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A Thank You Letter to My Wife, From Your Husband With a Mental Illness

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To the 20-something girl who took a chance on me with a broken limb and without a job:
Thank you for seeing beyond a missing job title and a temporary physical disability. Thank you for seeing the person I had been, wanted to be and could be again.

To the girlfriend who allowed me to talk openly about a problem I thought I had:
Thank you for being there, listening and understanding. Thank you for seeing it as a real problem; this invisible illness in my head.

To the girlfriend who agreed to marry me, my mental health disorder and all that goes with it:
Thank you for seeing past the negatives and embracing the positives of my muddled up mind. Thank you for making my problem … our problem.

To the wife who picked me up from my lowest low:
Thank you for researching symptoms, medication and therapies. Thank you for finding me the help I needed when I thought nothing could.

To the wife who came to appointments, assessments and held my hand:
Thank you for fighting my cause, for being by my side and believing me. Thank you for accepting it may not be “fixed” or “cured” — just managed.
Thank you for helping me manage it one day at a time.

To the wife who gave birth to our daughter:
Thank you for making me feel good enough that just a small part of me could be passed on to someone new — and that they would be a better person for it.
Thank you for knowing, without hesitation, what type of father I could be.

To the wife who repeatedly reassures me and picks me up – without hesitation:
Thank you for understanding it never lasts and knowing that it will pass.
Thank you too for knowing you may have to do it all again in a few months, weeks or even days.

To the wife who puts her husband’s mental health above her own:
Thank you for being mentally stronger than you’ll ever know.
Thank you for saving my life in ways you can’t imagine.

Thank you,

Your husband

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Unsplash photo via Anne Edgar

Originally published: June 10, 2017
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