This week (May 16th – 22nd) is Mental Health Awareness week in the UK, with the theme of the week focusing on ‘relationships’. Also, a fellow blogging friend has nominated me to write about mental health in order to banish the stigma that surrounds it (her post is here if you want to check it out), so I thought what better time than to write another mental health related blog post. Today, to go with the theme of the week, I will be talking about how my mental health has impacted on my relationships and vice versa. By relationships I don’t mean merely romantic relationships, but also relationships with friends, family, and anyone else I come into contact with.
The main thing that impacts me and my relationships is the fact that I am extremely clingy. Like, it’s something that has affected me for years and has meant that I constantly don’t feel good enough and seek approval from everyone. It’s become a norm to assume that people don’t like me, and I’m not gonna lie, it has had a huge impact on my relationships. .But yeah, being clingy has caused me to do the actual opposite of what I aim…I want people to be close to me, I want to feel constantly loved…which often I already am…so my doubt of this love and constant need to more attention and reassurance pushes people away…and after talking to my counsellor I completely understand why. It’s not healthy, it makes my relationships with friends and family and partners UNhealthy. I have an amazing partner, friends and family who love me and would do anything for me. I know this, but when I get into an anxious state or a low mood, my logic goes and I assume everyone hates me – not at all fun. Thankfully, I am finally seeing a counsellor who is helping me through this and after just two sessions I already feel hopeful that things are improving.
Another thing I want to address here is relationships where both people struggle with mental health. Now I have a number of people in my life who I am extremely close to who sadly suffer with similar mental illnesses as me, and some illnesses that are different…so this means I have a knowledge of these illnesses and how to react around someone experiencing them. However, due to my own mental health issues, it is sometimes hard to act appropriately for these people. I have found myself sometimes retreating ‘into’ myself if I am around someone who is talking about anxious thoughts, simply because at times I cannot cope with anyone elses problems. Many other people do this and need to realise that this is NOT selfish. We can’t be there for everyone at all times, and sometimes our own health comes first. One close relationship of mine is with someone who struggles with low mood…this is something that I also struggle with, and usually we turn to each other to feel better, however, there have been times where both of us are ‘down’ at the same time, which makes it extremely difficult to lift each others spirits. This is something I have struggled with for a while, but now I realise that in order for our relationship to blossom, we need to realise that we CAN pick ourselves up, and don’t necessarily have to rely on each other, and also that if we cannot help each other for some reason, it is not selfish, we simply need to focus on our own health for a while. My counsellor has helped tremendously with this realisation and I could not be more thankful.
So, that’s it for my mental health and relationships post. I hope you’ve enjoyed. Why not check out some of my other #mentalhealth posts?
Don’t forget to get involved. Banish the stigma of mental health. Take inspiration from Ashleigh’s blog post and #KeepThisConvoGoing.
Love Rach xoxo