Continuing in my tradition of bringing people back onto the blog for Shattering Stigmas, I’m so happy to bring back my name twin Taylor Lien to talk about mental health and relationships! You can find Taylor on her Twitter and YouTube Channel.
When I was in high school, I consumed many books about teenagers with mental illness. Those stories made me feel seen in a way that I was not being seen in my own life. The other thing they did was help me believe that I could be loved with a mental illness. Some of them even just for second made me believe that if I were in a romantic relationship than my mental illness didn’t matter anymore. Except, I knew that wasn’t true, I knew that being able to stand on my own was an important aspect of being able to love a partner the way they deserved. At twenty-one, almost six months ago, everything fell into place. I had spent four years single, and those years allowed me to heal and grow. I see now that was necessary in order to have a healthy relationship like the one I’m in now.
That healthy relationship includes two people who struggle with mental illness. I would never sit here and say every day has been easy. There was a day this summer where I was crying on the floor near a panic attack and she was ready to take me to the hospital. After we had both calmed down and talked it through it all ended up okay, but I know there will be more days like that. Sometimes we have to change plans because one of us is too anxious to interact with other people, or she encourages me to go to something with her so I don’t isolate myself too much.
The way we can feed into each other’s rhythms comes from three years of being friends and having spent a lot of time together in the six months we have been dating. Early on we had missteps and like that day this summer sometimes there were a lot of tears. I’m writing this post though to say that for me in my relationship, we’ve been making it work. It is not often like the books or the movies would make you believe, but it is a loving and fulfilling relationship nonetheless.
Thanks to Tay for letting me be a part of this amazing blog series for a second time!