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To the One Who Loves Me With My Mental Illness

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I want to say thank you for loving me.

I know there are days when it can’t be easy. It must be hard to watch the one you love suffer from a faceless pain. It must be lonely at times because so often I’m not present.

Thank you for never yelling at my irrational rants. Thank you for understanding that when I get upset after forgetting to take out meat for supper, it’s not just about dinner. Thank you for seeing that in my mind it’s confirmation I’m a failure at everything I do. Thank you for not accepting that. Thank you for telling me for the 1000th time how great you think I am.

I’m sorry for all the times I asked not to be touched. Thank you for seeing I was just overwhelmed by thoughts beyond my control — and that it’s not that I don’t love you.

Thank you for teaching me unconditional love. Thank you for hearing me when I scream and learning to speak “my language.” Thank you for sacrificing things that are important to you when I don’t want to be alone. Thank you for coming in and washing the dishes without saying a word. Thank you for seeing the panic in my eyes as we enter a crowded event and walking behind me so it’s you brushing against me — not a stranger. Thank you for taking my phone away and making me rest when it’s obvious I’m not going to do it on my own. Thank you for reminding me to eat and sleep and enjoy the moment. Thank you for never making me explain my thoughts. Thank you for just accepting when I say, “I just can’t.” Thank you for making mistakes and letting me know everyone makes them.

Thank you for being you and most of all, thank you for letting me be me.

Thank you for the warm, safe place in which to be broken.

Thank you for loving the scars and showing me what it means to be grateful for every one of them.

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Originally published: December 2, 2015
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