What Was Different With This Love When I Told Him About My Depression
When you’re in love, it’s bliss. You see the world with rose-colored glasses. The sky seems bluer, the grass greener. You can’t help but walk around with a silly grin and life seems perfect.
On the other hand, when you’re in love, but you have depression, it can be a fearful time. Anxiety can be at an all-time high. The racing thoughts are a constant companion. Will he accept me in spite of my depression? Will he be like the others, and leave when I tell him of my struggles? Will this love finally be the one that lasts?
It’s difficult to let yourself trust when you have depression. That can be said of anyone, but for someone who’s been rejected or shamed by someone they care about just because of their illness, that fear is magnified. Some people don’t understand mental illness, or they may be quick to judge since it’s something they haven’t experienced. As a result, we can be constantly on guard and afraid to let others know what we’re experiencing.
Then there is the question of when to tell a love interest that you struggle with depression. Sadness is part of the human experience — something that everyone understands. But clinical depression is more than just sadness. The prospect of telling someone about your darkest moments can be very scary. In my past relationships, I have struggled with finding the right time to open up and disclose my illness. Since some don’t see depression as an illness, but instead as a weakness, they may not understand. And that may end the relationship.
I was lucky enough to find love with someone who doesn’t struggle with depression, but is willing to walk that road with me. I won’t lie — telling him was scary. But his response was, “We will deal with whatever comes along — together.” That acceptance means the world to me. It means that I can be myself.
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Thinkstock photo via ChrisGorgio