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My mental illness

Drawn by early 20th-century commercial cat ill...

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I am one of the thousands of people who suffer from a mental illness. I have an anxious personality disorder, social phobia and reoccurring depression. I carry around the shame of it, the embarrassment , the guilt, the shock of how much this illness has robbed me of regarding family and relationships and life goals. There was so much I wanted out of life. I remember when I was a teenager, I would type on an old electric typewriter (before the age of laptops) and dream of becoming a famous writer. I’d dream about becoming a mother and having a family of my own. Everything would run smoothly, no problem. There was a long list of things I swore I’d never do, roads I would never go down, multiple ways of fucking up my life that I would make sure to steer clear of.

I am now 38, a noncustodial mother, retired, socially isolated and just suffered a break-up. Again.

I could never make friends easily, I prefer the security of sitting behind my computer screen. I have hobbies where I can be sure to be alone: Photography, writing, drawing, painting. Things that I can do on my own. I have no friends that come around, nobody to confide in except people online. That’s why the internet is immensely important to me – take that away and there really is nobody to relate to or talk to.

This was so not the way I pictured my life. I wanted other things, a wholly different result, believe me. I have fought and fought this mental illness all my life. It goes back to when I took my first steps (which I did rather late due to an operation).. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t anxious. There’s always been this deep insecurity inside me and it feels like I never had a choice in the matter – I could never win this battle even though I have tried.

If there’s one thing I’d like to change, it’s the fact that it’s so damn hard to find a partner. Who can tolerate being with someone so isolated, so needy, so insecure? I don’t know. I haven’t found anyone yet. I have a few failed relationships now and I am beginning to think that love is really not possible for someone with a mental illness.

Which kind of ruins my one final goal in life: I want someone to love me and STAY.

I now doubt it will ever happen.. because of this damn illness.

Do you think it’s possible to be successful at love when you have mental problems?

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