Loving someone with a mental illness can be hard. It’s requires grace, patience and understanding even when you don’t understand. Recently, I chose to love someone new, someone living with a mental illness. I gave, I listened, I supported, and yet I still fell short. After doing all I knew to do and all I wanted to do, I forgot to give what was needed the most… LOVE. Yes, I chose to love this person, but I was loving them the way I wanted to love them, not the way they needed to be loved.
As someone that has lived with mental illness most of my life, I knew better. I knew that he was doing the best he could. I knew to love him until he learned to love himself.
If you choose to love someone that’s living with a mental illness please be mindful of the following:
The battle over the mind distorts a person’s perception of reality. They are living their truth even if it changes often.
The lack of communication can be caused by the lack of understanding their own thoughts. Sometimes there are no words to describe their thoughts and feelings
They need someone to love them even when their behavior says “leave me alone.” They would rather suffer alone rather than have others suffer for, what seems to be, no reason.
This list is nowhere close to being complete. These are simply the things that got my attention within the past 2 months.
What is something you’d like people to be aware when they choose to love someone living with a mental illness?