Having your experiences redefined by another person is not fun, but the stigma that comes with mental health problems adds a few more frustrations to that experience. I was a young woman when I realised I loved someone, probably more sincerely than I ever had before. The shock of it came with a great big dose of fear as I realised that the person I had feelings for might reciprocate them. I didn’t feel judged in that moment, but I did feel worthless, even if only for an intolerable 30 seconds. Fast forward a year and I had given up on everything that gave me any sense of who I was and demolished a few pointless relationships in the process, which would usually be considered a bonus if they hadn’t been the only relationships I had. Still, you have to find positives where you can find them and sometimes you have to be strong enough to define your own experiences.
The reality is that for a few fleeting moments I perceived that love was possible and it has not left me. It is the truth. No matter how down I get, no matter intolerable life seems at times, I believe in something that so many never truly consider: that love is worth believing in. Meeting with someone entails them meeting back with you and I didn’t know the truth back then, which is enough to derail any living soul. Having love enter your world is enough to not only turn it upside down, but to help you find those long lost parts of yourself, as well as new ways of witnessing life.
What is troubling me today is that loving another seems to be on the impossible end of the spectrum. We hear horrid stories all the time of how love is an endless battle, how life is so terribly difficult that nothing positive or worth living for can truly thrive. Well I’ve had enough. I think it’s time to stop viewing each other through eyes of envy and lack, and instead start looking for signs that each of us can cultivate love, beauty and truth. That does not mean suffering relationships where nothing good can come of it, it means being brave enough to accept the good in your life and in others.