I don’t why there’s a misconception of weakness of those living with mental illness. They are undergoing a lot obstacles… not just living day by day with their mental health disorders. They are working, they are providing for their families, they are running businesses, they are overcoming tragedy, they are going to school…all the while facing their demons. You do the math…it’s not easy…
A many of time, it is really difficult to connect with people (and it’s been that way since I was a child). There are a lot of people I have always I am going to contact and I just don’t call them. I choke up, I hesitate, I become awkward, silent…you name it I deal with it. Talking to people scares me. So I guess you can say I am self-conscious. The only people I every really talk to is my family and my boyfriend. That’s pretty much it. However, I am trying to branch out. Sometimes…though I think to myself, “How the heck did I manage to get a boyfriend?” Though I guess it’s because he was pursuing me and he really, really cares about me. But then again I guess, it helped that I recognize that I had a keeper. I was in a previous relationship that was wasn’t good and it took me awhile to realize that. Anyways I have stopped talking to him and when so my boyfriend came along it was earlier to truly trust and appreciate him. As much as he was willing to be there for me through my ups and downs, it helped that I was willing to be open and vulnerable with him. And ever since, I have been growing with him as he was with me. I still have my mental illness, it just doesn’t take over when I’m with him.
When living with mental illness it can be hard to be in the present and listen without feeling that others are looking down on you. But next medication and therapy, having a good support group is very, very helpful. It helps you not focus on your illness and help you to have your heart open to someone else.
Below is an infograph by the Mental Health Foundation on how to look for and maintain relationships. Trust me, I need this any more than you do to receive and maintain relationships. So, I guess you can say we’re in this together.