the pieces seem to fit. The type of heartbreak that leaves you crying for weeks, months, years! The type of heartbreak that makes you feel so many emotions you feel numb. The type of heartbreak that makes you feel like it’s the end of the world and that you will never find love again. I know this is starting to sound like the start of a rom com film but we’ve all been there! I’m glad to say I’m not in that misery anymore and this is why I’m wanting to share my whole experience with it (but pls feel free to still send chocolates, ice cream and flowers my way pls).
I think having anxiety made my heartbreak experience feel more intense. There may be a few reasons for that, 1. anxiety was partly what ‘ruined’ my relationship 2. I had a hard time dealing with rejection 3. The heartbreak fed my anxiety. My emotions just became a messy storm and It was really difficult for me to go outside the house without having a panic attack or the fear of seeing my ex. I had all these horrible thoughts in my head that just never seemed to stop! ‘why am I like this?’ ‘why can’t I just be a normal person?’ ‘it’s all my fault’ ‘if only I didn’t worry about stupid things’ yeah you get it.. Anyway it all got a little bit too much for me and I took a lot off time of college and became ill. I then started going out partying a lot and seeing other guys, sometimes because I genuinely liked their company, other times because I hated being alone. I needed that comfort and that is completely normal to go through with heartbreak with anxiety or not. However, since being 15 and experiencing my first ever relationship I always had this need to feel wanted, I know now that it stemmed from losing my mum at a young age. I always felt like I needed that someone to be there when I needed them because I didn’t really have that growing up. This became a problem in my last relationship. When my ex would go on tour I would have a real hard time with separation anxiety. For the first few days I would try my best to be as positive as I could and most of the time I was but then the littlest of things would get me so upset and blow everything out of proportion, I’m 100% not putting all the blame on me, even though I did when I was going through the heartbreak. Relationships work both ways and we all have our flaws and insecurities. Yeah he could have tried harder but I also don’t but the blame on him either. He wasn’t easy at times and he never really understood my anxiety but that’s ok. It’s so hard for the other person to understand anxiety when they have never experienced it themselves and if anyone reading this has a partner who struggles with anxiety/depression just please try to remember it’s not who we are or who we want to be, It’s our funny little brains trying to play tricks on us. Our brains become wired in a different way and it’s a horrible cycle of worry that is so hard to escape but it can be done with the right help, so hang in there!
Deep down we both knew it wasn’t working and that my anxiety was a big part of it but we kept going waaaaay past the sell by date until the can of beans was a can of rust. I wasn’t getting any help with my anxiety and I wouldn’t dare leave him due to the fact I loved his bones but also due to the fact I was honestly so terrified of being lonely. I was so reliant on him for my happiness that nothing else seemed to matter anymore. My anxiety just gradually got worse. I wouldn’t get a job, I wouldn’t start my blog, I wasn’t seeing my friends and I was taking more and more days off college. Some days I used to think ‘I love this boy too much I’m becoming a burden’ but I realised anxiety was a big part of that too. I got into a rut and I was needing his reassurance a lot. Sometimes I wouldn’t even speak to him about my anxiety if we had fallen out because of the fear of him judging or not understanding me.
After crying for what felt like a lifetime, listening to Tame Impala – Currents album on repeat, constantly asking my loved ones ‘when will this feeling end!!!???’ and them always replying with ‘It takes time!’ (so cliché but so true), endlessly checking up on his social media and trying everything to contact him (I even emailed my ex! yep. I can allow myself to laugh at this now LOL) One day I just woke up and something clicked. I wasn’t over him but I had this urge to get my arse off the couch and actually eat some breakfast and get shit done. I had an urge to help myself. Things got gradually better from there! Still heartbroken but with less tears, less Instagram stalking, and a very slowly but happier Starr. There were many times of bumping into my ex with me saying the ‘I’m doing just fine!’ malarkey when in reality I was dying inside but it did motivated me to better myself.
BUT hey, I want to thank my anxiety and heartbreak so much! THANKYOU ANXIETY AND HEARTBREAK! you really fucking ruined me but you taught me so much I didn’t know about myself. You motivated me to get help with my anxiety, you motivated me to work hard to get into uni. I spent a lot of alone time and got to know myself better, I realised I didn’t have to rely on someone else for my own happiness. I can finally say after 2 years I’m almost content with being on my own and it feels amazing to not make myself go on dates just because I wanted company, it feels amazing to watch a whole Netflix series in one night BY MYSELF and not feel lonely, it feels amazing to do the things I wanted to do but couldn’t when I was in a relationship, it feels amazing to turn down plans I don’t want to do and just grab a book to spend hours in a cafe, it feels amazing to post a bit of skin on Instagram when I’m feeling confident without being called an attention seeker, it feels amazing to go out with the girls without worrying who I’m talking to or what time I get home and finally it feels amazing to do whatever the fuck I want.
Independence is truly amazing.