So this is big one, that I’m probably going to write about several times. Being in a relationship can be really difficult when you have depression or anxiety, especially when your partner doesn’t understand them that well. I guess what this is going to try to be is a guide to help you if you are in a relationship with someone who deals with these monsters. This won’t cover all of the points, and how to handle situations will definitely vary from case to case, but I can tell you what I know to be true for me.
- Please don’t get frustrated or angry with me because I can’t tell you what’s wrong. There are some times that I don’t know, or maybe I’m embarrassed because I know it’s stupid but can’t help it.
- When I do tell you what the problem is, don’t point out how stupid I’m acting. I already know that. No matter how big or small the problem is, I just need your support.
- Understand that you could be the only one I let in. Some people (me being one of them) are very secretive about their monsters. I know this can seem like it’s putting a lot of pressure on you, but you really just need to do what you can and accept that it might not always help.
- Please don’t give up if what you initially try to do doesn’t cheer me up. It’s not going to be an instant change of mood, it’s hard for me to get out of slumps, but it really does help when you’re there for me.
- If my anxiety is what is worse at the moment, then I’m going to question everything about our relationship. I’ll feel like you don’t love me and that you’d be happier without me in your life. When this happens it helps to do things that make me feel extra loved. Tighter hugs, wrapping up in a blanket with me, surprising me with my favorite food; it doesn’t have to be anything big or extravagant, when my anxiety is bad, I notice every little thing.
- Try not to let me go to bed at my lowest point. When I go to bed very upset, I don’t get any sleep and wake up in a worse mood. Try to say something that will make me feel a little better, cuddle me closely or start tickling me and joking around. If we’re not together then send me a goodnight text.
- Don’t tell other people about my monsters. Period. It is not your position to tell others such sensitive information. Even if you think you’re helping me, don’t do it without consulting me fist.
- Don’t badger me into taking medicine. I know you think it will make me better but I have my reasons for not taking it. Just like others have their reasons for taking it. It’s not that I believe taking the medicine is wrong, it’s just something I have personally decided against so please don’t make me feel awful for not choosing to.
- Fighting my monsters will cause me to be very mentally and sometimes physically exhausted. Understand that I might not be up to hang out around other people or be in public and never force me to do so.
- Never make me feel ashamed of my monsters. They are not the best traits I offer but they are a part of who I am, and I can’t change that. The only thing I can do is learn to control them.
The most important thing when dealing with some one who has been fighting with their monsters is to just be supportive. This list will certainly be added to as time passes, including sections relating to long distance relationships.
One of the worst parts of dealing with mental illnesses are the people who don’t understand them. There are a few different types of these people. The cheery, the worriers and the non-believers.
The cheery are those who can’t grasp why you’re so down in the dumps. They’re the people who see the cup half full and don’t understand why you can’t see it that way as well. If they notice that you’re down they just tell you to be happy, cheer up, smile. When that “shockingly” doesn’t work they spout out the phrase “I don’t get why you can’t just be happy”. This phrase is known unfortunately well by those who deal with depression. What the cheery don’t realize is that we would love to “just be happy”. That is exactly what we want, but turning off depression and anxiety is not as easy as just flipping a switch. It takes time and support.
The worriers are the ones who think you can’t be trusted to ever be alone. They think that just because you’re in the middle of an episode, you’re going to kill yourself any second. The worriers aren’t necessarily bad, in some cases they save peoples lives and can be very helpful. What the worriers need to understand is that just because you’re having an episode doesn’t mean that you’re suicidal. Some episodes are significantly worse than others, they have high points and low points. Constantly having them trying to keep watch on you can be very tiresome for someone who is already mentally exhausted.
The non-believers think the whole thing is a sham. They think anyone who says they’re dealing with a mental illness just wants attention. These type of people often like to call out those who say they have problems by calling them weak and needy. They say you should stop trying to get others to feel bad for your “fake illness”, just because they themselves haven’t dealt with such problems. The non-believers need to be more understanding. Saying you don’t believe in mental illnesses just because you don’t have them is just like saying you don’t believe in chicken pox or any other sickness for that matter. Yeah you’ve seen other people with it, but you yourself have never had it so it can’t be real.
If you’re someone who doesn’t suffer from a mental illness, please try not to be one of these people. If someone is suffering try to be understanding of what is going on. I know it’s not the easiest to help someone who needs it, we often shut out those who try to help or sometimes we ourselves don’t know how to explain what kind of help we need. It can be frustrating when you ask someone what’s wrong and they can’t tell you because they themselves don’t know. All I ask is that you be patient, because sometimes we seem like we don’t want help, when that’s desperately what we desire.
It’s not easy living with monsters. I know this a bit too well. Waking up every day, wishing it was already over. Feeling like you’re only a burden to everyone around you. You feel so toxic, that you just pull down anyone who is close to you. Even the people who you do let in don’t understand why you can’t just be happy, they don’t understand what it’s like to have crippling depression or anxiety, let alone both. Starting this blog isn’t really so I can complain about how painful life can be though, it’s so I can explain in my own thoughts and words how imperative these monsters can be to one’s life. Hopefully it will help whoever takes the time to read these posts better understand what so many of us are suffering through.