How I Need You to Love Me as Someone With Mental Illness

I need someone who loves me in my pajamas, the ones I’ve been wearing for three days straight without worrying to take a shower in between. At 2 a.m., when I’m clutching a cup of tea that went cold in my hands because I was too busy thinking to take a sip. At 3 a.m., when I feel like I can conquer the world with a pen and a piece of paper while writing down all the things I’ve forcefully silenced within myself for what feels like ages. At 5 a.m., when I start crumbling down, spent and weary, and I forget to put my writing in a safe place before, inevitably, falling asleep on top of it.

Then, while my body is laying in the realms of bright light but my spirit is resting within pitch darkness, is when I need someone to love me the most. It’s when they’ll notice the cup of stale tea sitting on the nightstand or sometimes the floor, and they’ll wonder, why on Earth does it seem like I’m unable to make a choice and stick to it, even if the choice seems as simple as brewing a cup of tea and drinking it. Only then they’ll see pieces of paper acting like covers on the bed, filled to their very edges with all kinds of words: the nice ones I whisper to my angels on good days and the naughty ones I scream at my demons most days. They’ll want to read whatever thoughts were crowding my mind that night, and they’ll have to learn how to take it with a grain of salt because, if it bothered me enough as to make me put in on paper, it most certainly wasn’t pretty.

When I wake up, both dizzy and dazed because nights are always dark and stormy for me, I hope they can see through the black veil, break through the maze of thorns, defeat the witch and take a look at the captive human hidden behind all of it. I hope they are able to remember that one time last week when I made them laugh and that it brings them to greet me with a smile, and I pray above all that I can smile right back.

I hope they find the strength within them to hold me in their arms even if they know it could turn them to ashes someday. I crave that, in the meantime, they learn to love the fire and flames and develop skin thick enough to keep the burns at bay, but that they also know other days might come when they’ll need to learn how to sail over the waters of an angry ocean. And it is my greatest wish for my lover to stay long enough to find out that the human caught in the middle of those flames, the one stranded at the bottom of that ocean, can also turn fires down and swim afloat. The human that I am, the one vision that probably drew them towards me to begin with, is not gone entirely and it never will. I’m still capable of giving my all, sharing my all, showing my all to anyone brave enough to withstand the times when I am not. And because of it, I’m also able to see humans everywhere around me, even if they’re hidden behind concrete towers or currents of bolting lightning. There is still a human inside all of us.

Unsplash photo via Riccardo Mion

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