The other day, I was rushing around trying to accomplish a hundred things on my to-do list that I completely forgot that I needed to go to the drug store. When I got home, I started folding laundry and the idea of picking up my antidepressant escaped my mind. My boyfriend had left about half an hour earlier to run to the hardware store to grab stuff for our house-renovation projects (which are never ending; don’t rush to buy a house, y’all), and he came into the living room and handed me a bag over the laundry basket I was sorting through. When I peered into the bag, I saw a little amber bottle with my antidepressants in it.
I looked up, a little surprised. “Oh, wow, I almost forgot!” I said. I was completely out of pills at home and had kept forgetting to pick up my refill, so that was why it was so important that I go that day. And, of course, I’d forgotten. But my boyfriend hadn’t. “You remembered?!” I half asked-half exclaimed. “Yeah, I knew that they’d be closed by the time you remembered, so I just grabbed them,” he said. I did that dramatic hand-over-the-heart thing and hugged him tightly before he went back to tearing our bathroom walls down.
That little gesture literally saved my mental stability for the rest of the week. If I miss one day of taking my pill, my body takes a few days to readjust. For the next day or two, I cry over everything, it’s hard to get out of bed, and everything just feels foggy. So, it’s really important for me not to miss a single day of taking my antidepressant.
I’ve struggled with mental issues since I can remember. Some days, my anxiety and depression are basically debilitating – I can’t get out of bed, I can’t function; I’m lucky if I can breathe properly. When I was in college and this would happen, I would lay in bed all day until I got the courage to get up and eat, then go drink with my friends. I was so mentally unstable and unhealthy at that point in my life, and I’m not sure how exactly I dug myself out of that hole.
I will tell you this – I noticed the biggest change when I started dating my boyfriend. I get it, a lot of depression for me is just feeling lonely, so having someone who wanted to be around me was super beneficial. But it was something else, too. He listened to me, which was not something I was used to. He let me take my mental health days without asking too many questions and would bring me things to cheer me up. As our relationship has gotten stronger, so has his understanding of my mental health.
At first, he was clueless. He thought I was sad all the time because of something he was doing, and he thought that my mood swings were a result of something he’d done. Now, he gets it. Kinda.b He understands when I just need to be left alone and when I need comforted. He especially understands how important it is for me to take my medication; every night, he lays one of my pills on my nightstand with a bottle of water and buys me lavender oil when I need it.
The most important thing you can do is find someone who understands the things that hurt you the most. Find someone who runs to the drugstore just before they close to pick up your medicine so you don’t have bad days. Find someone who loves you for you, and who will always be there to pick you up. Find someone who respects the way your body and mind work, even if they can’t understand it fully. Realize that your mental health is important, and find someone who realizes it, too.