For me, the hardest part of having a mental illness is the way it seems to always leak out on to those around me. I see how the people around me are constantly having to give up and sacrifice things on my behave. The life that they live is not what they hoped or expected. It isn’t the life I want for them either.
Living with someone with a mental illness is not an easy thing to do. It requires a lot of work, patience, understanding, and then more patience, and then even more understanding… I know life is never what we expect, but for the people in my life they seem to have to give up way more than I know they ever imagined. I see the way it turns their world upside down. And for someone that has a hard time with the concept of self-love, that is an extremely hard thing for me to let happen. I want to run and isolate myself from the world so that my crazy doesn’t touch and hurt anyone. Because I love them, I want to spare them from the chaos I will bring into their life.
The guilt about this comes in waves, and today it went over my head. I don’t want anyone giving up their “normal” life. I know life for anyone is not easy… and what is normal, really?… But I think you get what I mean. Instead of hills and valleys in most people’s lives, I have Mt. Everest and bottomless pits in mine. And whoever is with me has to go along for that ride. I am not an easy person to love. I know it is hard for people to separate me from my illness, because sometimes it is nearly impossible for me to separate myself from it; to know where I end and my illness begins.