Dating Someone with Anxiety – the other half to ‘The Anxious Blonde’

I’ve been dating “The Anxious Blonde” for just over 10 months now and believe me it’s had its ups and downs as most relationships do. Dating this girl has changed me and how I see people with anxiety and other mental health issues.
First off, before I met this wonderful girl I never took people with anxiety seriously. I thought they were just attention seeking people that had issues with coping with every day problems and situations. I had also never dealt with someone that had anxiety and to be completely honest I tried to steer clear of them because they to me were trouble. 
I like to consider myself a very laid back person, unless I have to talk to random people on the phone (I hate talking on the phone) then I hit the panic button. But I really have a laid back persona, I never make plans until last minute and when things don’t go to plan I just laugh it off and get on with it.
Now, to the bit about dating a girl with anxiety. It’s not easy, but I guess any good girlfriend isn’t easy really haha. But honestly to date someone with anxiety takes some serious patience and I thank my younger siblings for teaching me patience. It takes a fair bit of understanding and a tonne of reassurance. 

Dating a girl with anxiety is like taking a nervous puppy for a walk… sometimes it’s an absolute disaster, and most of the time you both absolutely love it and have a great time. We’ve had more great times than bad, actually it’s rare that we ever have a bad time.

But when she does have anxiety attacks It’s my job to be there for her and to support her through it. The main thing is to reassure her and to make her feel like everything is going to be okay. I remember one night on our Gold Coast holiday (it was dope) we were going to this really cool cocktail bar and just before we left she had a wardrobe malfunction and couldn’t wear the intended outfit for the night. Now to me it was nothing, to her it was the end of the world. All she kept saying was “I’m not dressed pretty enough, people are going to look at me and judge me”. But being the trooper she is, we still went to that cocktail bar. I could tell when we got there that she wasn’t enjoying herself, there were all these people in nice outfits and she felt like she didn’t fit in(I thought she looked stunning, she always does) but she still tried to enjoy it for my sake but she just couldn’t deal with it. So we left and went to some quiet old Irish pub and she was a lot more comfortable there. Now it’s easy as that, yes it sucked leaving those delicious cocktails behind but there is always next time, the fact that she was now enjoying herself made it well worth it. 

Now as her previous blog had a lot to do with me and how she thinks that I’m going to dump her for reasons made up in her head. I realise with her that she is a sensitive person and it’s true if I do give her a different tone of voice she hits the panic button and starts stressing out. The main thing is to be reassuring and to think about how you say things, some slight banter to you may mean something completely different to her so I guess I just try and tread lightly and not hit any triggers haha. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is, dating this girl is definitely a challenge sometimes but it is the most rewarding challenge I’ve ever dealt with. The last 10 months has taught me so much about anxiety and how to deal with people that have it and that it is a real thing. I can’t wait to see what the future holds. 

Over and out

The non anxious boyfriend 

Anxiety & Dating

So anxiety sucks, obviously. But I haven’t really talked about how it effects the people around me, for example my boyfriend. God that boy needs a medal for putting up with me! I mean my family does too but they don’t really have a choice they’re stuck to me like a barnacle. 

Have you seen that meme? The ‘are you dating me cause you like me or as a friend?’ That’s me in a nutshell. Everything is amazing, and then I might notice a small twitch in my boyfriend’s mouth which will send my mind off in a whirl ‘was that a frown? I think it was, well if he’s frowning he’s unhappy. He must want to dump me, oh God I’m going to die alone’ and so on and so forth. It sounds absolutely mental right? Yep it is and I’ll be the first to admit it. I used to hear friends talk about the same thing before I was partnered up and I would think dead set get a grip how stupid, why don’t they worry about something worthwhile like dying? And here I am, spoke too soon! 

Most men don’t stay with women they’re not interested in, and logically I know mine wouldn’t, but there’s just something in my brain that can detect the slightest change of tone in his voice and imagine it’s all about to be over red rover. Ironically though, the thing that would be likely to end a perfectly normal functioning relationship would be the annoyance of your significant other constantly questioning if you still love them! 

Unfortunately for me (and my boyfriend) anxiety doesn’t entertain logic, but I have heard many people say ‘if she isn’t crazy she doesn’t love you.’

