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What I Learned About Being in Love While Struggling With a Mental Illness

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Before I laid eyes on my forever, there was a time when I had to face the demons inside my head alone.

There were days when I would spend all my time either sleeping or crying or staring at a wall. The days when I would get so close to ending it all as I sat sobbing on my bedroom floor. I would write letters to my family to explain why — if there was a slight chance they even cared. There were days when I had no one but the voices in my mind.

I wished I had someone to love me and make it all disappear.

My wish did come true. I found my soul mate, but I also got hit with the cold hard truth: it didn’t disappear.

But it did give me a reason to live and it gave me a safe space, a home and care I have craved for so long.

But my mental health has still deteriorated even while being in love. I still have days when I want to die. For me, it gives me guilt of having to break someone’s heart by leaving this world. I fear it would ruin her even though my own mind is ruining me. For me, it’s having to choose between love and my mind and the effects my death would have.

I push her away when all she does is try to understand and help me even when I don’t mean to. It causes lots of arguments and emotional confrontations and moments when we sit and cry together because she can’t “fix” me. I try to break myself but all it’s doing is breaking her.

When I fell in love, it wasn’t just me battling my mental illness anymore. It was also my other half.

I get so wrapped up in my own mind that half of the time I forget she is also being affected by this and she also has emotions just like me. When I get anxious or the sadness suddenly hits me, it turns me into a different person — I go from giggling without a care in the world to barely saying a word.

It hits so bad sometimes that I go numb, have no regard for anyone’s feelings (not even myself) and I become the most heartless person. She asks me why I feel this way and I never have an answer. Or she asks me what it is that I am feeling and most of the time, I do not know.

Being in love while struggling with my mental illness is the most difficult thing I have ever done, but the positives outweigh it all by far.

She is my strength. She is the person who calms me down when I am anxious by stroking my hand. She wipes my tears away as they roll down my cheek. She reassures me and makes me feel like the most beautiful human being in the world — even when I can’t bear to look at myself in the mirror.

She is the one who makes it go away — even for just a moment — when I am in her arms. She is the one who would run to the end of the earth and back for me just to be OK. She is the one who “fixes” me and brings me back when I go to such a dark horrible place. She is the one who always knows the right words to say. She looks at the scars on my body and I know she doesn’t find them ugly like I do, because they are part of me.When I have hurt myself, she fixes it when I can’t even open my eyes. She is the one who encouraged and gave me the strength to seek help and go to the doctor.

It’s a long journey, but I am starting to recover and my future wife has played a vital role.

Thank you for loving me.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Thinkstock photo via juripozzi.

Originally published: June 21, 2017
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