I can’t imagine what it must feel like to love or live with someone who suffers from mental illness, especially when they themselves don’t suffer.
From my point of view, as a sufferer, it’s already difficult enough. The day to day things can become extremely trying. I hear the things I say and see the things I do and I question everything about who I am. Right now is especially hard. I have touched on the fact that my medication isn’t working properly in a previous post. So right now I am overthinking, anxious and constantly having mood swings. It’s hard enough on me, so what about the people around me?
It’s one of those things where I understand why people leave. Why they don’t want to stay. Why it becomes all too overwhelming. All too much. Yet I also have to remind myself that if someone loves you, they’ll stick by your side. Love isn’t just about the ups. Love includes the downs. I am very much so on a downswing.
Recognizing a down swing is important. However, just because I recognize this does not mean that I can control or fix every aspect of what I am going through. Recognizing this allows me to help myself find coping mechanisms. Allows me to ease the pain a bit.
So when a person you’re dating doesn’t have a mental illness, how do they cope? How do they find relief when you’re being all too difficult? How do they deal with the fact that you’re on an emotional roller coaster and you’re dragging them along for the ride?
Mental illness is a huge amount of baggage to take on. To carry, even. It brings on a lot of stress, worry, and doubt. It’s hard to see those that you love walk away because they couldn’t cope with your baggage. The loss of someone because of your mental illness is one of the most painful losses. Mental illness is something that will be with me for the rest of my life, and to see someone walk away because of something I have little control over is extremely tolling. I can take meds, I can go to therapy. These things all help, and they help a great deal, but the illness doesn’t just go away. With time new ways to manage it are learned, and it does get better, but it will always remain. Bad days will happen. Breakdowns will still occur.
One thing that I think is important is the education of mental illness. Educating the person you’re with can help a great deal. I have come to realize that even after some educating a lot of people still don’t understand it. That’s okay, but putting in the effort to learn is something I find very important. That’s why I appreciate every single person that takes the time to read this blog. I’m hoping to give a little insight as to how mental illness works and affects us on a day to day basis. And maybe, just maybe I can help someone along the way. I want whoever I am with, whoever I marry, to read these things. Or at least do a little research. Learn why I am this way. Learn about the chemical imbalances. Learn how to help. For me, personally, helping me is as simple as just being there listening. Telling me it’s going to be okay. Helping me is caring enough to learn about why my mind works the way it does. Learning my triggers. Listening instead of just hearing what I have to say. I know that it seems like a lot to ask for of someone. I know that someone out there is willing to do those things. To put in that sort of effort.
Overall, I am not a difficult person to love. I am very understanding, patient. I am caring and loving. Kind and sweet. Overall a very happy person. Except in times like these. Times where my mood balancer is no longer working for me. It’s a devastating time for me. It’s devastating because my meds aren’t working and I haven’t felt these mood swings in over a year. Devastating because I see it pushing people away. Devastating because there isn’t much I can do but wait until my appointment to alter my medications. Knowing what normal felt like makes this all the more painful. I am more aware than ever of the things I am doing and saying that aren’t normal, or acceptable. I am more than aware of my negative feelings. Some of them are easier to curb because they are gradual and I can prepare myself. Some of them I don’t realize are happening until after the fact. This is what makes it so hard.
I just want my normal, healthy self back. I want my relationship to be successful, but only if he’s willing to stick by my side, good times or bad. I want to be happy again. Granted, I am not sitting here depressed all day every day. More so it’s a rise in the frequency of my anxiety bouts and attacks. For me, there is a distinct difference between anxiety attacks and panic attacks. Anxiety attacks for me feel like a thousand bricks on my chest, slowed breathing and extreme feelings of nausea. Panic attacks for me is hyperventilating for a few minutes and feeling like I might pass out. Last night I had several anxiety attacks. I couldn’t sleep. I thought I was going to throw up all night. My relationship is in limbo. And there isn’t a damn thing I can do. It is no longer in my hands. I explained myself and my feelings, so all I can do is wait. I have been a person that always has felt like waiting isn’t fair. Mostly because my anxiety will be heightened until I know for certain what is going to happen.
I hate every waking second of this. As crappy is this is to say, sleep is my relief, my comfort right now. It is the only time that my mind is not racing with a million thoughts. The only time my nausea dissipates. I know that things will be okay in the long run, but for the time being I am trapped in my own personal hell. July 11th is my next opportunity to escape this hell. That is the day I go in for a reevaluation of my medication. I cannot wait for that day to come. It can’t come soon enough.
I only ask that people bare with me for the time being. The weeks will be short and I will be better. I know that these feelings and this behavior isn’t permanent. The convincing others that that is true is the hard part.
I try to tell myself that what’s meant to happen will happen. Those that stick by my side in this difficult time are the people I know truly care, and are the people I truly want by my side above anyone else.
So to those that stick with me, support me and show patience, know that it means the world to me, and I love you all.