My 5 favourite Apps for coping with Mental Health

How often throughout the day are you giving your thumbs a work out on your phone? I personally spend countless hours on Facebook, watching Snapchat stories, scrolling through Instagram and googling random shit. Spending excess time on our phones is usually perceived as a negative activity, and yes comparing my life to insta famous girls with perfect bodies who never seem to work a day in their life is pretty depressing at times but there are actually some pretty amazing apps out there! 

Below I’ve composed a list in no particular order of my favourite apps for when I need to switch off (so to speak) and check in with my mental health. If you have any apps that you swear by for coping with anxiety or any other mental illness, comment down below and leave a suggestion!

1. What’s Up? 

This app uses CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy for those of you who have never seen a psych before) and ACT (acceptance commitment therapy) methods to help you cope with Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Stress and other issues. It comes with a positive and negative thought tracker, tools to put your problems in perspective and games to distract you from the heat of the moment when panic strikes. It also has forums, inspirational quotes and coping mechanisms for negative thoughts. 

The great thing about What’s Up? is that you can use it just about anywhere, it’s free and allows you to basically have a pocket sized shrink on hand at all times!

2. Smiling Mind 


If you haven’t yet heard of smiling mind allow me to introduce you to this modern meditation app. This little app has been developed by psychologists and educators to help bring balance to people’s lives. 

The program is designed to assist people dealing with the pressure, stress and challenges of daily life. I tend to use this app just before bed, the meditation consists of  short little sessions of around 4 minutes and ranging up to extended meditation sessions of 30 minutes. 

3. Ballz 

More of a game than a mental health app but this bad boy is the king of distraction for me! Basically you shoot the ball to destroy the coloured tiles so they don’t reach the bottom of the screen. Maybe I’m not explaining it very well but seriously, this app is amazing for distraction. I play this during my breaks at work, on the bus, laying in bed when I should be sleeping. I find myself so distracted by shooting those pesky tiles that I couldn’t possibly be worried about dying! 

4. Stop, Breathe & Think


Stop, Breathe & Think is an award winning meditation and mindfulness app that helps you find peace and relaxation anywhere. Find a quiet space and for just a few minutes allow this app to help you develop skills to learn to relax. 

5. 7 Minute Workout 

It wouldn’t be right to not add an app that focuses on physical health, because let’s me honest when you feel good physically you feel good mentally. Also available on Apple Watch, Seven is an app that provides you with mini 7 minute (who’d have guessed that?) work outs. 

I use this app first thing in the morning, it’s perfect for people who don’t have a whole lot of time before work to hit the gym but still want to fit in a quick active session to start the day! 

So there you have it, my favourite apps for when I need to take a few minutes out of my day to calm down and take a break from the world. Try out at least one of these apps and see it if has a positive effect on you too! 

Thoughts 

Every so often my anxiety chills out. Wild right? I can be riddled with thoughts of impending doom and then a few days later wake up and think ‘hey I haven’t worried myself sick for at least a week.’ I have no reasoning for it, maybe my meds are doing me a favour or it’s that spring is here and how can anyone not be feeling the positive vibes while the flowers are starting to blossom and the weather is warming up? Maybe it’s that instead of thinking I’m about to kick the bucket the thought that beach season is on the way and maybe I shouldn’t have spent all winter bingeing on KFC is too distracting to fit anything else in my mind! 

But seriously, it’s amazing hence no blogging in a while. Of course I’ve still been stressing about a few things – climate change is my latest fear – but the thing about my anxiety is I’m very safety in numbers based. Climate change is something that’s going to effect everyone so I think oh well we’re all in this together but getting scratched by a squirrel on vacation in New York and ending up with rabies is something that would leave me on my death bed alone (that’s a story for another time.)

When I’m not busy with my anxiety like as of late it leaves me to ponder the more important things in life. Like 5 year plans and consolidating my superannuation. I wonder if this is what it’s like to be normal? Do other people just cruise around focusing on reaching their goals because they don’t have to spend 80% of their waking hours inserting their symptoms into webmd? 

So what about goals hey? Has anyone noticed that successful people always either A. Thank God or B. Bang on about the power of positive thinking and putting your dreams out into the universe. I haven’t read The Secret, but I get the gist of it; power of positive thinking and letting the universe know what you want and eventually it will happen. Obviously there has to be some sort of work involved, I mean I want a Mercedes G-Class but I don’t think the universe is going to just drop it off on my door step after a few weeks of wishing and being really good. So how does it work? Maybe if I actually read The Secret I’d know but I was too lazy. I picture myself with a sports illustrated model type of body every night before bed but so far the universe hasn’t done that for me (revert back to my previous statement about the winter long KFC binge.) 

