It’s scary when you’re about to tell someone you’re dating that you have a mental illness.
“Can you pass the bread?”
“Um, ya… and.. I have depression!!!”
Awkward! Just kidding. But it is funny to find that “right” time to be like, “Surprise!” Well- maybe don’t start with surprise… Anyway- in the past I was apologetic when I told serious boyfriends about it. I shared that I had to take medication but said I didn’t want to (then I didn’t realize that I HAVE to) and if they said ignorant things about mental illness later I tried to agree and follow their lame advice (BAD idea) Always follow your doctors advice, even over Prince Charming! (Had boyfriends encourage me to go off meds, that mental illnesses weren’t real.. UGH!)
BUT once I made peace with the mental illness and found an amazing psychiatrist that made me realize I was STRONG for staying with treatment, NOT weak and that depression was not a character flaw but an illness, I presented “the talk” differently to the last few people I was in relationships with. I was like, “I have this- I have to take medication- it’s not a big deal – this is who I am.”
I had to love myself first, mental illness and all… I had to be like, “Hey- I have so many other wonderful qualities – someone would be lucky to be with me- depression (anxiety, OCD) and all. Take me or leave me!”
Your lovie dovie is NOT your therapist, psychiatrist, best friend etc. They are your lovie dovie! Yes, you can be honest, share and lean on them about certain things but you can’t always be The Leaning Tower of Pisa. You need to be the Eiffel Tower. You need to let them be The Leaning Tower of Pisa sometimes!
If you feel unlovable because of your mental illness, try to make a list of wonderful qualities you can bring to a relationship. You deserve love. You are worthy! What can you bring to a relationship?
Also, I believe everything has two sides. I think I bring more compassion, sensitivity, passion, joy, care, strength, and creativity to my relationship because of the mental illness. The mental illness gives me MORE to bring to the relationship! Such different thinking then when I was a little chick.
Imagine the person you’d like to be with. What qualities do they have? Now try to have those qualities yourself! It will help attract the kind of person you are looking for.
Happy endings! I’m engaged to the love of my life, my best friend, my soulmate… We’ve been together four years and it’s easy peasy lemon squeezy! When I told him about the depression and anxiety he was like, “Ok! Wanna have pasta tonight?” (Boys- always thinking about food! JK) He didn’t really say that exactly- He was just compassionate and listened but also was like, “Ok, well, I love you so.. whatever!” Love is bigger than ANYTHING. Love wins! 🙂
Love is on its way to you! Believe it. Say the affirmations, “A wonderful partner is on their way to me.” “I deserve love and care.” A book that helped me believe that is, “Meeting Your Half Orange” (not affiliated with them- just love the book)
Are you in a relationship? Do you want to be? It’s also OK to be alone, too! (sometimes better) It’s also so important to be strong and content on your own and not look for a partner to “fix” things. In relationships it’s important to be independent and have friends and a vibrant community in your life as well! The relationship will flourish more if you are flourishing independently!
Although Disney movies may tell us differently, there are so many sources of joy in this life besides romantic love. We can have a full, joyful complete life without a relationship as well!
Those are the thoughts for today. Yes, you are super lovable. Yes, it gets better. So. Much. Better.
Big love, Rachel