I have epiphanies a lot although I will disclose right from the get go I don’t mean the religious kind. I just mean the kind where in a moment of reflection I will suddenly realise that things have gone very wrong, sometimes I’ll even be able to see where they went wrong at last. I suffer with borderline personality disorder (also known as emotionally unstable personality disorder) so often I’m completely blinded by emotions, which means I often get lost in a whirlwind of sadness and can’t figure a way out. When I finally have that moment it’s like the ‘old me’ returns.
The most recent epiphany happened on Sunday and to be honest, I am so relieved it finally happened. Without getting into much detail because it’s quite personal to me, my partner and I have been on the rocks for quite some time. We both struggle with mental illness, and we’re both awaiting psychiatric support so at the moment there’s been a lot of “clashing” of you will. He has bad days, I have bad days, and when we both have a bad day? Well it’s just chaos. The love is there but whilst we’re both battling personal demons and don’t know how to help the other, it’s been tough to find what we had nearly 4 years ago.
On Sunday, we had a really bad day. But this time was different, because I realised that whilst he can’t always help his issues, as I can’t either, I don’t deserve the way he treats me sometimes. He’s never aggressive, just careless, young, and irresponsible. I realised that we’re not what each other needs right now. I lost myself in protecting us both, and he lost himself in trying to make me happy. Whilst we love each other sometime apart is what’s needed. We’re still together but we’re taking a step back to allow ourselves to fix ourselves before we can fix our relationship.
The reason I wanted to write this post is actually in the hope that it will lead those who are going through similar to have their own epiphany. We lost our own identities along the way, as many others do throughout relationships. We stopped drinking (because I worried about his mental health and didn’t want to be a hypocrite), we stopped doing things with friends (because we spent so much time together there wasn’t enough time to go and do things), we stopped all our life plans (because we got so toxic for each other we just ended up not wanting to do anything), we stopped a lot of things. Things went really wrong, and it wasn’t until I took a step back I realised that we’d both given up a lot and with it neither of us had much joy left. We’re very blessed that we caught it early because if we hadn’t then we’d be 30 without anything going for us and very little happiness. We found happiness in each other and absolutely nothing else.
If you feel like this is something you can relate to then I have a few pearls of wisdom for you;
- Reflect on your relationship: by doing this you’re going to be able to identify the problem areas. You need to find what’s broke in order to fix it.
- Assess the damage: are you able to fix it? Or are you at the point where it’s better to part ways?
- Communicate: tell your partner how you’re feeling and if you know what you want to do about it then communicate this too them too. If you want to change something, talk to them. If you want to try something new, talk to them. If you’re unhappy about something and don’t know how to fix it, talk to them. There will never be any resolution without without communication.
- Stay true to yourself: don’t give up on your own morals, beliefs, hobbies, interests, friends, or anything that matters to you. If the relationship doesn’t work out then you’re going to find yourself very lost, and even if it does work you’re not going to be truly happy. These things are what make you, you. These things are what made your partner fall in love with you so if you’re changing everything about yourself for them then the likelihood the relationship won’t work.
“You can’t just give up on someone because the situations not ideal. Great relationships aren’t great because they have no problems. They’re great because both people care enough about the other person to find a way to make it work.”
Before I end this post though I must remind you that if someone is forcing you to change who you are, if they’re questioning you’re worth, if they treat you with anything other than love then you shouldn’t be with them. It’s important you are aware of the signs of an abusive relationship which can be found at HelpGuide.org and if you are seeking help you can contact various agencies. Or you can call the National Helpline: 08088010327.