How does one person even stick to one set of goals? My mind changes every week. Sometimes I’d like to be filthy rich on a yacht draped in designer wear, other days I’d consider ‘rich’ as having a cute little country cottage and running my own little corner cafe. And then you have to find someone with similar goals to spend your life with, or compromise somewhat. I think it’s so easy for people to think that it’s soo much effort or financially risky to chase their dreams. Heck I have so many ideas that I would love to follow through with and become and entrepreneur, but those negative thoughts hold me back. I’m definitely a dreamer and I saw a quote by the late Hugh Hefner that read ‘Life is too short to be living someone else’s dream’ that really struck a chord with me. It made me want to quit my job on the spot and stop working for the man. Of course a few extra years working for a big corporation saving some cash is probably a better idea than quitting right now and ending up living on the streets haha! 

So that’s it, I’m giving myself 3 years to have saved some cash behind me and change my life for the better. Quit my job working for the man and do something that truly makes me happy. That’s pretty drastic I’ll admit but I’m an extremist, I’m not the type of person to have my wings clipped working for a large corporation that calls the shots on my life. But you don’t need to quit your job to be happy, little things like planning biannual over seas vacations, volunteering at an animal shelter if that’s what you want or even getting that irresponsible dream car that your wife is going to try to make you return. This life isn’t a practice run and we should all give ourselves the opportunity to live our best life. What steps are you going to take to ensure you live your best life and chase your dreams? 

9-5

Now I’m not depressed in any way, in fact I love life so much that I never want to die, ever – hence the anxiety. There’s a thousand things I want to do, places I want to see and millions of dogs throughout the world that I feel compelled to save so I don’t want to go anytime soon! 

However, the thing that does get me down is work. Most people hate their jobs right? Or do they? I was raised that you get a job and then you keep it and then that’s it. Not that I wasn’t taught to chase my dreams but they definitely weren’t the number one priority; stability and practicality were.

 The solution for being unhappy in your job is easy right? Quit and get a new one that makes you happy, sounds easier said then done. 

Now I’m not going to sit here and say what I do, nor what company I work for – I’d be out of a job by tomorrow! But I definitely work for the man and I hate it! I’m a dreamer, I have so many ideas for my own businesses and hate the idea of working in a job as a robot doing mind numbing work that is only making someone else A LOT of money. Why can’t that be me? Like I said I’ve got some great ideas, I’m a dreamer, I’m definitely not the kind of person who’s cut out to work 9-5 in an office. So is it my upbringing that tells me to stay in my sensible and secure job where I may in a few years get a promotion and afford to live comfortably until retirement or is it anxiety? 

Is it just human nature when it comes to these things to listen to the ‘what if’ inside our heads and drag ourselves to the Monday – Friday grind or am I just using my anxiety as the perfect excuse to stay safe? I do it in other aspects of my life, food that’s hit the ground, water sports and rollercoasters are examples where I use my mental health to avoid those situations. But is it really my anxiety or am I just being a wuss? 

For example a few years ago it was my hearts desire to be a jilaroo. Ridiculous right? For someone as materialistic as I am moving to the middle of no where for a very poorly paid job seems mad but it was what I was convinced was my calling. I’d search for jobs online but never apply. Eventually I told myself to ‘be realistic’ and ended my searched for farm hand jobs for good. After a 5 year stint at a very secure job was coming to an end I started to consider backpacking or even Au Pair work overseas. People leave their jobs and do that every day so why couldn’t I? Nope, I convinced myself that I was getting older and I should really get a plan up and running for my future. 

Spoiler alert, I still don’t have a plan. I may as well have done my gap year and mustered a few cattle to get it out of my system because 5 years later here I am morbidly unsatisfied with my current job and nothing to show for it. I live paycheck to paycheck because I convince myself that as a result of working in a job that makes me miserable I deserve to ‘treat myself.’ Turns out it’s not a treat if you do it every day. It’s actually called spending beyond your means. 

