So you’re dating someone with a mental illness…

So you’re dating someone with a mental illness,
And that can be tough,
I mean dating in itself,
Is quite too much,
But here are some things you ought to know,
That can help act as a crutch,

Number 1.
Trust us to know about how our illness works,
What it is we are going through,
Trust in our ability to tell you,
What we need and how we need it,
Trust that we can handle ourselves,
Because we have made it so far,
On our own strength,
And patience,
We do not need to be coddled,
We do not need a babysitter.

Number 2.
You are going to have to put in effort,
To understand our illness,
You might have to read up on it,
Or well ask us about it,
Tell us to explain,
We will try our best,
Unless we are having a bad day.

Number 3.
We have a different “normal”,
To the rest of the world,
We may do things,
That to you,
Seem absurd,
In these moments,
Don’t act like a parent,
Teaching a child wrong or right,
Support us,
You can explain,
Another night.

Number 4.
If you feel like you are out of your depth,
Just confront us,
About what you can do to help,
We are sorry if our answer does not please you,
But empathize,
If you feel so helpless,
Imagine how we feel too.

Number 5.
The happiness we get is momentary,
So sometimes our happiness may be over bearing,
It may make no sense,
It’s just a new song or book or whatever after all,
But this thing makes us feel,
When on other days,
We feel nothing at all.

Number 6.
We understand if you need time,
Don’t be scared to want it,
Don’t think we will be crippled if you need your space,
We know what a hectic life-altering event it can be,
We know how much of a burden the situation can seem,
We know you are human,
We don’t expect you to be anything else,
You are allowed to want time away from me,
You do not need to feel guilt.

Number 7.
As much as we want you to treat us like anyone else,
We do have our shortcomings,
We know how much dating us can be asking,
From you,
But it is something we need you to not forget,
While I am not my illness,
I do still have it.

Number 8.
Somedays we will refuse to be helpful,
And our filter may disappear,
We may say things that we do not truly adhere,
If we do,
Please do not hesitate,
To stay away from us,
If we are hurting you and you cannot bear it,
You are allowed to take care of yourself,
And tell us when we seem normal again,
About what we did,
If nothing else,
We will feel remorse,
And learn to try and control ourselves.

Number 9.
There will also be days,
Where we need you,
To just stay,
While still being with us.
We might just need your presence,
As a reminder,
That there is someone,
Who wants us to get better,
Because while we know we should want to live,
There are days where we will doubt it,
And in those days,
Knowing someone cares,
Someone’s emotions are bound to our lives,
Could be a saving grace.

Number 10.
We will ask you questions,
About how you feel about us,
About how you think we are doing,
About  how if any of this is even worth it,
And sometimes it will all just boil down to us,
Wanting to know how you would handle this,
Because you seem so normal,
So perfect,
So sane,
That you must have the answers to my burning questions,
Which you don’t,
Therefore, instead please reassure us,
About our fight,
About your feelings for us,
And how someday I will prevail.

So you’re dating someone with a mental illness,
And that will be tough,
After all dating in itself,
Is quite too much,
But here are some things you now know,
That will hopefully,
Act as a crutch.




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