My Ex Shamed My Depression, And For That, He Should Be Ashamed Of Himself

My Ex Shamed My Depression, And For That, He Should Be Ashamed Of Himself

Depression happens, and the hurt that I continue to endure throughout my battle with it isn't my fault.

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Trigger warning: self-harm

Having a mental illness is a continual battle against yourself. You have your good days, sure, but you have your bad days, too. You get inside your own head. Your brain says horrible things, tries to coax you into doing things you know you shouldn't do. You're filled to the brim with self-hate, making you feel unlovable. I mean, you can't even love yourself, for crying out loud.

Growing up, we've been given false expectations of relationships. That's nothing new, but the worst part of this is that we're taught that being in love fixes everything. You're magically healed and happy all the time because their love makes everything better. You don't hurt yourself anymore, all of your toxic behaviors vanish, and you love every inch of yourself.

That's bullshit and the fact that I used to believe it hurt me so, so much.

I knew for awhile growing up that something was "off" about me. In high school, I knew that the way I felt wasn't what others would deem as normal. I knew everyone else didn't overextend themselves in a plethora of activities for the sole goal of being too busy to think. After being forced into counseling for anger management issues, a counselor discussed the possibility of being depressed.

When I came to college, I was finally able to get anti-depressants on my own accord. I didn't need to try to convince my family that I needed them. The exhaustion that comes with the trial and error of finding an anti-depressant that works isn't talked about as much as it should be, because it was a real struggle that I had a very hard time enduring. The medication I was on during my early years of college just made everything worse.

I had been in a long-term relationship with a guy since approximately sophomore year of high school. He was a few years older than me, so our relationship became a long-distance one after I went to college. This is hard enough as is, but when I began to have a bad reaction to my medication, the strain in our relationship only grew.

He began to make me feel lesser than himself, whether that was intentional harm on his part or not. When I would be so depressed I couldn't leave my bed, he would shame me for it. He made me feel like being so immobilized by my mental health was something I should just stop doing, and when I couldn't, he'd grow more irritated with me.

When I would self-harm, I would be scolded. Instead of being concerned, I was addressed like his daughter, being told to "not do that again." When I went to the hospital for it, he didn't so much as visit me. Any time I would try to be open with him about my self-harming, it was greeted with anger, like he couldn't believe I would do such a thing. I eventually stopped telling him anything about my cuts or even my mental health in general for fear of feeling worse about myself than I already did.

It wasn't until I told some close friends of his reactions and overall treatment of me being depressed that I learned that this illness didn't make me lesser than anyone else, especially him. I was told that his toxic behavior shouldn't be something I should tolerate.

After breaking up with my ex and changing medications, I now realize that him shaming and scolding me like he was my superior only reflects poorly on himself. It exposes his personal flaws, not mine. Depression happens, and the hurt that I continue to endure throughout my battle with it isn't my fault. I strive to cope and grow every day, and that's something I'm proud of. I don't feel ashamed to talk about my struggles anymore.

Believing that being in my relationship meant I should be happy constantly and not at all depressed caused my heart to endure so much pain. When someone I loved spoke to me like I should be ashamed of myself, I began to think less of myself, more than I already did to begin with.

Not understanding depression is one thing. It's something that's different for each person affected by it, so it's difficult to understand if you aren't someone who is depressed. Shaming someone for their depression or any mental illness, though, isn't okay. It's not understandable, it's not acceptable, and it's not tolerable.



If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Literally, so hot RN

Literally, so hot RN

As Much As You May Want To, You'll Never Get Over Your First Love

You never forget your first

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Your first love is just that: the first person you've ever truly loved (besides your family and friends). Maybe you've kissed a few people before, but with this person it's different. They mean something to you that no other person ever has before. Maybe you met this person when you were younger in high school or met them a little later in life as I did at the end of my first year of college. Meeting my first love transformed me, both for the good and the bad, and as much as I may want to, I'll never get over my first love and neither will you.

When we met, we didn't meet in some fantastical way, we met on Tinder right after a surprise breakup of mine. We had instant chemistry, and I didn't get to kiss him for weeks because I ended up getting mono right after the breakup (haha whoops). He was the first person I've ever kissed who I didn't want to stop kissing- ever. Yes, second semester freshman year me was super extra when it came to him, but being with him was so different than anyone else. Things progressed through the summer as we talked every single day, even though we never got to meet up because we were both busy, and at the beginning of my sophomore year, I lost my virginity to him. That was a big step for someone who thought she'd wait until she was married. He made sure I was fine and didn't push me to do anything I wasn't comfortable with. I'll treasure that forever.

