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The Most Important Thing I Can Tell Someone Who Loves Me and My Mental Illness

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The most important thing I have ever told someone who is learning to love me despite my mental illness is that their love, no matter how powerful, cannot heal me. This harsh reality can be incredibly difficult for them to grasp and is oftentimes the last thing they will want to hear. We all want to believe our love alone can eliminate darkness in the lives of those we care for most but unfortunately, when loving someone with a mental illness, you cannot simply love their sickness away.

Through the years of loving and being loved with a mental illness, I have learned the true impact love can have on the healing mind.

I am beginning to understand I am sick. Your love will not heal me. I’m still that of a broken being, still counting and crying in the dark.

There will always be days when the voice of my sickness will be louder than the voice of my health and your love will not drown out the numbers.

But if there is anything your love has taught me about being here, it’s that I’m not ready to die yet. The sun will rise again and I want to be there to see it.

Your love will not heal me but it can finally teach me how to do the cupid shuffle, and make me pasta and fill this body with laughter again.

Your love will not heal me but it will run me home, will spin me around on an empty dance floor and show me there is so much more to this life than pain.

Your love will not heal me but it will teach everything you know about the solar system and lay your small beating heart next to mine and remind me just how rare and beautiful it is to be alive.

And on the days I cannot find the light, where I find myself surrounded by closed doors, somehow there you are just outside the window daring me to run away with you.

Your love cannot heal me but let it be the streetlight guiding me home, a lighthouse in the distance, a lone rainbow in the clouds.

Your love alone cannot take away the pain that comes with living with a mental illness. Your love will not move the mountain that stands in our way, but it will take the first step and hold my hand while I climb — while I try to heal myself.

And maybe, right now, that is enough.

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Originally published: August 12, 2019
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