So what’s the deal? If what going off my collegues comments at work seem to be the norm then no one really loves their job – well apart from those handfull of social medial stars who seem to get paid for just being attractive. Do you suck it up and spend as much of your spare time on hobbies, travel and surrounding yourself with those you’re close to? Or do you take a gamble, risk your savings (or lack thereof) and secure job you have already in the hopes of becoming a successful entrepreneur and making it on your own without contributing to any evil corporations on the way? 

Alcohol and Anxiety

Obviously we all know alcohol is a depressant and yes you probably shouldn’t drink alcohol while on anti depressants but if you ask me the only thing more depressing than having anxiety is being told you can’t rip the scab off a cold one and get lit with your pals. 

Disclaimer; luckily for me when I drink it doesn’t effect me too much, obviously apart from the usual getting drunk, telling people your life story and spending the next day feeling sorry for yourself while nursing a hangover and an extra large maccas Coke that is. 

The shitty thing I do get though is the shakes. I sound like an addict now haha but it’s true. The next day I feel shaky and guilty. Really really GUILTY. Is this an anxious thing or does everyone get like this? I know personally I never get like this when my anxiety is at bay. But when my anxiety isn’t under control I spend the whole of the next day panicking and racking my brains to remember every detail of the night before so I can ensure I didn’t embarrass myself. Who cares if you did you might think, everyone embarrasses themselves out on the turps right? Yep 100% but for some reason I think it’s the biggest deal and spend the next few days wondering if everyone hates me and asking those I spent the night with if I did anything embarrassing. 

Does anyone else get this? I’ve seen memes saying ‘the worst thing about drinking is spending the next year wondering if everyone hates you’ (thank god it’s not just me) but is it an anxious thing or just normal? None of my other friends feel this way, and what’s even crazier is 99% of time I couldn’t care less about what other people think. I’ve realised as I get older I very rarely get embarrassed so why when I’m hungover can’t I just laugh about the night before instead of being riddled with guilt the whole next day?

You may be thinking, just don’t drink! Don’t be ridiculous, that would be un-Australian and just plain boring. I can have loads of fun without alcohol but there’s just something different about relaxing with an Espresso Martini after a long week or lounging pool side with a crisp cold apple cider 🤤

Curious to find out if it was just me I did a bit of internet research and ended up on a forum for people with mental health issues. Turns out it’s 100% normal for others with anxiety. Thank god! But still, shitty for ya’ll out there feeling the same way after an epic night out. So now that I’ve seen it happens to others (basically I see this as a big green light to go ahead and keep drinking on the weekends) how can I combat the guilt the next day?! 

Yesterday was Sunday and having gone out the night before I spent the good part of the morning worrying over my morning cuppa what I did the night before that may have been embarrassing, what did I say to my boyfriend when I harassed him with a drunken phone call at midnight? And did I send any silly texts to any of my friends? I’d had a good night, sure I probably let a few things slip that I wouldn’t when sober but why should this mean I need to spend the whole next day at panic stations telling myself I’m never going to go and have a big night ever again?! So I took to nature for a bush walk with my sister. She walks that fast I could barely breathe in my hungover state, when I finally caught up it felt rejuvenating I was out in scenic bushland with nothing but the sound of birds and the trees blowing in the breeze, how could I possibly feel anxious? Turns out getting out of the house and exercising is good for your mental health! Who’d have thought?! 

That evening I even found my normal pre bed ‘am I going to die in my sleep’ was non existent. Fact of the matter is I was bloody exhausted. I could barely stay awake let alone make up terminal illnesses in my head. Even today I still feel fresh and stress free as I think about my relaxing day yesterday and where I can get out to this coming weekend. So next time you’re feeling like me laying on the couch binge watching Netflix hungover and nursing a bucket of KFC and a Coke try getting on some active wear and sweating it out. Go somewhere you wouldn’t normally and get outside and exercise. I guarantee it’s going to work, if you’re like me and if you do it right you should be knackered and instead of feeling guilty about the alcohol induced embarrassment from the night before you’ll be too busy thinking when did I get this unfit? And instead of thinking you’re never drinking alcohol again you’ll probably be too busy thinking gee maybe I should cut back on the KFC?! 

OCD

Before I actually had OCD I always thought it was just something that really clean people had and that maybe my sister had it because she always spends a lot of time cleaning – turns out she just has poor time management and it takes her forever to finish a task haha.

