Love and Mental Health (Challenges): A Tricky Combination

Love isn’t for people like me. When I say people like me, I mean people who battle mental health issues. I don’t expect anyone who doesn’t have mental health challenges to understand. The way the brain of someone with mental health issues works is completely different from someone who doesn’t have any. But maybe reading this article might give some insight. I have to say that this post will show my vulnerability and as much as I’d like to keep that part of me private, I have made a promise to readers to share both the good and bad. So here I am.

As I have said numerous times, only people who have mental health challenges have an understanding of what goes on in the heads of people like me. I like to think I’m damaged goods. Yes. Damaged goods in the sense that no matter what I do, I can’t function at my full capacity. I can only try. I remember growing up and feeling like the odd one in class, social gatherings, football pitch. Even though I couldn’t put it into words, I knew something was different about me.

Not an easy thing to admit but I have an anxiety disorder. I know this because my chest is almost always heavy as if a truck was parked on it. It’s uncomfortable as hell. Not only that. Having an anxiety disorder ruins nearly everything. You find it difficult to breathe because your heartbeat feels like it’s going to explode. There’s a lot of sweating in weird places in your body. I don’t know which comes first but overthinking is part of the package. Every scenario that plays in your mind leads to myriads of questions and on and on it goes. It’s exhausting.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not incapable of giving love or receiving it. I have been in a few relationships and I have loved deeply. I have been with one of the most amazing women on earth and our relationship was fulfilling. Although we had to breakup due to personal reasons. However, no matter how much I have loved, it’s different for me. It’s different because I have excesses. Being in a committed relationship reveals the excesses. My last partner was very understanding. Sometimes, it was too much for her to bear and I commend her patience and enduring spirit.

One of the very first things I battle with in romantic relationships is insecurities. Being in love exposed these insecurities. I want to believe it’s a by-product of overthinking. I am always looking for some deeper meaning. I can’t help but question my partner when she’s talking on the phone and is smiling sheepishly. When she’s texting on her phone, I want to know who she’s talking to. The good thing about this is that I don’t overreact or blow it out of proportion. But I stir up just enough trouble to make my partner stressed. Even when we stopped dating, I was still feeling insecure such that I confronted her whenever she posted a picture of any guy. It’s not me, I promise. It’s my brain.

I am a needy bitch. Pardon my swearing but I mean it. I can be very needy. When I need you, I need every bit of you. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s like I want our souls to merge so much that we ascend beyond the physical realm. I need you to pamper me. I need you to kiss me all over. I need your undivided attention, your unadulterated love. I need you to abandon every other thing in this world. My partner tries as much as possible to make herself available. And when she’s not available, I make a fuss about it and conveniently forget all the times she has gone out of her way just to be there for me. I’m forced to believe that it is a curse.

Because I’m always in my head, I can sometimes tap out and not connect with my partner. There are times when we’ve been in the same room and I can’t just seem to be there with her. I’m either worried about bills I have to pay or sometimes, something so insignificant that I shouldn’t pay no mind. It’s all so messed up because I can’t exactly say what’s bothering me when I’m asked. I do this a lot more than normal. Brooding is second nature to me that I don’t even know when I’m doing it sometimes. I have tried desperately to stop it. It’s not exactly easy.

Another big problem is that I can’t handle rejection. Whenever I set my mind to something, I want it to happen just that way. My partner tries to disagree with me and I explode. Or I ask for something and she declines then I get in my feelings and start bitching. Being rejected is like shooting me in the face. It even happens that I don’t ask for certain things because of the fear of rejection. It is much worse because I believe myself to be logical. It is this internal battle that I fight all the time in my relationship. Omo. I might prefer going to fight in the war than to go through this.

There are more unpleasant things to mention. There’s no point in listing them all. The purpose of this article to let anyone with mental health challenges understand that they are not alone as well as it is for those who have been in relationships with people like me. If you can, try to be a little more patient. If not, love them from a distance. But you should know that nobody wants to be this way out of their own volition. We don’t choose our flaws. Especially when it comes to mental health.

untethered. let the wings of freedom take me to an unknown destination faraway from here.