I was 12 years old when I wrote my first suicide note and 31 when I wrote my last one. Yea, that happened. Both 12 year old me and 31 year old me had very different pain, that they tried desperately to hide from the world. Until, in their opinion, it was too much to bear. To say I have had to battle depression and anxiety, is an understatement. It is a battle I deal with to this day. And one I don’t often share.
I also never ever shared it with any of my previous partners. Until my fiancee. We had been together for about four months when I had an anxiety attack that I cleverly concealed with shots of tequila. What can I say? (Patron is a coping mechanism.) But then I thought “If I love this man, he has to see this part of me.” He had to see and understand my past pain and traumas. So I sat him down and told him everything. I put a ridiculous amount of pressure on myself both personally and professionally and sometimes, it’s too much.
I can’t please everyone but I also want so badly to do so.
Sometimes I cry, for no reason. Sometimes I am unkind for no reason.
Sometimes I need help, but I am ashamed to ask.
This was all new to me, but also important. I needed him to see this side of me and to know what to do when I would find myself in The Sunken Place. Sometimes it’s a memory or social media or something in my environment that causes me to spiral. But more often than not, it comes out of no where. It creeps in and I don’t know what to do. And I need a safety net.
I needed to tell him because I needed him to know that sometimes when I’m trying to be strong for him, I am trying so hard to be strong for myself. And sometimes, it’s too hard to do that silently. When I had another anxiety attack I told him “Somethings wrong. I don’t feel happy and I don’t want to hurt myself, But I am scared and I don’t know what to do.” He asked what he could do and I cried and said “Just hold me.”
It may be the hardest thing in the world to open up to your partner and tell them what you need. And it may seem like you feel you have failed when you show your vulnerable side. But that is bullshit! They are your partner for a reason. They love the beautiful and the not so beautiful. You should never be afraid to ask for help. You should never be afraid to say “I can’t carry this alone.” And most importantly, never be afraid to say you aren’t happy and you just need to be held.
There is strength in admitting you need help. And there is love in the people who give it to you.