I’ve had loads of messages recently asking me how I told my partner of my mental illness, how he dealt with it and how he deals with it now.
So first thing you should know about James is that he is the kindest man in the world (well second to my Dad). I met him when I was 15, at the very early stages of my illness. I was just starting to self harm, was in the midst of bulimia and no one knew.
I was TERRIFIED of people finding out; back then there was so much stigma surrounding mental illness, I couldn’t bring myself to tell people what was really going on.
However, James knew. My eating habits were irrational, bizarre, and I lived in long sleeves.
The first time we got together, I remember telling him on MSN (remember those days 😂) about my bulimia, as I felt he had a right to know. His response?
‘I know, I thought something was going on and did a bit of research. What can I do to help?’
It was so relieving to share my secret and not feel stigmatised.
Over the years I became more and more open about my self harm and bipolar disorder. He remained supportive.
He’d do his research on bipolar disorder, read books on it, and ask questions to get a better insight.
Don’t be afraid to open up to a loved one. Do it whatever way you feel comfortable. Email, letter, face to face and even good old MSN 😂
Be patient; their initial response might not be one you want. They’re probably confused and worried.
Don’t be afraid to be open, don’t be afraid to live your truth.
It saved my life.
James? Thank you. Thank you for everything. I love you more than words can say 🖤