Depression and anxiety,  Mental health

On being overly dependent

Recently, I read an article that discusses the differences between overly dependent and overly independent people who suffer from anxiety.

dependence, anxiety, psychology, relationships, abandonment

I am the most needy person I know. I take it personally when I feel like friends are drifting away, and even a minuscule thing like a slow response from my boyfriend to my messages bothers me. As an overly dependent anxiety sufferer, I am in need of constant validation and am hurt when I don’t hear what I want to hear.

The manifestations of my anxiety

As much as I hate to admit it (being someone who, oddly, calls herself a “strong independent woman”), I’m quite dependent on my boyfriend for managing anxiety. I call him in the wee hours of the morning when I feel stressed or sad.
I’m also paranoid – I snooped through his messages once because I was afraid he was cheating. Keep in mind, I didn’t have any hard facts or even a slight suspicion; I just wanted to be sure.

Lately, I haven’t been seeing my friends. My boyfriend says it’s because we’re all living our own lives, thus making it difficult to schedule get-togethers. He says that doesn’t mean we’re not important to one another.

I try to reach out to my friends as often as I can, trying to reassure myself that what my boyfriend says is true. For the most part, it is – we’re all just busy with work and relationships.

Honestly, it sucks to be this way. I hate needing others so much, because to me, it just proves how much of a burden I am to my loved ones. However, self-awareness doesn’t mean shit if I’m not going to do anything about it.

The playbook for managing anxiety as being someone who is overly dependent

  • I will talk to my therapist about it. See if we can come up with a plan for me to manage my symptoms without relying on others too heavily.
  • I will enjoy a life that is my own. That means having a quiet cup of coffee while reading articles on Flipboard, or playing with Pawcard during downtime.
  • I will write, more often and with more passion than before. Maybe this is why I love blogging so much, even if I do it on and off. It’s my thing – something that soothes me when I’m in deep in the ocean of depression and anxiety. It’s all mine; I don’t need my friends or my partner to join me in this.

Of course, when my symptoms are severe, I’ll still need a support system in place. This is me trying to strike a balance between support and independence. Wish me luck!

Ela is a twentysomething who is constantly getting stuck in self-destructive behavior and bouts of low self-esteem. She struggles with depression and writes to relieve herself of her feelings. Sometimes she even blogs about other things like makeup and positivity. One of her pieces was published in the Inquirer Young Blood in October 2017. She likes cats, dogs, and sometimes even people.

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