Even now it's hard to write, I hope my words don't offend anyone, as all I want to share is my experience as someone who dated an individual with depression and how the act of ending that relationship affected me as a person.
Being in a relationship is hard in general. It's work, commitment and requires communication from both ends but sometimes depression complicates that process whereas one of us is not communicating well.
Not understanding each other, in general, could lead to a lot of problems whether or not your significant other is struggling with a mental illness. It causes fights that lead to blaming. Next thing you know, you're in a toxic cycle you call your relationship.
It took me a while to overcome "blame" I didn't understand what he was going through and didn't know how to handle our relationship. I used to say things like "he was never open to me" but now I know that wasn't the case.
However, because he was struggling, I was as well.
I was struggling to understand what was going on. What was I doing wrong? Why I couldn't help or "fix" the situation? I ended up feeling hopeless, not enough and just sad all the time because no matter how many times I try to help, reach out or just try to "be there" nothing improved.
By staying with him, I ended up dragging myself down into a mental struggle.
I decided to end the relationship and I felt immensely guilty.
I felt guilty because I was walking away from someone who clearly needed my help. Someone who was struggling. Someone who needed me to be there. I felt guilty because I was selfish and I decided to take care of myself before others.
My mother would say "if you can't take care of yourself, how are you going to take care of others?" This can be interpreted many ways but I knew what she meant at the time. I needed to move on and take care of my own mental health. Although the situation at hand was hard to end, it needed to happen.
I was blamed for leaving, blamed for the downfall of the relationship, blamed for looking for my own happiness, and blamed for moving on. I continued to struggle because of that. As I grew older, I realized now that my actions were never wrong, and I shouldn't have been blamed for leaving a relationship that made me feel like, excuse my French, absolute shit.
I had to make a tough decision for myself and I applaud those who are strong enough to stay, I wasn't.
He has a great support system and that gave me comfort. It allowed me to free myself from the responsibility of taking care of someone else. I was a lot younger than I am now and was not ready to sacrifice and commit to a situation that serious. I didn't even know who I was and what I wanted at the time and that played a huge role in my decisions.
I can't ask anyone of this but if you are in a relationship and your significant other is struggling with mental health try to understand them as best as you can but if you are struggling as well, it's ok to end it and take care of yourself first, that should be everyone's priority.
I wasn't properly trained to take care of an individual with depression. I didn't know how to handle the situation and in all honesty, I think that was dangerous for both of us.