He was someone I loved with all of my being, to the point where it was physically hurting me in the end because I knew what I felt wasn't going to ever be reciprocated the way I wanted it to be. That's when I had to end it, which was one of the hardest things I've ever done. To me, he was a boyfriend, but to him, I was a friend with benefits. I wanted something more and he wanted less, and I didn't want to accept that. I wasn't his first love but he was mine, which he doesn't know and probably never will. I have had moments where I thought I was over him, but then all the emotions flood right back. In hard moments of hurt is when I miss him the most, but also in moments of joy too. If I see a nice car I think of him, or of other little things, like a french bulldog or The Fast and The Furious.

Your first love leaves such a monumental effect on you as a person. They have seen parts of you others have not. You will always remember your firsts more than anything else, which is why your first love never leaves you. As roughly as things ended between he and I, he's always going to have a piece of me that no one else will ever have. The relationship we had wasn't what you'd expect from someone you call your first love, but his mark on me is what helped shape me into who I am today for better or for worse.

Don't let any negativity remain when it comes to your first love (if there is any). Let it go and remember the good. They will be a part of you forever, so you can never truly get over you.

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Why You Keep Falling In Love With People Who Don’t Love You Back In Your 20s

It's embedded in our human psychology to always desire deeper connections and meaningful relationships with the people we hold close to our heart, even if the feeling aren't necessarily mutual.

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Can love truly be both beautiful and heartbreaking?

It's a question I silently asked myself, sitting shotgun in a car next to someone I considered my friend.

A "friend" seemed to be the right label to define our relationship. To him, I was just a friend—who just happened to be a girl, a girl he texts regularly, jokes around, and can grab a drink with. And we loved each other as friends, because we both trusted each other, we had fun together and each had our own independent lives which would connect occasionally in a complete, non-questionable platonic way.

But slowly, for me, he was becoming everything I've ever wanted in a guy, standing right in front of me. But he wasn't mine to have.

And imagine being so close to someone you want except you can't have him because it might just ruin everything you've already shared together. Because what if you scare him away? What if he replies by telling you "No"?

That's the simple nature of falling in love with someone you can't be with.

In our early part of our lives—particularly in our 20s and during our college years, we all experience this type of heartbreak.

To name a few: A high school boyfriend who lives halfway across the country now. The hot guy you sit next to in lecture who already has a girlfriend. The casual hookup who you just can't manage to stop thinking about as you endlessly toss and turn at night. The platonic friend who doesn't quite see you as being something more.

We all at one point in our thoughts have imagined "coupling" or sharing a life with a guy who we can't seem to have for ourselves. We've always dreamt how things could actually work out if you actually shared your feelings with him except the closest we'll ever reach to it is in our dreams, not reality.

And to examine the logic behind why this happens, we have to first admit how we always want what we can't have.

Because it's embedded in our human psychology to always desire deeper connections and meaningful relationships with the people we hold close to our heart, even if the feeling aren't necessarily mutual.

So, it's not really this case of the whole Romeo and Juliet "star-crossed lovers" BS but rather, it's purely a one sided love which can most definitely be beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. Beautiful because there's always a connection you feel which makes you all warm and bubbly inside but heartbreaking because you know this connection is merely flowing in a one way track.

So then, why do we tend to maintain our connections with these people who hurt us?

One reason is because you're afraid to lose him altogether. Perhaps you think he's going to go on full freak-out mode after you spill the beans to him. My piece of advice in this scenario would be to just suck it up and take the chance. Talk to him about how you feel because honestly, what's there to lose? Unless you're not reciting some sappy, over-the-top love story about how many kids you plan to have with him, you're fine.

But perhaps, the most common reason is because we assume he might eventually fall in love with us, too.

And if this pertains to you, gear up because I can write on for days about why this is a big no-no. Heck, I can probably teach a class or lecture to all of you about my elaborative theory of why you will definitely know whether a boy truly loves you or not. It's plain and simple—if he loves you, he'll make sure you know.

And you can't force someone to fall in love with you. Even if you pay them a million bucks, you can get them to pretend to love you or force them to be with you—but it's never going to be true love. Because true, unrequited love is effortless. It comes naturally. The fiery passion will be shared mutually and you won't ever have to question whether or not you belong with him.

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