Mental Health in a Relationship: Exes

I’ve wanted to touch on this subject for a while but I haven’t been able to figure out exactly how I want to phrase it. While this also deals with how my mental health has affected my break ups and exes and past, I want to touch on my personal beliefs about exes in general. So cool, let’s get into it.

I would like to say I’ve had one serious relationship in my life. Only one where it was serious enough for a break up to a big deal. Since we were in college, we had to live next to each other for the next few months. We had to learn how to manage seeing each other on campus and how to make this fine. I won’t lie. It was hard. I wanted to be angry because it didn’t work out. I went through scenarios every day about why it didn’t work and what I did to make it end. Why was I not good enough and why I deserved heartbreak and pain. I began to be swallowed up by my depression and anxiety. It took a long time to realize that it wasn’t because of my mental health. It just wasn’t right. Our relationship was not supposed to be that way. Once I began to understand and believe this, I was able to stay friends with my ex. If we would see each other on campus, we would stop to catch up and see how each was doing. I was able to watch his graduation and celebrate with him.

Now, I’ve had others come into my life in different relationships and roles that I would consider to be something like an ex. If I have a relationship with you for over a few months, I’m going to consider you an ex when it ends. Something I wholeheartedly believe is if you come into my life and build a connection with me, that’s a relationship whether you want to define it or not. Now, this is something that I think is hard for people to understand. This is my personal philosophy on my exes. They were a part of my life. In someway or another, they had an impact on who I am and how I have been since being with them. I’m not going to deny that or forget that. I’m not going to hide it. I’m not the type of person who is going to delete all the pictures and block their number. I’m not going to publicly say that I’m done with him and express anger. I was going to process it on my own terms and time. I’d tell people when the topic came up or when I felt I needed to. I’d move through my pain and process my emotions until I can look back on the happy memories. I can understand that relationship was not supposed to be like that for both of us, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t care for that person. When I let you in my heart, it’s nearly impossible to get them out. I want the best for them and want them to be happy. I hope that they would want them for me too, although I know that’s not always likely. Sometimes, the animosity that exists between exes is worse than anything that had happened in the relationship itself. It’s not an easy thing to get to but in my life, it has been my way to cope healthily. Trust me, some are harder to let go than others.

If you need to delete that person from your life when you break up, go for it. I’m not gonna judge. If that’s your way of processing it, do it.
Especially if that person caused you significant harm. Sometimes, that’s the healthy thing but sometimes, it’s not. If you try to eliminate that person from your memories and life and past, do you lose yourself in the process? The lessons you learned during that time? That’s up to you. For me, I don’t want to forget those times. That person was in my life for a reason and there must have been something that drew us together. That’s still there, just with a different label. I know this isn’t the “normal” view on exes, but I’m on good terms with all my exes, some I’m still friends with. It’s how I want it to be and a way for me to take back my life from my mental health that tries to overcome me. Sometimes pain is necessary to grow into a stronger person.

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