Relationships

It occurs to me that some people just don’t know what to say or do. I know of many people who have lost friends during the course of their struggle with mental illness. One may “dump” his/her friends before they have the chance to dump him/her. But, many times, it seems that people just don’t know what to say or do and this can end relationships.

Mental illness is scary. Doesn’t have to be, but it is one of those things that is just not in the norm of most people’s experiences. It is a serious problem in the world, but it still does not affect everyone. And, for those that have not been touched by it, it is difficult to see friends and family members struggling with things that others may find so normal, or with things others just can’t comprehend.

One thing that is most frustrating in having a mental illness is the question as to if and when I should share that I have a mental illness. I have had the keep it secret, don’t share, tell as soon as possible, it’s not that bad, and wait until you know them spurts of advice and the experiences that go with them.

Then, there are the friends that you’ve known for years and they really don’t know how to handle hospitals or limited phone calls or the myriads of symptoms that come with being mentally unwell.

It isn’t that they don’t care, they just don’t know what to say or do. And there is nothing that they can do that will fix it. They are frozen, because they want to help, but are powerless in the face of this disease.

Friendships and relationships will probably end over the traumas of mental illness. When people are hurtful, it isn’t because they hate you, it’s because they hate the illness. I realize that is a nice way to paint some people when it really seems like they hate you, but the likelihood is that they are scared and have no idea what to say and their anger bubbles forth and slices open the nearest victim.

I am considering dating again. With this, comes the question as to how to explain my life, my lack of a job, my living with my parents, my illness to another person. I know that if they care, it won’t matter, but it is still a terrifying endeavor. All I keep thinking is that I am not a catch.

I am educated, talented, creative, intelligent, and likeable, but I have problems and I fear that, no matter what my positive attributes are, my illness will drain my possibilities for happiness with another person.

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