If you haven't looked on social media or popular news lately, you might have missed the buzz about people blaming Ariana Grande for leaving recently deceased Mac Miller while he was struggling with mental illness. Yes, people are actually blaming her for taking care of herself and ending an unhealthy relationship so she could be happy.
It doesn't matter who you are or what your experience is - if your partner is so unhealthy that they are causing you pain or unhappiness, it is not up to you to save them. It is not your job to stay with them. It is not your fault if your act of leaving changes their condition in any way.
There's a huge difference between supporting your partner through a rough time and being your partner's only support through every rough time. Depression is scary, anxiety is scary, and if it's making your relationship scary then it's not fair to you.
I've been that depressed partner, and I've supported a depressed partner. In both cases, I was hurting myself and my significant other. Constantly. Even on our good days, there was always the threat of something going wrong or things falling apart.
So, why is it not your job to be that person who stays through the worst of it all?
Because you need to learn to take care of yourself first, before your partner. And that's exactly what Ariana did in her relationship.
I am so happy she was able to realize things were not working for her, and she was able to step away from something that was hurting her. It is not her fault for what happened after the relationship ended, and it sure as hell isn't her fault that she found someone new so soon after.
It wasn't her job as a girlfriend to be a personal therapist, a monitor for a drug addiction, and a life saver. She was self-aware enough to understand that wasn't her place.
Now, I'm not saying to break up with your significant other just because they had a few bad days this last week, or because they rely on you sometimes to help them through their panic attacks. I'm not saying to give up on the people you consider family because things get hard every now and them.
What I am saying is if you are scared, if you are constantly hurting, and if your own life is starting to fall apart because you're keeping someone else's together - it's time to reconsider your relationship. If you feel helpless and unable to take care of them, don't feel bad for needing to step away. It is not up to you to be their only lifeline.
You don't have to constantly be strong for them, you don't have to be their only source of happiness day after day. It's not easy to be in a relationship with someone who has an illness like depression or anxiety, and if you know you can't do it, it's better to be honest about that with your partner up front.
If you are committed to staying, here's what you can do. Tell them how much you can handle. Promote healthy habits each day and encourage seeing their doctor or a therapist. Help them keep in contact with friends and family outside of your relationship. Find out what helps them when they're struggling, and if you can provide that assistance, do so.
If you're hurting though, know that it's not bad to leave. You are never the bad guy for taking care of yourself, because at the end of the day, sometimes you are all you've got.
As always, if things are getting hard, there are always people for you or your significant other to reach out to. Please consider doing so.
Confidential help is available 24 hours a day through the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. If you ever feel alone, depressed, or have urges to harm yourself; call this number.If you are struggling with an abusive relationship, you can call 1-866-331-9474 to speak to a Love Is Respect advocate and get help. No question is off limits, they are there to help.