Red and Blue: Being in Love While Having Depression

Hello, my wonderfully weird readers. Let me first issue my standard apology for being blog-silent much longer than expected. I truly get such joy from writing each and every entry, and yet it seems like I’m taking more and more time to do so.

Summer so far in Ox has dragged on like it usually does. In a city that lives and dies by university term time, you can guess that summer here is for the tourists while those of us who live here tend to make ourselves scarce.

tourists
Image Courtesy of http://misanthropica.com/2011/05/i-hate-tourists/

As for me, life is rolling along. I actually managed to PASS my first-year submissions which left me both stunned and elated. And as such, I have been giving new meaning to the term VACATION these past couple of months!

The biggest development, however, is that I’m currently dating someone who thus far does not appear to have any sociopathic/serial killing tendencies. Go figure!

We’ve been seeing each other a few months now, and, as you may have guessed from the title of this entry, I am completely in love with him (ewwwwww!!!!!)

love gross
Image Courtesy of https://heathersjoy.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/muchoamore/

While this may seem fast given our relatively short dating time (btw I don’t care), we have already shared so much and gone through a good amount of shit in this brief period that to say we know each other pretty well is an understatement.

And I can honestly say, I’ve never been happier.

But that is also the dilemma I’m experiencing and of which this blog is the result. Despite that I am now me and in love, I am still me.

And that me is still someone who struggles daily with depression and anxiety.

depression anxiety
Image Courtesy of https://www.theodysseyonline.com/what-its-like-living-with-depression-and-anxiety

Now at first glance it may seem like being in love with someone who also loves you back is the cure-all for these problems. And trust me, everyday I get to be with him I am better for it.

But, in fact, some days it almost seems the opposite. The more I love, the harder I fall when the symptoms of my disease creep back in. They’re almost more intense, more strong because I know how happy I am with my life right now.

So as a reaction, I come down on myself even harder, wondering why, why can’t I just shut my fucking head up and be happy.

This in turn sends my anxiety and my already overactive, over-analytic mind into overdrive trying to pick apart every detail of every day we’ve ever spent together in an effort to either instill permanent “normality” or to convince myself that what we have isn’t real at all but just wishful thinking on my part.

overanalyze
Image Courtesy of http://weheartit.com/entry/26822640

And the worst part is that he’s here to watch every moment of it. I’m already painfully aware of just how crazy I can be most days, as we all can be to an extent, but the last thing I want is for the person I love to have to be subjected to, well, me.

Which of course makes no sense either because to truly love me, he has to know me and vice versa. And as lucky and ridiculously ecstatic as I feel to have him love me, at the same time it is my love for him that makes me want to demolish the relationship that we’ve built so far.

But once my head calms down a bit, I realize that all of this is just part and parcel of the disease. Convincing myself I need to leave before I get left is one of my oldest tricks. Preemptively causing myself pain before the other person can beat me to the punch is my favorite brand of self-sabotage.

self-sabotage
http://www.artesanias-minerales.com/self-sabotage-control/

I do mean it when I say I want to spare him the pain and frustration of dealing with me on a daily basis, but I also want to spare myself as well.

Being in love while experiencing mental health issues feels like walking a tightrope between a tornado and a hurricane: a constant effort to find the balance.

It’s exhausting some days, and it shines a very harsh light on just how much internal damage has been done over the years. It’s still hard enough getting out of bed some days but then to love someone as well?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I have this dichotomy set up where he is perfect and normal, and I am the psychotic burden of a girlfriend. He has his issues too which only deepens his empathy and care towards me. But once again, he already has enough to deal with, does he really need me too?

love mental
Image Courtesy of https://www.pinterest.com/pin/11470174027495421/

So what’s to be done? This is the question I’ve asked myself so many times. And as I sit here right now, wearing one of his t-shirts and pondering the answer again, I can only come to one conclusion: there is no right answer.

Once again, post-modernism and its rejection of any objective truth rears its ugly head again, fucking hell! But it’s true. In a society that is obsessed with quick fixes and instant gratification, it only makes sense that a “magic bullet” approach to all of this would be my first instinct.

