After posting Falling in Love When Depressed, I learned something that I have long tried to preach to my students, yet apparently have not done a very good job at internalizing. Intent versus impact.
When I wrote that blog, my intent was to share how I experience relationships as someone with a chronic mental illness. My hope was that the blog would help others that may get stuck in the same routine of self-sabotage when in romantic relationships. When I ‘give and give and give’, it is not to my relationships or to individuals. It is to my own self-doubt. That is my fatal flaw. That is why many of my relationships have failed. While building a support system over the last 10 years, I have learned that this tends to be a common problem for people who suffer from depression. We do not believe that we are worth the love that is given to us, thus we reject it and hurt our friends, families, and loved ones in the process.
Unfortunately, the impact was that some individuals took to speculation regarding the former boyfriends that I eluded to in the post. The point of the post was not to throw anyone under the bus or paint anyone in a malicious light. I made sure to have an in-depth conversation with the man referenced in “my last serious relationship before meeting datemate” to let him know what I was writing about so that he would know that it was not about him or about our relationship, but about how my mental illness impacts my life. He gave me his blessing. We ended on good terms and continue to be on good terms.
Saying that, I have not always been the most upstanding person when it comes to dealing with exes and failed relationships. I would like to blame part of that on my obsessive behaviors or anxiety or depression, but there is no one or nothing to blame but me. The easy route has always been to hide behind my mental illness; yet, over the last few months I have learned that this doesn’t make the hurt go away- it only spreads it wider and deeper. Sometimes hurt makes us say and do terrible, awful things. I have let wounds fester and resentment grow. For that, I am sorry. I am sorry for what I have said about others and for how that may have impacted their lives. I am sorry for who I let myself become at times.
Each relationship I have been in has helped to mold who I am today. However, those relationships are now over and are of our own private business. This blog is about my personal experiences with mental illness- I never want it to be construed any other way.
This is my life, my journey. I am still learning to stay healthy, be a better person, and let positivity prevail. Thank you for being a part of that.