Does my mental health make me impossible to love?

It’s a statement that I hate writing and thinking about. But sadly, it is how I feel. And as my depression and anxiety become worse, my thoughts about falling in love again become more negative and my belief in it happening to me starts to grow slim. I can’t help but feel as though there is a giant sign following me around and warning people away.

The truth is, when I tell my new partner about my depression and anxiety, it usually starts out alright. They seem to understand and accept it. But the longer we are together and the more they realize how much it actually affects my everyday life, the more I notice them starting to look for the exit.

I’ve had exes tell me they can’t make me feel better because I’m letting my mental illness consume me. I’ve had exes tell me they don’t feel as though they can tell me the truth at times because they’re worried it will aggravate my depression and anxiety. I’ve had exes try to tell me how to manage my illnesses even though they’ve never experienced it themselves.

The truth is that I don’t need anyone to tell me what to do or how to do it when it comes to my depression and anxiety. All I truly want is for someone to just love me through and despite of it. That part is sometimes lost on potential partners. I don’t need anyone to try and “fix” me. I work hard each and every day to ensure I am doing all I can to prevent the bad days from occurring too often. 

What I do need is for someone to just be there when the going gets tough. When those bad days come and I can’t think of a reason why I should get out of bed, I want someone to just be there and tell me I can do it. I want someone to hold me when I get the feeling that I can’t go to work. I want to be able to tell someone my deepest and darkest secrets when it comes to my mental illness without risking them to look at me like I am a burden. 

All that being said, I know it’s not easy to ask someone to be a part of my life when most of the time my moods are little unpredictable. I know it’s not fair that I’m going to let someone down because I just can’t help wanting to hide from the world on really bad days. I feel it’s not reasonable that sometimes my problems become their problems because I just need someone to shoulder a bit of the weight, which comes with depression and anxiety. I know all of these things, but it doesn’t mean I’m unlovable or incapable of giving love. Because I am. I know I am.

I will love the hell out of people despite the fact it’s sometimes hard to love myself. I am able to listen and accept criticism when things just aren’t working for my partner. I am able to just be there for someone when they’re having a really bad day. And I’m able to empathize, not sympathize or compare, when talking to someone about their problems.

I’ve been with people who don’t get me or my mental health. I’ve been with people who have told me my mental illness makes it difficult to love me. I’ve also been the person pushing people away in order to protect myself from them potentially leaving me when it gets a little too hard for them. At the end of the day, no one is perfect, and I am no exception.

-Andrew F