Hi all, I am a 24 year old male and I spent the last 2 years with quite severe untreated GAD. During this time I had a lot of trouble with my university studies (adding a lot of extra time on to my degree) but I just about managed to make it through with decent grades.
I went on an SSRI in February and since then things have been much better. The crippling anxiety is gone and I am a lot more functional and confident in most areas.
The thing causing me major concern at the moment is a girl who I have been seeing over the last month. This girl and I have history - she used to like me a lot, we lost our virginity together ten years ago and I saw her intermittently over the years after that. Although we never dated we remained close and continued to be attracted to one another. Then when I got hit hard with GAD/depression 2 years ago I didn't feel able to see her, bailed on plans we had and completely lost contact with her.
Then last month she got in touch with my family and ended up meeting up with me. We've seen each other regularly since and it seemed to be going really well. She was flirtatious and obviously interested in me.. She invited me to go on a city break with her abroad at the end of July and I had been thinking that we would spend the period before getting to know each other again before I made my move when we were abroad.
However, it seemed like things were getting a bit intense. She came round on Saturday to go rollerblading (which was embarrassing for me having not skated in years but she found it hilarious) and after skating we went to lie in the sun and I finally asked her what had been going on with her love life.
She told me about two guys she had been into, one was long gone but the other was still around. I asked her if she was seeing anyone now and she said no, telling me that this other guy made her feel good and was a great friend of hers but that she wanted to be more than just a ***** buddy and he didn't. She said she was going to break it off with him as she couldn't be just friends with him, it always ended up being more and she asked me what I thought she should do.
At this point my heart was beating intensely. I was afraid she might be seeing someone and this was confirmation. My response was initially that I didn't want to be put in the position of giving advice (like a gay best friend) but I then elaborated to say that I was biased and had a conflict of interest but thought she should stop talking to him.
Then matters turned to my love life as she asked what had been going down with me. I had been dropping hints about GAD and discussing mental health matters with her over the past month, mainly with reference to the problems our parents have had. Now seemed like the time to be completely honest about my recent past and I told her the truth. That I had been mentally unwell, that this is why I hadn't seen her and that this was also why I hadn't been dating.
I elaborated to explain how the last girl I really liked ended up being a toxic match for me, how it was an inappropriate infatuation on my part and how I didn't like that it felt so intense. I told her how despite normally being quite detached, with this girl I couldn't control it and she was my absolute priority before friends, family and school. I also explained how this girl ended up sleeping with my best friend and how that hit me hard and left me feeling betrayed.
Anyway this was one of the hardest things I've ever done. GAD is the thing that kept me isolated - the sense of shame, the fear of exposing my disturbed self, the fear that people who once liked and respected me would see me as weak and pitiful. I wish I could say that getting it out there brought me relief but actually it has caused my anxiety to spike.
I found myself in the days after relentlessly checking my phone for some kind of feedback and replaying her response to my revelations in my head.
At the time she said "it doesn't change anything" and that she felt privileged that I had told her but since then I get the feeling she has been pulling away.
She isn't initiating contact through texting and has been much slower and a bit more lacklustre in her responses than before. On Sunday I couldn't help but apologise for 'dropping a bomb' and perhaps making her feel a bit awkward but I insisted that despite it being hard to get it out there, I was glad that I had told her and really rated her for being so cool about it. Her response was a simple 'It's fine :) im glad you can speak to me.'
Aside from some intermittent chit-chat I wrote to her again on Monday asking if she was free this week to go bowling or something. She said 'nope i don't think so
'. I know she is busy with work and has an important interview next Wednesday that she wants to prepare for but my mind cannot help but connect her knowing about GAD with her no longer being interested.
Please help me. I don't know how to proceed. Since Monday I haven't contacted her, figuring that I should give her space to think about what she wants and to focus on work etc. The unfortunate thing is that she is pretty busy from now until our trip away so I don't know if I will even see her again before we go.
Thanks a lot for any feedback :)