Dealing with anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses is a real struggle. Not only does it take the energy out of you but it’s incredibly hard on the people around you. Partners, family, friends and work mates all touched by it in one way or another. When people talk about how hard it is for the sufferer they often forget the people them who are affected. The toughest role in this has to be the role of the husband, the wife, the partner.
You are given your family at birth and they will always be there for you. But for your partner it’s a bit different. They’ve chosen to be in your life and they’ve chosen to experience their life with you.
It’s a thankless task. I’ve heard of some walking away from it as it becomes too much for them to handle, unable to understand the sufferer. I’m not going to shout at these people. It must be frustrating to try and deal with something you can’t understand. There is no point in two people suffering needlessly. Hopefully the split can allow the two people to find the happiness and support they need elsewhere.
The people who remain and try and deal with it are saints. They are the unsung heroes in this.
I’ve been incredibly lucky to have Sarah in my life. We’ve been together for nine years now and she’s been there unquestionably for me. Sure, there have been rough times. It has taken some time and a lot of patience on Sarah’s side to gain an understanding of what I go through (and even then I’m sure she’ll say that there’s a lot that she doesn’t understand). It has, at times, put a strain on our relationship in ways I can’t imagine.
But, throughout it all, she’s always been there, without fail and without question.
We’ve been able to help build her understanding of what I go through. We do this by being open and honest with each other. When I’ve struggled she’s allowed me to work my way through it. I’m sure there’s been times she’s wished I could just ‘get on with it’. It’s only natural to think that way and I wouldn’t hold it against her. But she’s never said it aloud, no matter how frustrated she may have been with me.
There are many opportunities in life for people to walk away from you. But the ones who stay with you by choice show more strength than people every give them credit for. People have said to me in the past that they think I’m strong for how I deal with this, but I’m not anywhere near as strong as Sarah is for having the strength to deal with me.
I’m not saying that to successfully fight this you need to be in a good relationship with someone. You don’t. I know people who live with this successfully without that ‘certain someone’in their lives. They have their own incredible strength. But for me I know I wouldn’t be in such a strong place if it wasn’t for Sarah.
When I was at my lowest point last year she didn’t try to change things. She helped me heal at my own pace. She never forced me to do things that would put me outside of my comfort zone unnecessarily. She would listen when I would talk, ask me me questions when she needed to understand and give me answers when I didn’t know what to do. She gave me the strength to overcome my anxiety and depression, giving me the strength and courage to fight when I needed it. It would not have been possible to be where I am now without Sarah’s presence in my life.
If you have someone like Sarah in life remember to thank them and don’t take them for granted. Always be open with them and try and explain what you’re going through. Try to get their understanding. It’ll make things a hell of a lot easier. If they already understand thank them and tell them you love them. Try to explain to them what they mean to you. They’ll love to hear you say it.