V-day has been and gone and it had me, in my singledom, pondering whether it’s more difficult to find and keep love when you’re mentally ill.
I appreciate that love is pretty difficult to come by under any circumstances, it’s one of those things that requires a lot of luck on your part to appear and lot of hard work to keep, but for those with a mental illness it can be all the more difficult, in my opinion at least.
Firstly, meeting people, if you have an illness of any kind that means you struggle to get out of the house, is incredibly difficult. For me it is both my depression, making me not want to get out of bed let alone showered or dressed, and my anxiety, making it very difficult to socialise or go anywhere, that combine to make meeting people of any description, let alone for “romantic walks and more,” nigh on impossible. Even if you go the way of online dating, or using social media, to find friends and possible lovers actually getting to meet them irl (that’s cool speak for “in real life”) to get to know them and all their quirks is going to be a challenge. How does one actually meet people without the ability to go out? Answers on a postcard!
Of course not everyone who’s mentally ill is housebound in which case the initial meeting may be easier, but then you have the inevitable conversation where you tell them you have a mental illness to contend with. That’s bound to send some people running, though one would hope that in this day and age the majority wouldn’t let that be a problem.
Secondly, keeping love takes (again in my opinion) a lot more effort, understanding and patience when one of you has a mental illness. I have anxiety, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and depression, that makes me a complex person and a very difficult person to live with. I understand that, but it also doesn’t stop me from being very loving and caring and wanting a relationship in which I am happy and loved in return. Do I, or anyone else with a mental illness, not deserve the extra work to be put in to a relationship? Are we not worth it?
I think we are. I think, like anyone else, we deserve to be loved. Maybe I’m biased but I know some truly amazing people and many of them are mentally ill. They’re inspiring, creative, intelligent people and the fact any of them are single confuses me beyond belief!
So what do you think? Is it more difficult or am I imagining things?