Love, Life, Depression
It is a very powerful feeling, it is a very powerful word. Entire empires were created or destroyed all in the name of Love. This ethereal feeling that forms unbreakable bonds in our hearts is not something that we, those of us with mental illness, are used to experiencing. Whether it be feeling love towards another, or being loved, these often are are arms reach, but just too far for most of us. Personally, I have been lucky enough to have experienced both. As a quick sidebar, although I believe love between family members is incredibly strong and has saved my life several times, it is not what I am referring to when I say love.
Romantic love operates very differently in my opinion than that of familiar love. It may sound sad, and it probably is, but I feel that familial love is simply a biological bond between those that share blood, specifically parent/child relationships. Now, whether that is my depression speaking, or my true feelings, I cannot yet be sure. The one thing that I am sure of, is that love, real love between 2 people, who at one point were complete strangers, is one of the most powerful things on earth. Yet, it seems that is so rare, and difficult to find.
In the case of us that suffer from mental illness, it can often be our own insecurities that prevent us from latching onto this wonderful feeling. Either we don’t think that we deserve to be loved, or we’ve come to terms with the fact that we are unlovable. I have, at times, found myself in the second category, and it is an indescribably painful feeling. Truth is, somehow, our mental illnesses that hold us hostage also lock away our hearts. They convince us that we are not enough, that we will never be enough to be truly and honestly loved.
I myself have a very large problem with trust. The fact that my brain thinks that everyone always has an ulterior, selfish motive, usually drives me into isolation. It is often borderline paranoia, and it is cold, and lonely to be in this state. I imagine that some of you might know exactly what I’m talking about, because our mental illness, and terrible self-esteem force us into this corner where we think we belong. It is feelings like these that ultimately take away our will, to struggle, to survive, and lastly, to live. Humans are incredibly social creatures, in that we strive to be connected with others. Why do you think social media has taken over the globe? Yet, with that connection that we experience these days, we often feel more lonely. It only ever feels like people share the best aspects of their lives on these platforms. Where does that leave us? With our looming depression, or constriction anxiety, or debilitating trauma. This leaves us in our corners, where we grow comfortable. Where it would be more painful to try to leave than to sit and wallow.
As mentioned, I have been lucky enough to have experienced both sides of love. For now, lets call her M. M had issues of her own, ones that it’s not my place to display for all to see. However, through both of our cracked views, we found each other. I was rather unstable when we first met, and thinking back she was probably too. I was so obsessed with love back then that it clouded my judgement and made me do things that, while I do not regret, could have done without. I was so desperate to feel loved that I completely lost myself in the journey that love is meant to be. I got so distracted that I didn’t even realize that my fantasies where the ones leading me astray. Just to be clear, this was all before I met her, M.
It’s funny honestly, I was so blinded by desperation that I never considered that a relationship is a mutual thing. I was so driven to get the label of being in a relationship that I never stopped to really think about what it was. To be honest with you, I was quite positively one of the most disgusting people that I have ever had the displeasure of knowing. While that most certainly is my depression talking, I still have some rather deep scars that I just haven’t been able to get to yet.
If I could describe M in a single word it would be bright. Strange word, and not really how you probably think. I mean bright, in that she was luminescent, in my dark dreary world. I only wish the grip that my depression hadn’t had such a firm grip on me back then. I usually like to say that I regret nothing in my life, that every decision that I have ever made has made me into who I am now. Regardless of the pride that I have in who I am now, I regret that I let her go. I wish that I was stronger, that I would give up everything that I am, just to go back to that day and change my actions.
Love is the most powerful thing in the world. I want to let all of you know something. This pain that we all feel, while it is different for each of us, it brings us together. We are united by this pain if we so choose, I like to think we are. We stand united against mental illness, that we will be the light for eachothers dark worlds.
I want to leave this article on a single resounding note. I love you all. We don’t know each other, but we’ve walked a mile in each other’s shoes. For that, I will always love you all, and I will do anything that I can to make sure that your suffering ends. Be a part of the change. Spread the love.