But it’s not so much what needs to be done that’s the problem but instead what I need to do differently so that I don’t spend every day and night consumed asking why, why, why?!?

Tempering my issues to try and soften the blow of just how “off” I can be some days does not and cannot work, regardless of whether or not you suffer from mental health problems. It is scary as all hell to let someone see the completely stripped-down version of you, both physically and emotionally.

vulnerability
Image Courtesy of http://www.routercheck.com/why-are-routers-so-vulnerable/

But it’s because it scares the hell out of me that I know it’s the right thing to do. So instead of trying to hide and cover up and dodge and deny, I run at it. I tell him when all of a sudden I get sad for no reason, when shit just hits me out of the blue, and I feel like my heart has just deflated.

Actually he knows me so well at this point he can tell before I say anything which tbh really pisses me off sometimes 😛

And while I hate feeling like I’m “deep-conversationing” him to death on a daily basis, it’s what I need to do so that we both know what we are getting into and with whom.

And so far, he’s still here, still standing, sassy and sarcastic as fuck. Just the way I like him. Honestly, most days he amazes the shit out of me. Not just because of how well he deals with my shit but just the way he looks at life in general.

sarcastic minion
Image Courtesy of http://favim.com/image/3005039/

He’s not without his demons for sure, but he shows me everyday what kindness is and how human beings are supposed to be with each other. And the best part is that he doesn’t even realize it.

To him, it’s just who he is, nothing extraordinary about it. But for me, it is the little things like asking if I’m okay or telling me I’m lovely or cuddling me even tighter when he can tell I’m sad that bring new meaning to the word epic.

Everything I do, think, feel, that I’m sure is going to scare the shit out of him because god knows it scares me, he just takes on without even breaking a sweat.

Everyday I prepare myself for him to finally wise-up and break-up with me (honestly I wouldn’t blame him), but everyday he shows me more and more just how ridiculous it is to think that way.

worst
Image Courtesy of http://health.wikinut.com/Hope-for-the-Best-But-Prepare-For-the-Worst-Thoughts-For-2012/6eyt0i45/

Because regardless of what happens between us in the near or distant future, I can’t keep trying to trick myself into believing what he have isn’t real or genuine.

Because once I do accept that, it also means accepting that I am one of two people who can actively fuck it up. Not by being who I am but by doing things to push him away as a sort of prophylactic measure to pain.

Because eventually, it’ll work. And I’ll have only myself to blame.

Let me be clear: I am certainly not blaming myself for having depression and anxiety. Those are just facts of biology, and I do my best to deal with them everyday. Not surprisingly, every day is different and some are better than others. These wounds run very deep.

Which got me thinking. Love, or rather loving and being loved, is not the cure for these wounds but instead the alcohol. On first contact, it shocks, it stings, it makes you realize just how big, how raw the hurt is. But it is also absolutely essential to healing that same hurt.

love heal
Image Courtesy of http://favim.com/image/855882/

And whether this amorous antiseptic comes in the form of a partner, a friend, a parent, a teacher, or just yourself on any given day, it really doesn’t matter. What matters is that you have it.

Because while these wounds run deep, unlike all others they are not visible to the naked eye. They are buried deep beneath the surface in amorphous aches and existential pains that can seem impossible to describe let alone heal.

But every time he makes me laugh, every time I hear his laugh, every time he pisses me off for putting the toilet paper on backwards, every time he wraps his arms around me as I cry and tells me everything is going to be okay, those wounds heal a little bit more.

pon and zi sleep
Image Courtesy of http://ponziandshinee.livejournal.com/

So to wrap up yet another fabulous exercise in ranting and raving, I once again give a ginormous thank you to everyone who takes the time to read. You all make my day!

And in particular, I thank the person who inspired this entry and continues to amaze me every day. I hope this helps make sense of everything you already knew.

Oh and FYI you SUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKKKKK!!!!! <3 <3 <3


 

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