I always want to say sorry.
When someone that you know or love has a mental illness, it can be really hard on both of you. I am well aware of this. I know that my anxiety can make other people stressed, as if it is infectious. Depression is the same – if I am sad and down and full of pessimism then those around me are influenced by that in the same way. Sometimes, all I can think of to say is that I’m sorry.
Often when an individual is affected by a mental illness, they are the ones to receive attention; they are the ones to be pitied. But how often do we, mental illness sufferers, think about the people in our lives who become our rocks when everything else is crumbling to pieces?
Here are some things that I want to say to those around me, who may not understand what I’m going through, but who love me unconditionally in spite of this piece of my mind.
- I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I don’t always make sense, that I can’t always articulate how I’m feeling, how I’ve cancelled our plans and ruined our day, how I am cripplingly insecure, how I push you away, how I can’t understand myself… I’m sorry.
- Thank you – for being there during good times and the bad times.
- You are important too. If you need me, I’ll be here.
- You are so strong – never underestimate yourself.
- I know my thoughts aren’t always logical, you don’t have to tell me that.
- Please be patient with me.
- I’m not crazy.
- Try not to change plans at the last minute.
- Please don’t be angry if I change plans at the last minute.
- It is an illness (It isn’t ‘all in my head’ – refer back to blog post ‘Mental v Physical’ illness).
- Be honest with me.
- Be prepared for what to do if I have a panic attack. It’s not pretty.
- Be prepared for a hundred ‘to-do’ lists.
- TALK to me – this can’t be an elephant in the room.
- Forgive me.
- Research as much as you can about what I’m dealing with.
- Listen to me.
- I love you.
There are a hundred other things that I want to say to you, to ask of you, but this is enough for today. One day at a time, we can get through this. I am so passionate; I am able to feel emotions so incredibly strongly. This means that the bad times are very bad but the good times are amazing. Yes I feel hurt and pain and insecurity and fear but I also feel passion and love and loyalty – these are the emotions that I want to pride myself on and that I want to use as fuel to make us happy.