It first started when I moved out of home for the first time and lived on my own, I had a gas stove top which we didn’t have at home and of course all it took was one quick thought of ‘what if I accidentally left the gas on and gassed myself to sleep?’ to make me get out of bed and check it was turned off. I checked it was off and back to sleep I went, obviously I woke up the next day healthy and well which reinforced the idea that if I checked it last night and I’m fine, I better do it tonight too to make sure that I’ll be fine. Thus the routine began.

I started to build on from just the gas and moved onto electrical appliances and power points too. Before I’d go to bed or leave the house I’d have to check all appliances were turned off and unplugged from the electrical socket. I don’t know what I expect will to happen, maybe if I leave my phone charger plugged in the wall it will spontaneously combust and burn my apartment down? What’s even more illogical is that I would ensure everything in the house unplugged apart from the TV and fridge. Apparently my mind figured that was okay, but everything else has to be turned off.

From there I graduated onto before I left my car ensuring the car was in park, the hand break is up and the lights (both interior and exterior) were off. I could never get one of those fancy new cars where you walk away from it and the lights turn off automatically! I then after locking the car, near pull the door handle off making sure that the door is actually locked by trying to open it. A bit of a strange experience for first time riders in my car I must say.

All of this slowly came together to all be incorporated into my routine. It probably took the space of a few months for all these things to become a regular part of my life. It doesn’t sound that bad in writing, and I guess there’s no real harm in doing a quick once over to make sure things are turned off and secure but it’s actually quite time consuming. After a while one check didn’t satisfy me, I’d get in bed and think ‘did I really check the gas though?’ I knew I did but there was constantly this niggling feeling in my mind that wouldn’t go away until I checked again. And again, and again. It would take me half an hour just to leave the house. Who cares if the appliances did combust and the house burned down? There’s no one else at home so no one would get hurt… but I just have to check!

A few years later I moved from an apartment to a house. I was all by myself in a three bedroom home, 4 hours from any family and not living in the best area. My checking really took a turn for the worst when my house was broken into while I was away for Christmas. They took; my sheesha which I used solely for the purpose of sitting my TV arial on to get better reception, my backpack (who steals a backpack?!!!) and my hair straightener. Apart from the sheesha for my tv reception I wasn’t worried about my stolen goods but I felt so exposed. A bad person had come into my home and violated my safe place. I began checking things like a mad person before bed. All the doors, the windows, the garage, even under the beds and inside the cupboards for hidden perpetrators waiting to strike when I was sleeping. That was an exhausting time of my life, constantly checking over and over again to believe that I was safe in my own home.

I’ve since moved back home and have the pressure lifted of checking things like power points. There’s no gas cooking appliances, and as for the perimeter check to keep out criminals I have the trust that my mum would have already followed out those tasks for me. Logically I know my mum isn’t checking under beds for the boogie man, but just having other people in the house is such a load off my chest! When I’m home alone it’s a different story, I’ve even added to my routine to make sure the gate is definitely closed so the dog doesn’t get out. I’ve even thought about getting a padlock for the gate so I know the dog will 100% be safe but I know the family would call me mad and insist I put a stop to that sort of nonsense. Leaving the house takes me a good 15 minutes when I’m home alone and has even resulted in me missing the bus for work.

Honestly I don’t really know how to combat my OCD, my meds don’t seem to make much difference to it and I feel like the things that help anxiety like exercise etc don’t really help combat it either. My hands are so dry from washing them all the time and it drives me insane that I make myself check my alarm 3 times in a particular order. Thankfully though the OCD is not (in my case) as bad as the anxiety, it’s annoying and time consuming but it’s not terrifying like the anxious thoughts. Sometimes I man up and force myself to leave the house without checking the candles are blown out (I’ve not lit one in weeks but I’ve still gotta check) and while from the walk from the front door to my car I feel sick with worry by the time I leave my driveway I feel exhilarated and think oh well I’ve left now it’ll be right, but that’s an absolute rarity.

My main aim is to be able to leave the house without a second thought but perhaps the old keys, phone, wallet check. I imagine the luxury of going to bed without even entertaining the idea of being gassed in my sleep would be amazing. I’m chasing that boring feeling of normality, so if you too suffer from OCD, comment below how you cope, or what you’ve done to combat those pesky compulsive behaviours.