To My Boyfriend: Thank You For Loving Me and My Mental Illness

Subject: To My Boyfriend: Thank You For Loving Me and My Mental Illness
Date: 12 Jan 2017

I know it's hard for you. To put up with me all of the time. You bring me chocolate and tacos when I'm on my period, you listen to me complain when I'm tired. But most importantly, you love me when I'm anxious.

I've dealt with my anxiety and depression since I was ten. I'm used to taking my "happy pills" everyday, I'm used to my weird habits, and I know that sometimes I just can't shake my anxiety and depression off of my shoulders. You, on the other hand, have never had to deal with these kinds of problems or feelings before, but you try so hard to be supportive. When we're on vacation you remind me to take my medicine every night because you know I forget. You complain about me picking at my fingernails but you let me do it anyways. And when I just can't shake it, you still love me.

We've been together for 2 years. In this time I've found the medications that are best for me, I've stopped seeing my therapist after he told me that I no longer needed him, and I've learned that a chemical imbalance does not make me unloveable.

Recently, I've been having a really hard time fighting my depression. I learned to control my anxiety by making lists and plans, but I never learned what to do when my plans fall apart. Now that I don't have a plan I feel very unstable. I'm sending myself into panic attacks just thinking about the fact that I don't have a plan for next week, or next month, or next year. You don't understand it. You keep telling me it's going to be okay, but I don't believe you. You've never had a plan, but I've never been without one.

The other night I had my first full-blown anxiety attack in almost a year. I couldn't stop crying and I couldn't form a sentence. You were very frustrated, not with me, but with yourself, because there was nothing you could do to make it go away. But you didn't leave. You laid there and held me for at least two hours until it subsided, because you know I'm terrified to be alone when I'm having a panic attack.

Right now I'm in the middle of a bout with depression (that's the worst, when you know it's happening but you can't seem to stop it). I am trying to be happy for you, but emotions can be really hard to show when you're tired all of the time. I don't like being so distant. I want to overcome this again. And with you by my side I know I can.

So thank you. Thank you for holding me through this. Thank you for letting me cry. Thank you for not being mad at me when it's hard for me to show you my emotions. Depression and anxiety are going to be in our life. So thank you for accepting that I have these problems. Thank you for not making me do it alone.

Thank you for loving me anyway.