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I’ve talked about my mental health (and mental health in general) a lot, so you’ll know by now that I live with depression and anxiety. I’m actually feeling quite well at the moment, but I have good days and bad days.
Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that I’m not the only one affected by my mental health. You know that I feel very strongly that self care isn’t selfish and that it’s very important to look after your own wellbeing. But that doesn’t mean we should forget about the people around us. So, today, I’m want to talk about
When your mental health affects your relationships
My husband is awesome. I’m pretty sure he’ll read this, so I thought I should drop that in there. He has put up with an awful lot from me, thanks mostly to my anxiety. When I’m depressed, I’m quiet and sad and I don’t want to do anything, which I’m sure is difficult enough to be married to. But when I’m anxious, Mr Becca takes the brunt of it.
When I’m anxious, I worry about everything. That’s a fairly basic symptom of anxiety, I know. But I also look for someone to blame for all the things that I worry about. And I get angry about the smallest things.
I once had a full blown argument with Mr Becca because he hung the toilet roll facing the wrong way. Don’t get me wrong, there is only one way for the toilet roll to face and he deserved to be punished for his repeated disregard for the rules… but I may have overreacted just a little bit.
I always feel awful after the anxiety has passed
But that doesn’t make it OK to keep taking my frustrations and anxieties out on the one person who has always been there to help me through it when times get rough.
Mr Becca was the one who had to watch me breakdown when we were told we wouldn’t be able to have a family without IVF. He was the one who stood by me through the mood swings of IVF and the depression that hit when it failed. The one who held my hand through all the painful procedures, rubbed my back through the painful labour and brought me snacks and helped me nap when the twins refused to sleep for more than 30 minutes at a time.
I’ve started making a real effort to think before I speak
But that’s easier said than done when the anxiety has taken hold. So I try to apologise when I realise I’ve said something that wasn’t fair. Of course, by then, the damage has already been done.
The things we say, even when we don’t mean them, have consequences
I see how hurt he is when I go on about things that really don’t matter. I can say I’m sorry, and I’m sure he believes me, but that doesn’t take back the things I’ve said. It doesn’t make them any less hurtful.
I’m sure that, sometimes, Mr Becca wonders what happened to the Becca he met 13 years ago. The fact that he still puts up with me is proof of how much he loves me and I love him even more for that.
Today is Mr Becca’s birthday
He’s the one getting the presents, but I’m the one who feels lucky. I’m lucky to have a husband who understands mental health better than I do (he has quaifications and everything) and looks after me. And forgives me when I forget to tell him much I appreciate him for that.
It’s easy to forget that it’s not “all about you” and that your mental health affects your relationships, too. Not just your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend etc. Sometimes it affects your friendships, too.
So today, in honour of Mr Becca’s birthday, I want you to tell the ones you love that you love them. Let them know that you appreciate them for being there when you need them, for understanding that sometimes you do and say things that you don’t mean (like everyone sometimes does).
Happy Birthday, Mr Becca! I love you to the moon and back, and even more than chocolate.
Yes. Really. Even more than chocolate.