Loving Someone with Mental Health Issues: A Letter to My Husband

loving someone with mental health issues

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about love. More specifically, loving someone that has mental health issues. I was going to write a whole post on how to love someone that has anxiety and depression but then I realized I had already written something similar (which you can read here.)  So instead, I’m going to write a blog post, or rather a letter, to my husband. He’s been learning to navigate my mental health issues just as much as I have and acknowledging that your loved ones are often impacted by your issues is pretty important I think!

It can be hard to really show your significant other how you appreciate them for all that they do when it comes to your mental health. So maybe, they’ll appreciate this letter. Without further ado, David, this letter is for you:

Dear David,

Thanks so much for sticking by my side through all the ups and downs of my depression and anxiety. I know it can be frustrating and scary at times. Please know that I appreciate all that you put up with. It’s overwhelming for both of us and very confusing for you. I see the pained expression on your face trying to figure out if it was something you did that caused my anxiety to act up. I watch you trying to come up with a way to fix it for me.

It’s sometimes really difficult to explain how I’m feeling to you knowing that you really can’t understand it. It can be really lonely and isolating. But the times when you just sit next to me and hold my hand, reminding me that although I’m fighting a battle you can’t see, you’re there to fight too. That’s really the best feeling ever!

I know sometimes you may feel angry or sad that I’m not acting like my “normal” self. I know you’ve watched my entire face drain of emotion and go blank when the depression sets in. I’m sure it can be really upsetting. I’m sure I’ve ruined a few dates and even entire weekends thanks to this and for that I’m really sorry. But still you love me and plan another amazing date for us knowing that it could happen again.

You’ve probably secretly Googled “what causes depression and anxiety” hoping to find some answers that may help you understand. Everything you find is probably not all that helpful to you and doesn’t get you any closer to understanding what’s going on inside my mind and body. That’s got to be frustrating for you! When you love someone, you want to do everything you can to make their life better. But for me, sweetheart, you can’t make my mental health issues go away. They’ll probably always be there. But as long as you’re there too, it makes living with it so much easier!

Having said all of that, I want you to know that your support and the time you spend listening to me explain how I feel makes everything so much easier. I feel like no matter what comes of my depression or anxiety that I’ll be able to live! And maybe even thrive! You and I are a good pair. And even though my mental health isn’t top notch, our world together is.

All my love,

Liz

Weddings, Engagements, and Kids… Oh My!

The time has come in most of our young lives where seeing people get engaged and going to their weddingsPlanning_a_wedding isn’t just a nice celebration, its starting to become a norm. This ‘special time’ in our lives revolves not so much around the events themselves but more so around the pressure and internal sighs of seeing a new engagement or wedding and God forbid I say ‘baby’ announcement. For the people who are starting out on this new adventure in life this really is a special time for them and we send our congratulations. No really we do (or at least I do). To the rest of us, we’re having our own special time in this crazy new chapter of life.

Lord help any of us who have been dating someone for over a year because inevitably someone will ask when we’ll get engaged or if he or she is the ‘one’. Believe it or not, it usually takes longer than a year before we can be sure. So relax, just chill like we do.

I can’t get on Facebook or Instagram without a new engagement The_great_gatsbyannouncement or bridal portrait on my newsfeed. By all means friends, I’m glad your lives are happy and you have something to celebrate! However, the rest of us who aren’t quite there yet feel a little, how do I put it, bewildered? It was only a few years ago that we either started college or graduated college and now our beloved friends, roommates, and old pals are growing up so to speak. We’re left wondering where the time went and what the heck has gotten into these people? Just a few years ago we were talking about how we wanted to be young forever and live our 20s like it was an on-going party. Way to jump ship guys.

Nights out on the town with our group of friends are starting to dwindle in numbers between the frequency of nights and the amount of friends. Sooner or later these events will ultimately be replaced by dinner with the in-laws and date night with fiance/spouse. Both can be enjoyable events but sometimes there’s nothing like hanging out with your buddies.

Suddenly our friends are moving out of their coveted lofts/apartments and are thrilled with their new 3 bedroom house in suburbia. The two-door sporty cars they used to drive have been traded in for a four-door something. Our mail boxes are flooded with save-the-dates, we’re expecting announcements, and wedding invites that just don’t seem to stop coming. I literally have a fund set up for these sorts of announcements because its only appropriate to at least send a card.

Laying_by_the_poolThis special time in our lives has become a contemplative period where we just sit and wonder what’s going on and when will everything go back to normal? I’m slowly figuring out that it never will go back to ‘normal.’ Our youthful existence is slowly fading and we, or some of us, are becoming adults. This transition time is difficult and truthfully I don’t know how I’ll handle it. But for now I’m going to sit back in my lawn chair by the pool, sip my pina colada, and flip through Vogue. Why? Because today I still can!

P.S. I’m not jealous, bitter, or hater of love. I’m only a little lost and confused.

~Liz