Imagine being told you’re not able to be loved because you’re mentally ill. You might then think “What kind of concept is this?”, but it happens! As someone who struggles with a mental illness daily, this saddens me. I have seen many people feeling insecure about “love” because of their state of mind. They think they’re not good enough or don’t deserve someone’s love, or someone else doesn’t deserve their love. You beat yourself up emotionally saying you’re not good enough for someone, or anyone. But, let me tell you this, someone out there does want and deserves your love.
Loving me can be difficult sometimes when my mental illness acts up, but I can still love. I am not my mental illness. It’s only a part of me and I have to live with my whole self and other people can learn to live with me as I am too. Maybe I can’t do as much as others, but I always try. I do my best and that’s what I can give. I can prove that I am able to love and do things if you give me a chance without judging me. I was often afraid that people would look at me differently because of my illness or wouldn’t take me seriously as I always seem to “have it together”. Just because we know how to cope with our illness doesn’t mean we don’t suffer from one.
Communication is very important. It’s difficult explaining your mental illness to someone who knows nothing about it. But, it’s the first step to building a relationship with anyone. Let someone you trust know about your illness and try to explain things. If they don’t understand right away, that’s okay. Ask them to do a little research and tell them about a few of your experiences. This might help them understand and be aware of how things are.
If you know someone who is mentally ill, give them a chance. Give them time and let them prove themselves. Let them prove that they are able to love. Time is a precious and fragile word for us who have an illness. A sudden change or rush doesn’t help. Loving a mentally ill person may take time and be difficult. There will be ups and downs in your relationship or friendship. But don’t take it personally. If a friend or family member is struggling with an illness, make them feel loved. Be there for them. Just a small act of kindness makes them feel loved.