Dear Future Husband, Here’s What You Should Know About My Life With Mental Illness
Dear Future Husband,
Whoever you are, whoever you will be, there are some things you should know about me.
I’m not the person I seem to be on the outside. I have different faces, different personalities, different voices. There’s not just me. I have to deal with so much more than “just me.”
My life can be really good, and I can be really happy. I can laugh, love, dance, sing and do whatever happy people do in their lives. I can be like that. I can really mean it like that. Sometimes, I can fake it really well. It just depends on which “me” is there.
There is the me I once was, the happy child, a funny girl. You would love her. She’s great, very fair, a dancer, a singer. I really would love to keep her, but she’s more gone than really here. I’ve lost her somehow.
I can’t even tell how it happened. I miss her. I try to be her again. It’s not possible because there are so many more I have to deal with.
The me who is just empty. You can talk to her and she won’t answer. I’m sorry about that. I may hear your voice. I may see you talking, but in that moment, it doesn’t mean anything to me.
There are no feelings left in me. I stare to the wall. I’m not really here. I’m anywhere but here. I forget how to feel anything, just emptiness is left inside. I stop existing. I really want to tell you how you could help me to get out of that, but I can´t. I simply don’t know how.
The angry one, who is angry about anything, my life, myself, my future, my past, my present and even you. There’s a short-circuit in my brain. I can’t think straight. I can’t tell you anymore what’s wrong and what’s right. I maybe even shout at you. I’m so sorry about that. I hate myself because of it.
The depressed one, for it, everything gets dark, empty, lonely and sad. I know you are there. There for me. I want to tell you that, but in this moment, it just doesn’t matter. I’m not able to tell you how I really feel because there’s just too much I feel. Depression is not just sadness. It’s a mix of so many different feelings, I can hardly handle them.
The anxiety. Oh those fears! Irrational? Yes. Maybe. Definitely. But I can’t turn them off. I care too much. I think too much. I fear too much. Sometimes it’s just a word, a voice, a thought, a view. Anything can turn on my fear. I will tell you like, “I will fail. I’m not worth it. I’m stupid. I’m dumb. I’m a wreck.” I will tell you to go to someone better because I’m simply not worthy to stay with. Please, don’t go. I need you.
Maybe I can’t tell you how much I need you, but I definitely do, more than you even can imagine!
I work on it so hard! I learn to breathe. I learn to control me. I learn not to break. I learn to think about solutions not problems. I work on this every day and every night. Sometimes I’m really good at it and sometimes I’m not.
Sometimes, I fail in controlling me. I fail to breathe. I break down. I can see nothing but problems. No solutions anywhere. I know that’s difficult to handle. For you and for me, I know it’s hard, but I just can’t assert I am fighting my hardest.
I want you to know mental illness is not weakness, and it’s not a choice. I don’t want to be like that. Do you think I would choose this way to live, if I really had a choice?
I don’t have a bad day. I don’t have a phase. I’m not mad, not crazy, not stupid. I’m ill. And it won’t help me just to “get out in the sun,” “hear some children laughing” or “just go out and be happy!” Those things won’t make the illness go away. There’s much more to do.
And oh, I know I’m complicated. It’s not easy to be with me. I know that, but it makes it just worse if you tell it to me over and over again. I know it. I work on it. I work on myself day and night.
There’s something more you need to know. I am not my illness. It does not define me. I’m so much more than my depression and my anxiety. Most of the times, I can’t see it myself, but I am a warrior, a fighter. I have to fight against myself every day, and I survived.
I survived myself in a time, I didn’t wanted to live anymore. I am a survivor. I have strength and courage and those things are what define me, not my mental illness. There is so much more than this. I know it’s hard to understand, but it’s even harder to explain it, believe me.
To help me, you just have to care. Please tell me I’m not as terrible as I think I am, not such the failure I feel am. If I’m not able to love myself, which will be often, show me you love me, that I am worth it.
I maybe can’t show you how you help me. I maybe can’t tell you how thankful I am, but I am. This alone will help me to get through it. I need my friends around me to get through this crazy thing called life. I’m thankful for every one of them and you. I hope you know that.
So dear future husband, I hope you can love me the way I am. Because this is just the way I am. I can’t be different. I tried to be a different person my whole life. I wore a mask for a lot of years, faked a show, but that’s simply not me.
I’m tired of faking and masking. I’m tired of being a different person. So I choose to be me. I am what I am. You have to deal with it like I have to deal with your little craziness. Let’s be honest, we all have our mistakes. To say it in the Cheshire Cat’s words, “We are all mad here.” I bet she’s right about that. We all have to deal with our problems.
So let’s start to see mental illness for what it is, an illness. Let’s end stigma. Let’s love each other the way we are. Let’s stop faking everything. Let’s start to be real.
Your future wife
This post originally appeared on Impression of Dreams.