I am not sure if I will share this after writing it out as it delves into some fairly private matters. Many years ago after my suicide attempt, I was diagnosed manic-depressive with extreme depressive tendencies (basically I have depression on top of bi-polar in the easiest to understand sense). Years later my anxiety was thrown into the mix. The one benefit of this is that it helped me to reconnect with a certain relative of mine. We have always had difficulties relating, and this is still a problem for us. However, I can lend her an ear that not a lot of others in our family can, and vice versa. She doesn’t have the same problems as I do, but she suffers a lot and I can talk to her about it in a way that others can’t. I understand that you can’t always fix it, that sometimes you just need to cry, that you can’t always explain why things hurt as badly as they do, etc.

What this brings me to is the fact that she is struggling a lot now. She is having a hard time in her work, and it’s negatively impacting a lot of her life. This also causes her to worry about her relationship with her partner, something many of us with mental illnesses do. Not long ago we were talking and she admitted to just feeling insecure in her relationship, and I told her she needed to reach out to her partner about it. I talked to her about my having to do this with Ben. My having to tell him that I am insecure and need reassurance that despite the fact that I am a mess that we are still alright. I can’t imagine not having this support and not feeling like I could do this. I have every faith in this woman’s partner that he will rise up, but it hurts me to know that she doesn’t even feel like she can talk to him.

While getting all your happiness and support from another person is unhealthy, it is nice to have someone you can count on. I don’t know what I would do without Ben, and I don’t know what I would do without his patience. I have messed up a lot of relationships in my life and continue to do so. If I couldn’t be honest with him and let him know when I needed a bit of reassurance I think I would constantly be a mess. I hope this woman speaks to her partner, and I hope I am not wrong. I imagine he will offer her the same support and love that Ben offers me, but I am very hurt to know that she struggles to even ask for it. I am hurt to know that she has probably felt this way in the past.

From a totally non-professional point of view if you have mental health struggles I would say do not commit to someone that you can’t be open and honest with about those struggles. If you can’t open up and say what you need then there is something that you aren’t getting that we all fundamentally need. Hell, this probably goes beyond relationships where one (or both) partners struggle with mental health. I know how I felt in the past when I couldn’t go to my partner and ask for support, love, and reassurance. I know what it feels like, that there are people in my life I can’t do that with now. I don’t know that I would still be here, still made it over my recent dark spots if I couldn’t go to Ben.

Please find someone that loves you, supports you, and that you can be honest with. And please be that for the people in your life as well.

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