It is important to remind yourself that it is not your fault, and that ultimately, it’s not about you.Try hard to parse out what you know in your heart to be true from what you think is the illness talking.For us, it was one another, and that felt fine to me, but less so to him.With the stress of living in a new city and delving into a new relationship, his anxiety and depression blossomed beyond the average quarter-life crisis into something much more serious.We broke up numerous times, but it never lasted more than a week or so.I later understood that he kept coming back to me because he was scared of what he would to do himself if he was alone.It’s hard to weather these kinds of storms, but it’s doable. Be strong for yourself, and also for them, but don’t be afraid to know when it’s time to take yourself out of the equation.
After a night in the psych ward and a diagnosis of GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), OCD, and clinical depression, they let him out of the hospital, and entered him into an outpatient program that consisted of daily, intensive therapy.A boy I met in grad school lasted a year, but we were too hot-tempered to coexist in the same air.A couple of unhappy years with someone back home who loved me when I did not love him.A good eight years were wasted on someone I dated briefly and became obsessed with once he ended it. I think there is still a lot more stigma than we admit, and every joke someone cracks about being “so OCD” makes it harder to explain that while you all think you’re totally cool with me being obsessive-compulsive, it’s a lot more than lining up pencils and touching the light switch.
It was the most tangible manifestation of my illness I’ve experienced, and it makes me sick to think about. Men have broken up with me after getting only a glimpse of my worst looming on the horizon, and others have stayed with me through abhorrent behavior because they were afraid of what I might do if they left.
There is a strange thing that happens when you first move to a new city.