Over the two weeks or so, I feel like I've been surrounded by talk of romantic partners, weddings, and future children.
As a hopeless romantic and someone who is constantly dreaming about falling in love, I really enjoy talking about stuff like this, even when it makes me dream and fantasize even more.
Like I wrote a little bit about back in October, I'm also really afraid of falling in love because my anxiety makes it difficult for me to let anyone in. So as I more frequently think about romance, I am more frequently reminded of my fear.
What I've come to realize is that I'm also afraid of not finding someone who is willing to accept all the baggage that comes along with me.
I have no shame in admitting I am a very complex and complicated person. In the words of Meredith Grey, I am dark and twisty. I've been dealt a lot of bad cards in my life, and there is a lot of stuff that goes with that.
I am damaged. I struggle fiercely with my mental health. I get triggered and upset easily. I have a hard time letting people in. I need lots of reassurance. I am a huge work in progress, and if I am going to be in a relationship, I need to be with someone who is ready and willing to accept that from me.
I know there are people who say if you have that many issues, you should focus on yourself before finding a romantic partner, and while that is true to an extent, I feel like I am currently in a place in my life where I feel like I can handle having one. I know myself well enough to realize when I'm not, whether I would like to admit it or not.
I am not saying I need my future partner to be able to help me work through all of my stuff. That simply isn't healthy.
All I'm asking is that they are a source of understanding, acceptance, and support. Because let's face it. The struggle with mental health is not linear for anybody, and there are going to be times where my mental health takes a dip. And even when things are going well, there are still things we struggle with on a daily basis.
Even though I'm afraid I won't find someone willing to accept my work in progress, I have a lot of hope that I will.
While we still have so much work to do as a society in combatting the stigma that surrounds mental health issues and mental illness, we have to recognize that we have made progress. People are getting better at educating themselves and others and being more understanding and supporting those who struggle.
The right person will eventually come around. For all of us. It may not be right away, as good things often take time, but it will happen. And when it does, I hope they are everything we ever hoped and dreamed about.
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