When I was younger, I never thought I’d get married. I was fiercely independent and it never really crossed my mind. But when I met my boyfriend at 16 (we started dating when I turned 20,) everything changed.
All of a sudden, life was like a fairytale, and it still is, two and a half years after we started dating. But that’s not to say it isn’t difficult. When I was 19, I was diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder. Everything was turned upside down. And only a short year later, we began our relationship after four years of friendship. It’s never been easy, but it’s been so amazing, wonderful, and absolutely worth it.
My mood swings can make things difficult. Even with daily medication and constant work on bettering myself and my life, I still have bad days. I can be snappy and just downright mean. I take it out on my boyfriend even though I don’t mean to and I love him very much. It just sort of happens.
But luckily, he is the right person for me, and he loves me through it. Through all of the crying and anger and irritability, the hypomania and the extreme depression that comes along with having this condition. He keeps me in check and lets me know when its time to go back to therapy. He always asks me if I’ve taken my meds even though I almost never forget. It’s so nice to see how much he cares.
It’s a lot of work for both us, I won’t lie. We both have to manage our emotions to not get too upset with each other when I have an episode. It’s pretty rare these days that we fight because of my bipolar disorder, but it wasn’t always that way. In the beginning, I still didn’t know how much was appropriate to drink on my meds. I was still seeing a bad therapist. I was still getting used to being in a serious relationship! I was a lot to handle.
But, as we’ve grown together, things have become more manageable and we love each other now more than ever. I’m extremely lucky to have someone who is this supportive and caring as my partner in crime, but at the same time, I wouldn’t allow anything less.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that even though we may be emotionally at a disadvantage sometimes because of our illnesses, we are still utterly and completely worthy of love. I would never be in a relationship with someone who didn’t support me. I’d rather be alone forever. But there are people out there who will love you so hard for just who you are. So if you’re bipolar, or even if you’re dealing with a different illness, don’t think for a second that you won’t find someone that’s perfect for you (if that’s what you want.) If you see yourself in a relationship, but haven’t quite gotten there yet, don’t blame your illness. You are perfectly imperfect, and someone amazing will one day be lucky to have you.
And if you are in a relationship, make sure it’s a good one. I’ve learned over my years of dating all the wrong people that not everyone will treat you the way you deserve to be treated. Never compromise your life for someone who doesn’t deserve you. Your illness does not make you less worthy of love than someone who maybe doesn’t deal with mental health problems.
I’ll leave it at this. “We accept the love we think we deserve.” I bet you all know that line from The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It’s cheesy, but I love it and it’s always stuck with me. Know your worth, stick up for yourself, and love fiercely. When the right person comes along, you’ll know.