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

5 Things to do This Valentine’s Besides Going to a Restaurant

non traditional valentine's day date ideas

Every Valentine’s Day David and I wonder what we should do. Do we go out to eat and blow a lot of money on the pre-selected Valentine’s Dinner menu (which is always super expensive!) or do we stay in and pretend that there aren’t pink and red hearts everywhere? Decisions, decisions. While I still have no idea what we’ll be doing this year, I do have a few non-traditional Valentine’s Date ideas for you!

Go spend an evening with elderly

Have you ever seen an older man or woman sitting alone at a restaurant? I remember a story going viral of a man who was in a restaurant booth eating dinner next to a picture of his late wife. *Tears*. How sad! If you’re struggling to find something to do, visit a nursing or veteran’s home. Sit and chat with people, hear their incredible stories, and make their day brighter.

Go take care of animals

Ugh I can’t stand to see a sad animal! Even a bird! Take some time Valentine’s Day to volunteer at a shelter with your significant other and feed, cuddle, and love on some precious critters. They need to feel the love too!

Cook a meal together

Last Valentine’s Day, David cooked fettuccine Alfredo- the dish he made for our first date. I just love that man. It was nice to just share a meal and relax. Team up with your love and make a few dishes together! Settle in with a movie and enjoy each other’s company.

Go wine tasting

Yes, I know its February and cold. While vineyards may not be open, wineries sometimes are! When David and I lived in Kansas City, we were monthly members of Coopers Hawk Winery. Every month we’d get sent two bottle of wine and could go into their tasting room and do a wine tasting. It was always so much fun and learned a lot about how wine is made, where it comes from etc.

Spend the evening planning for the future

I love dreaming about the future with David. Sometimes when its warm outside, we sit on our back patio and just talk about things we want to do, what our plans are, and just enjoy each other’s company. Its so simple, but so great to do together!

Proof Love is Found When You Least Expect It

valentines photo shoot

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Since it’s the one holiday that celebrates love and all the mushy-gushy stuff, I figured today was the perfect day to share the crazy story that is how I met my boyfriend, David! Seriously, it’s one for the books. You know how they say you’ll meet ‘the one’ when you least expect it, I can now attest to how true that can be. Love finds you when you aren’t looking for it.

enchanted rock texas

About a month prior to our meeting, we had both been hired for an 8 month contract by a data analytics company in Virginia to be part of their 2015 data analytics team. The position required both of us and the rest of our team to spend a month in Fairfax training on a new data software. For David, it was a little leap of faith because he lived all the way down in Texas. For me, it was a short drive up the road from my home in Maryland. Nonetheless, we both agreed to take the job and a month later we started our training with our colleagues. It’s rather cliche, but never did I think for a minute that I’d meet the love of my life there.

mount vernon tour

I still remember the first time I saw David. He was tall, wearing cowboy boots, had better hair than me, and had a really sweet smile. He was one of those guys that made everyone feel comfortable together. It was pretty easy for him to notice me though, I was the only girl in the room! As the month went on, we got to know each other better, had many study sessions together, and shared many laughs . It wasn’t until the very last day of our month-long training that I realized how much I liked this handsome guy from Texas. And how much I’d miss him when he went back home.

crazy love stories

Shortly after David drove back to San Antonio, we began texting a little here and there to just chat and keep up with one another. Those text messages got increasingly flirty and eventually, David asked if he could come see me back in Maryland. Being more interested in flying to Texas, somewhere I’d never been, I told him that I’d go and visit him. Thinking that I was just trying to put him off or avoid any such visit, he didn’t persist. A week later, I booked a ticket to San Antonio.

When I landed in the Austin airport, we shared our very first kiss! It was like a scene straight from a Humphrey Bogart movie! How romantic, right? That week we spent together I still consider one of the best in my life. On one of my last nights there, David asked me to be his girlfriend. I said yes, obviously. Soon after I went home, he had lunch with his sister where he confided in her that someday he was going to marry me. How romantic is that? Seriously, it still makes me swoon!

Over the next few months we flew back and forth seeing each other for weeks at a time. In January 2016, we both got permanent jobs in the same city. Our long distance relationship was finally over. This June will mark 2 years together! In that time we’ve dealt with the loss of jobs, the stress of moving around, the happiness of adopting a kitty cat, and learned to understand and adapt to each other’s mannerisms. On this Valentine’s Day, you’ll find this Dallas blogger counting her blessings in finding such a wonderful guy to share my life with. I sincerely adore my David.

dallas fashion blogger

 

Galentine’s Day Gifts for Friends

galentines day ideas

Oh my goodness, Valentine’s Day is only a week away and I’m so excited! I love love love this special day not because I like to eat pounds of chocolate (but I do), mostly because I absolutely adore the color pink and giving little gifts to my girl friends. I’m usually a pretty creative person and my favorite things to pick out are themed gifts. For this blog post, I came up with three gifts you’ll love to give to your gal pals!

Coffee themed gift

I’m a coffee lover and anyone who gets me a cute mug is automatically my favorite person. Coffee isn’t just something you sip at your desk, it’s a ritual in many cultures, something to be savored. I can totally get on board with that! My coffee ritual would include a little journaling and a delicious smelling candle like the cute pineapple one above!

Mani-Pedi gift

Who doesn’t love a fresh manicure every once in awhile? Painting nails can be really relaxing for some people including me, that is until I end up screwing them up by smudging an almost dry nail. Such is life, right? This bright red Essie nail polish is perfect for Valentine’s Day. Include a little nail kit and some hand cream and you have an adorable Galentine’s gift!

Baking lover’s gift

Some people just really love to bake. I wish I were one of those people. Unfortunately, I’m more of the ‘place and bake’ cookie kind of gal. For the special friend in your life who loves to throw on an apron, cookie cutters and sprinkles make the best gifts! And can we talk about how cute that dish towel is? It goes so perfectly with the whole theme!

If you find yourself going to a Galentine’s day party, don’t show up empty handed! Create a thoughtful gift that any gal pal would be excited to receive. Enjoy!

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Valentine’s Day for Her

valentines gift ideas

Only a few more weeks until Valentine’s Day! Most of us girls get excited for this special day (unless you’re my mom who’s too practical for all of it.) I wrote this post specifically for you gals to share with your guys. It serves as a little “guidance” for them so they have a few ideas of what Valentine’s gift to get you. We all love the flowers and chocolate that’s a traditional part of the season, but in recent years men, including my boyfriend, have upped the ante a little.

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Last Year, David got me a really cute Kate Spade bag for Valentine’s Day and then took me out to dinner! While not every guy is going to want to put down the cash for a designer hand bag, he knows I’m a fashion blogger and that Kate Spade is my favorite brand ever. In my gift guide, I’ve included gift ideas in a variety of price ranges for however big your Valentine’s Day will be!¬†Remember to send your man the link to your favorite item!

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