If you’re here, we probably have something really important in common: we both love someone with mental illness. We know how awesome they are, and we also know how fucking hard it is.
Here’s what I want to say to you: You matter.
You matter when it feels like you — everything you are — has been subsumed under the hard and the complicated and the heartbreaking of your person’s mental illness and all the needs that come with it.
You matter when people tell you how good you are for your person, as if you aren’t a person yourself and how, exactly, is this good for you?
You matter when you desperately want to vent, but hold your tongue because you know talking to someone who doesn’t get it is going to devolve into them telling you how awful your person is and you defending your person, now angry and sad that you didn’t get to vent and you have to do all of this extra emotional work on top of it.
You matter when your person is having a really hard time and needs you desperately, and what you need desperately is not to be needed so fucking desperately right now.
You matter when the accumulated stress of everything gives you or exacerbates your own health issues.
You matter when you’re connected to the joy of this relationship, and you matter when you feel flat and wonder how much longer you can endure.
You matter when you choose to stay and you matter if you choose to go.
You matter when you grieve the life you don’t get to have, the life you thought you’d have, when you grieve out loud and when you grieve silently because you don’t want your person to know that being with them comes with some grief.
You matter on the days when you’re really fucking pissed off at the Universe, and you matter on the days you feel balanced and serene, like you’ve got this and everything will be okay.
You matter when you not-always-so-secretly resent how expensive mental illness and other chronic illness is, because there are other things you dream of doing with that money.
You matter when you throw up your hands and let the chaos win for the day, because you can’t bring yourself to keep it at bay today.
You matter when you have someone who gets it and when you gleefully tell them the latest ridiculous story and you can both laugh and shake your heads, because it is funny and it’s funny precisely because you both know how awful it also is.
You matter when you just need someone to support you for a change.
You matter. No matter what.