Here we go again with Kori’s wonderful relationship advice in regards to mental health. This one is about having your own life while in a relationship. Now there is a story to this one and why I think this is really important to share and talk about. After many experiences, I have learned how hard it can be to be in a relationship with mental health issues and how easily it can become your whole world.
I was in a long term relationship in college which I have discussed before. We were together for 2 years and during some of my worst peaks of anxiety and depression during college. He also was the only person that knew what I was actually going through for a long time. At this point in my life, I was very ashamed of what I was going through and I didn’t want to show it. But he knew and he became the person I would go to for everything. Not only was he my boyfriend, but he became my sole supporter for almost everything in my life. He was the only person I felt comfortable with. As we were in a relationship and living on the same college campus during our relationship, we spent a lot of time together. A lot of time together turned into almost every minute we weren’t in class or at work, we were together. We also happened to work in offices that were right next to each other, so even then we saw each other. We would eat lunch and dinner together every day which started out really great. It allowed us to make time for each other when we had busy days. But soon, we were almost inseparable. If I was going somewhere, he was probably coming with. I was always sleeping at his place or he was hanging out with me. I spent a good amount of time in his room that I had a bag packed that I left by my door to just take with me every night. Now during this time, I was going through a really low point in my depression. I wanted to just stay in and not do much, which he was okay with. He liked staying in and just hanging out in the room. So that is what we did, all the time. Our friends started realizing that were probably not going to do much and started moving on with their lives. They stopped inviting us out and I don’t blame them at all. He became my entire world and I never reached out to talk to them anymore. He loved me, cared for me and knew what I was going through. I was not going to let that go easy so I let it become my entire life. He was my life and it took me a long time to realize that I had let it go that far. As I realized that my friends were out having fun all the time while I was at home watching my boyfriend play video games every night, I became even more depressed. I would break down every night for random reasons that I couldn’t explain and my poor boyfriend was always there to comfort me but it was hard for him. He couldn’t understand why I felt so depressed and hopeless until I broke and told him I had lost everyone. It was a hard time in my life and it took me a long time to build those relationships back up.
Looking back a few years later on what that all meant in my life and how I can learn from it, there is one incredibly important lesson that I have learned. When you are in a relationship with someone and you have mental health disorders, you have to have your own lives, friends and time away from each other. This is something that I know needs to be in any relationship that I may be in for the rest of my life. To continue to improve my mental health in everything I do, I have to have independence and strength on my own. I can not be dependent on another person for all of my happiness. I have to be responsible for it. And being responsible for it, I have to have my own life, friends and happiness. And this is something that I encourage everyone who has ever asked me about relationships. Be your own person, even when in a relationship. Don’t lose yourself for somebody else.