First off, I’m sorry. This is not an easy situation to be put in. You fell in love with someone who suffers with a mental illness that can absorb all of her. An illness that can turn a really great day and adventure into a hard, torturous day. An illness that can make her feel like she is drowning, because of all the thoughts in her head. An illness that can feel like a thousand pounds are sitting on her chest. An illness that feels like she just jumped into a swimming pool in the middle of winter and it is so cold it takes her breath away. An illness that like moss on a tree slowly, but surely, creeps up almost suffocating her.
And why is this happening?
Because she has to talk on the phone. Because she is scared of heights and she looked down. Because there are too many people in this room. Because she has to give a speech. Because she can’t get everything done.
Or simply because of nothing at all.
I’m sure you have seen it. I’m sure you have held her through a panic attack. I’m sure you have had to calm her down during an episode. I’m sure you had to leave a party or an event because of it. I’m sure you have dealt with it numerous times.
Well, when you get married it is not all going to disappear. The minute you put those rings on and swear to always be there for each other forever, it’s still there. But now it will not only haunt her, but haunt you too.
But don’t worry. It isn’t the end of the world. There are a few things that you can do to make this devilish illness feel less overwhelming.
First, be there for her. Of course, you have been doing this since you two met, but now it is different. You are married. You are together all the time, all day, all night, always. You haven’t seen this side of her before because you have never been together like this before. When she wakes up scared or in the midst of a panic attack, be there. Hold her. Tell her she is great and listen to her. When she wants to seek medical help, be there. Go to the doctor with her. Go to therapy with her if she wants you there. Show her that you are going to always be there. This will mean the world to her and she will be there for you too.
Second, be patient. Yeah, you have been doing this through it all, but again it is different. When she can’t go to a party with you, be patient. Be willing to go alone or not at all. When she needs a few minutes to calm down and you are going to be late somewhere, be patient. But, be careful and don’t always let her win. It is good for her to do things she fears. But remember fear and anxiety are different. Know the difference between them and know the difference between them with her specifically. Know when it is fear and know when it is anxiety. Through all things, be patient with her and yourself when figuring this out.
Third, take care of your own mental health. She is your wife and of course you need to take care of her, but it isn’t all about her. Take time for yourself. Work out, eat healthy, relax. Do those things that help with your mental health. Be an example to her. If you need help dealing with your anxiety, get help. If anyone understands about getting help best, it’s her.
Lastly, thank you. Thank you for loving a girl who is just like anyone else, but sometimes lets thoughts get in her way. Thank you for loving a girl who constantly fights her demons. Thank you for holding on through the hard times. Thank you for seeing past the illness. Thank you for loving her anxious heart.
Good luck on a happy marriage and a happy life.
Love, The girl lucky enough to marry a boy like this