“They don’t love ME, they love the IDEA of me.”

What it’s like to “date” when you have depression and anxiety.

Dating and meeting new people, is quite possibly one of the most terrifying yet frustrating things to do when you suffer with depression and/or anxiety (or any mental illness for that matter). For me, there’s this voice inside my head telling me “Go! Have fun! You deserve it! You need some fun in your life, what have you got to lose?” This is my favourite part of my brain because it reminds me of the young, carefree girl I once used to be, before self doubt and paranoia took me hostage and my body started playing host to my “ugly sister”. She is the destroyer; the paranoid and the self destructive part of me that constantly makes me feel totally worthless and incapable of any kind of love. And it breaks my heart every time, because I am reminded of the scared little girl I will probably always be; the girl who can’t let anyone too close, in fear of being abandoned.

I wish I could say it wasn’t always like this but I would be lying. I can’t for the life of me remember a time I felt safe, I felt sure of the “love” that surrounded me and the love that I [rarely] gave to myself. I have always felt like it’s some big joke that I was never “in on”. I never got the memo. I convince myself that nobody actually loves me, or even likes me for that matter. They simply tolerate me. They deal with me. My entire life feels like a lie and it’s torture. My body is there and my face is smiling, whilst my brain is conjuring up this elaborate story that everyone is literally out to get me. They pretend to like me. But in my own fucked up reality, they are here to tear down my walls, make me open myself up to them, to one day (quite possibly in the near future) turn around and laugh in my face. No I’m not making this up, and yes this is oh so very real for me.

Every time I open myself up to someone, every time I take a risk and go on a “date”, or let someone see the “real” me… it is absolute and utter torture, because inevitably, I will self sabotage everything I did or said, make that person HATE me and all because I would rather hurt them, than them be the one to hurt me. Because I just couldn’t bare it… couldn’t deal with it. At the end of the day I also honestly believe I am doing them a favour (which I obviously am) because who the fuck would want to know me, let alone love me anyway? I am broken. I am scarred. I try to tell this to people I meet all the time but they don’t seem to believe me. I tell them point blank that “I’m crazy” and they shrug and laugh it off like it’s some hilarious joke I have just made. No its not a joke. I genuinely feel this way and to me, it’s very fucking real.

Ironically, there is nothing more I want than for someone to love me and understand me. I wish there was some “magic wand” that I could wave to make all these incessant thoughts and feelings go away, that something would wipe this horrendous internal monologue clean from my brain, but unfortunately there is no such thing. SO until the day comes that there is a “miracle cure” for my stupid brain, I will undoubtedly push people away, regardless of who they are or what their “intentions” are, because that’s just the detrimental part of me I have unfortunately become accustomed to. And if you don’t like it? Well, get used to it because that’s just who I am. And it’s not like I didn’t fucking warn you anyway.

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