I’ll be the first one to admit that it’s no where near easy to be in a relationship with me. Many have tried and more often than not, I would cut off ties with them because I could tell they wouldn’t be able to deal with the handful that I actually am. I’m not exactly sure how my current boyfriend has remained determined to make this relationship work with me. I’m sure there have been times where he has wanted to pack up all of his belongings and walk out of the door without a second thought. During my episodes, I can see the frustration, confusion, and complete helplessness in his eyes, however despite all of that, he will hold me tight and promises he will not go anywhere. He promises that I’m not crazy.
Because sometimes (a lot of the time) that’s exactly how I feel… like the crazy girl every guy has tried to avoid. Many times I have heard my friends complain about a girl they started seeing and ended things with strictly because, “she was fucking crazy, man.” During those moments, I would laugh along with the rest of them, all while asking myself, “Is this what guys have thought about me?” Countless times I have found myself on the bathroom floor, head in my hands, knees to my chest, and sobbing uncontrollably. My mind replays the moments I have seriously considered just offing myself because I can’t take the unbearable pain ripping through my chest. I think about the one time I actually tried and failed. I think about how insecure I am on so many levels, and how my emotions are more fickle than the weather.
But the way they describe these “crazy girls” doesn’t sound like me. I never obsessed over the person I was with. I have never forced someone into a relationship with me and came on too strong. I never lingered after a failed attempt at dating a person, trying desperately to make it work. This is how they describe these “crazy girls”, but I feel even crazier than them, yet I have somehow managed to maintain a relationship where the person I’m with would never compare me to the crazy girls he, himself, has dealt with.
Because dealing with depression doesn’t make you crazy. Having anxiety doesn’t make you unstable. Being insecure does not mean you aren’t capable of maintaining trust and love with others. Mental illness does not define who you are as a person. Instead, it becomes a part of you that you just have to learn to manage and control as best as possible. Struggling does not mean you are not worthy of love; it does not mean you will never find someone who will stand by your side and accept you for every part of who you are–the good and the bad.
Depression does not dull the fact that my heart can be filled with utter joy and happiness. It does not mean that I stay in my house for weeks at a time. Depression doesn’t mean that I am constantly crying. It doesn’t mean I am a downer. All it means is that when I feel pain, I feel it deeper than most others do. Depression means that sometimes I don’t want to face the day. Depression means sometimes I need a little push to get through. Depression means the strong person inside of me can’t bring herself out today, but she will be back. Depression means I am struggling. It does not mean I am weak or lesser of a person. My boyfriend knows this. When I go from happy one day, to feeling complete misery the next, he doesn’t sigh in frustration and tell me to get over it. He doesn’t make me feel guilty for not being myself in those moments. He kisses me, looks me in the eyes, tells me he loves me, and can only say he hates seeing me in that state. He tries.
He fights equally as hard as I do, as if this is his battle too. Many times I have looked at him, eyes swollen shut from uncontrollable tears, and told him he deserves better than this. He doesn’t deserve to have to watch me crumble to pieces and pick myself back up over and over. He doesn’t deserve to have my mental illness hurt him. Inside it rips my heart in half at the thought of him leaving, but the look on his face when he feels defeated from not being able to help me hurts even more. He never fails to tell me he’s not giving up.
He researches to figure out what he has to do in order to help me during these times. He asks me what I need, and when I don’t even know, he just sits with me, holds me in his arms, and assures me this won’t last forever. Even when frustration overcomes him, he controls his anger instead of throwing his hands in the air and giving up. He doesn’t see me as damaged. He doesn’t see the cracks all over me from the many times I have had to put myself back together. He doesn’t see this as a struggle. He sees this as a speed bump. He stays confident, even when I am far from. He knows what I’m struggling with isn’t by choice. He knows that if I could wish it all away, I would. He calms me when I begin to make a mountain out of a mole hill. All of this… because he loves me.
Each person deserves to be loved, no matter if your life is in complete order and carefree, or if you struggle each day to maintain a state of balance. You can’t hide who you are. The moment you put the veil over your true self, your wounds, your past, your pain– is the moment you are setting yourself up for a let down. Let people see you for who you are. Own your story because nothing is more unique than something that is your own… something no one else can take away from you. If a person can’t tough it out during the times when you are on the brink of giving up, they will never truly accept you for who you are. And you deserve to be loved in the realest way.