I have been suffering from anxiety ever since I was a little girl. Simple decisions like what dress to wear, what fruit to eat, which pen to buy used to give me jitters. I still feel anxious from time to time, but a year of suffering from ‘almost depression’ led me to seek help, and I can now command my mind to stop thinking about things that are baseless. This has tremendously helped me with my anxiety issues and the frequent palpitations that I used to experience are now gone.
Back in 2014, I lost two of my best friends in a car accident. Apart from dealing with the trauma of having lost my soul, two pieces at a time, I was also battling the guilt of being the lone survivor in the accident. That’s when I met the love of my life and everything became rosy again.
For a while, everything was perfect. The thrill of a new relationship, the process of getting to know each other, the sneaking around, life was more awesome than ever! Until it wasn’t. Two months into the relationship, I started spiraling back to my pre-relationship mental state. The guilt started coming back, and it was stronger than the last time.
I started believing that I didn’t deserve to be happy. There they were, two beautiful angels that had departed from the earth for good, and here I was, celebrating life and indulging in merrymaking. It didn’t feel right. I started avoiding my then-boyfriend, now husband.
I eventually lost my appetite and developed insomnia. I was losing the will to live. My survival in the accident was a mistake made by God that he needed to rectify. I had to pay my dues. It was time to be with my friends who weren’t lucky enough to make it through that dreadful evening. I started having suicidal thoughts.
That’s when I realized that I needed help. Going to a therapist wasn’t an option. My family was extremely conservative and would never understand. They would think I’m crazy. Helpless, I turned to my boyfriend for advice. I thought that by then, he would have given up on me, given my erratic behavior. But he was there, patiently waiting for me to come to him, instead of trying to impose himself upon me and pushing me further away.
He wasn’t a professional, but he knew me. Taking it upon himself, he started counseling me. At that point, I wasn’t sure whether our relationship would survive this. I was giving him an insight into my worst fears and insecurities. Who would want to be with someone so messed up in their heads?
But I was wrong. He didn’t abandon me. He stood with me every step of the way, helping me rationalize every single thought I had, no matter how ridiculous it seemed. There were times when he didn’t know how to help me. I was beyond reason. But he would read up as much as he could about it and try out different ways to convince me that things weren’t as bad as I perceived them to be.
My life today is a gift that I have received from him. When I began to see clearly how much he loved me, I started truly accepting the help and making a conscious effort to get better. No matter how much someone else tries on the outside, change cannot happen unless you make it happen on the inside.
I have seen so many people fear their partners. Fear what their better halves will think of them if they get a glimpse of what goes on in their minds. I used to be one of them. But it’s important to place trust in the people we love. We really don’t give them the credit they deserve.
I now share everything with my spouse, good and bad. And he does the same. We’re there for each other. And we have experienced that togetherness can overcome all the problems that life throws at us. What’s important is to not give up, and help your partner through whatever it is that they’re going through.
Would you judge your partner on the basis of their mental health issues, or would you help and support them? Whatever your answer is, it’s the same thing that your partner would do for you. Then why hide from them?
Confiding in my husband has been life-changing for me. And I assure you that if you place a little more faith in your partner, you will see how much they care about you and how far they’re willing to go to make sure that you don’t suffer.
Sneha is a writer and mental health promoter who quit her job to pursue her passion for writing. When she is not reading or writing, she can be found teaching kids, cooking, or cuddled in her bed watching Netflix. You can read her stories here.