Anxiety disorders are incredibly common. In fact, more than one in six American adults suffer from them, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). And many of these people experience social fears that affect their love lives.
One common symptom of anxiety disorders is paranoia that a partner is going to leave them, even if that partner has shown no signs of being unhappy in a relationship. These fears can not only result in emotional trauma, but also physical reactions such as a racing heart or heavy breathing.
As a result, it can be difficult to be in a relationship with someone who suffers from anxiety. For instance, they might be prone to starting arguments. And if anxiety is mistaken for jealousy, this can also make put a strain on relationships.
People who suffer from anxiety issues are often well aware of these problems. Often, they don’t want to project their mental health issues onto a prospective partner, so they push them away before that person has even had the chance to accept them.
Of course, there are plenty of people who will love you regardless of your anxieties. So never feel that any mental health issues you have should prevent you from having a happy love life.
And this was the message that Callie Davis wanted to share on Facebook in 2017. She had found a man, Chris Briggs, who accepted her for who she was and wanted to tell others to accept nothing less.
Davis began her post with a quote from Thought Catalog that read: “Someone with anxiety is inclined to assume everyone is going to leave. The truth is they battle something they can’t control, and there is a sense of insecurity within themselves when it comes to relationships.” She then encouraged readers to find someone who can deal with that.
Davis closed the post with an image of a short text exchange between herself and Briggs. Alongside it, she added the comment: “You may have anxiety, but anxiety doesn’t have you”. However, it’s unlikely that Davis had any idea how popular her sentiments would become. To date, the post has been shared over 230,000 times and attracted 68,000 comments.
Indeed, Davis’ post clearly struck a chord with a great many people. And some of the comments left beneath it consisted of Facebook users thanking their own significant others for being a part of their lives. Their words demonstrated that people who suffer with anxiety can certainly still find love.
And this fact filled Davis with happiness. “This illness can have you in a room full of people yet feeling terribly alone,” she told Good Housekeeping. “Knowing nearly 140,000 people can relate really opened my eyes. No matter how alone we feel, we really aren’t. I hope this truly raises some awareness.”
The post also included a link to a YouTube video that Briggs had made about dealing with anxiety. “It’s not something you can just turn off and turn on,” he said. “You feel like you’re trying to figure everything out and you just can’t. You start thinking about little things, they grow roots in your head and turn into big things.”
“Just know that every day is a new day,” Briggs continued. “I try not to let it get the best of me on all my days, but sometimes it definitely does happen.” As well as hundreds of thousands of views, the video has attracted hundreds of comments, many of which have been thoroughly supportive.
In fact, Briggs has built a YouTube channel where he often speaks about anxiety, as well as cars and fitness. In April 2018 he uploaded a video about anxiety in the gym, in which he said, “That’s the kind of awkwardness of going to a public gym. You worry about how long it takes you, you have to worry about what you wear.”
Sadly, though, Davis’ original post about anxiety attracted a lot of negative comments from people as well as positive ones. Thankfully, Briggs and Davis were able to see the funny side of this trolling. Indeed, they even made a video in which they read out their favorite disparaging comments.
Many of the comments in question suggested that it isn’t remarkable for a boyfriend to send supportive texts to his girlfriend. Briggs pointed out that it was Davis’ post about living with anxiety that was supposed to attract attention, not the four-word text message included in the accompanying image.
Moreover, Davis and Briggs remain a couple to this day. She regularly uses Facebook to express gratitude for her family and her boyfriend. Indeed, a supportive network of friends and family is clearly a great tool to help fight the effects of anxiety.
The couple also bought a house together in 2018. “We’re pretty excited, it’s been very overwhelming and very stressful,” Briggs said in a YouTube video. “There’s a lot of hard work involved with everything you do in life, especially if you want the most out of it.”
What’s more, Davis gave birth to their daughter on May 9, 2018. And this date already held quite some significance for Davis and her family, as it was the anniversary of her brother’s death. A few days before the birth, in fact, Davis had described a dream that she’d had. In it, her brother had told Davis the date of her baby’s arrival.
In the dream, her brother had apparently revealed that the date of her daughter’s birth would be 9 May, the anniversary of his death. And he had also said that this meant the family would no longer have to be sad on this date any more. Well, the heartwarming premonition turned out to be true.
The story of Callie Davis, Chris Briggs and their family shows that true love can conquer all. It’s an inspiring example for the estimated 40 million adults across the United States who suffer from some sort of anxiety disorder.