An Open Letter To All The People Who Loved Me When It Was Impossible
Thanks for sticking with me, even when I’ve made it hard.
To all of you,
I know sometimes I make it hard to love me – hell, even like me – but I want to thank you for standing by my side, regardless.
I’m not always great to be around. My many and constant mental illnesses can make me unexciting, or difficult to spend time with. I can be extremely unreasonable and irrational. I find it impossible to like myself most of the time, and unbearable to love. I don’t make it easy on anyone else to be around me.
And I know it’s hard to love someone when they keep pushing you away. And I’m an expert at pushing people away.
But you all stuck by me, and I came out the other side of the most hopeless place I’ve ever been because of it. So thank you.
Thank you for not giving up on me when I was insistent on giving up on myself, and on my life.
Without my mental illness, I’m generally a cheerful person. I’m usually full of love, life, and happiness.
But not lately. For months I’ve found it impossible to wake up in the morning. I’ve found it hard to continue to put on a mask each day and breath and speak like everything isn’t imploding inside of me. More than once, I’ve wanted to die. I’ve been in a deep, dark hole of sadness, anger, confusion and complete self-loathing.
But you didn’t let my internal darkness change your opinion of me. You remembered the light, radiant, positive me, and tried your hardest to pull her back out and into the world again.
I was at my worst and you still saw the best in me. Even when I cut off contact, ignored calls and messages, and shut you out, you let me know you were still there.
I didn’t make it easy on you.
Aside from pulling away and isolating myself because I believed it was better for all of you if I just disappeared, I know I made everyone around me, at some point, feel like I’d been taking you for granted. I was so caught up in my own whirlwind of destruction that I wasn’t willing to be there for others when they needed me.
I was selfish, distant, and cold. And you didn’t deserve it.
I was a less than perfect friend, daughter, sister, niece and partner. But you believed in me. And even though I didn’t show gratitude or thankfulness at the time, I felt it. And I hope you’ll take my word that I appreciate your love more than anything else in my life.
My depression consumes me at times. It picks away at my will and my self-esteem. I can feel it changing my body and personality from the inside out, and I don’t have the energy or motivation to stop it. It convinces me that I am unlovable and unworthy of friends and family. It tells me I’m better off alone, and that the people who I think love me are desperate for me to get out of their lives.
And so, sometimes, I listen to it. I make it impossible to get close to me because I run away. I make it a chore to be around me because I am miserable and the dark cloud hovering over my head is so insidious, it spreads to other people. Being around me when I’m like this is draining and extremely unpleasant.
And so it feels more comforting than you’ll ever know that you still loved me when it was almost impossible to do so.
It means the world to me to know I’ll always have your support. My heart feels full and warm when I reflect on how lucky I am to have people who love me enough to stay when many other goodhearted people would have walked away.
It takes a special kind of person to stand by someone who thinks you’re better off without them. It takes an amazing person to love someone when they don’t want anyone to show them love, or have any love in their hearts for themselves.
And you are all this kind of person.
If I’ve ever made you feel like I don’t care about your, or didn’t appreciate every tiny gesture of affection, caring, concern and love you gave me, I am deeply sorry.
I am heartbroken and angry at myself that I can’t even promise I’ll be easy to love from this point on.
I still struggle every day with my own insecurities. I still feel my one foot out of the door, ready to run away from everyone and lock myself away.
I know I’m better now, but I’m not cured. I’m still impossible to love, at times. I know this.
And that just makes me appreciate all of those who continue to do so that much more.
And so this is my way of thanking you all.
Thank you from the bottom of my fucked up and broken heart. Thank you for all you’ve done and continue to do.
Thank you for loving me, despite my flaws and imperfections.
I swear I am more grateful for your love than I’ll ever be able to express or return.
But I will try.
I owe you that much.
Images via etsy.com and pixabay.com.
Comment: What would you like to say to those who’ve stuck by you, even when you made it hard for them to do so?