My depression has always affected my life. I dropped out of college because of it and over the years it has cost me job opportunities, friendships, and too many romantic relationships to count.

Mental illness is still pretty heavily stigmatized.

A lot of people like to believe that mental illness is just some made up thing that we can just snap out of. I don’t know how many partners have told me to just cheer up and they get frustrated when that doesn’t work. They get annoyed when, despite all their best efforts, I’m still depressed. Trust me, I’m just as annoyed. I wish that it could be as easy as going outside or something but it just isn’t.

I only focus on myself.

On my bad days, I can just sit and wallow in my own despair. I’m not concerned about anyone else; I spend all day thinking about the darkness and how badly I want it to swallow me up. I’m so focused on how I’m feeling that I’ve never thought about how it hurt my partners.

Sex isn’t always just sex for me.

Most of the time, I feel just absolutely empty and I can’t feel anything. Feeling so numb drives me crazy and I do whatever it takes to just feel something. I do drugs, I drink, I hurt myself, and I reach out for sex. Sometimes I can’t even really feel the person, I can just feel the pressure of the other person on me and in me. I use sex as something to bring me back up and it never really does. I’m never really into sex either, so my partners get frustrated because they have needs and I’m rarely in the mood to meet them. I also know that it can possibly make them feel like they’re not attractive to me, which is really upsetting for me because I know what that feels like and I hate making people feel like that.

I sleep a lot.

I spend most of my days in bed. I can sleep for hours upon hours. This is an obvious problem for partners. Not everyone can spend their days in bed like I can. It’s a challenge to get me anywhere away from the bed. I can’t even watch television with them because I’m not at all focused. I’m never fully there when it comes to any quality time.

Going out is a challenge.

When you spend most of your time in bed or wallowing in self-hatred, going out isn’t something you really enjoy. Even if I do finally get out of bed, I hate everything on me, which only starts another round of feeling sorry for myself. It hard to break the cycle and I know that’s hard for people to deal with.

Texting is nearly impossible.

I’ve left so many conversations open and unfinished. It’s so awful and I hate it when people do it to me, but I just lose the motivation to continue. I might just go to sleep after reading a text or just be too concerned with myself to text back. I don’t know if you know, but most people hate a bad texter.

I need more work than others.

Dating me is a lot of work because you have to put more into me than any other partner. My ex had to come over often to talk me off the edge pretty often. He spent a lot of time trying to calm me down or trying to get me out to do things. He spent so much time and energy to try and keep me from drowning. It’s exhausting and so time-consuming and he never got much out of it.

Partners can feel helpless.

You can’t really cure depression; I can’t always be dragged out of my despair. In fact, I rarely am. I have many bad days in a row. My partners don’t know what to do and they run out of ideas and energy and desire. It’s completely understandable, of course. A person can only do so much until they see they can’t really do anything. It makes them feel so powerless and so frustrated.

It negatively affects them.

It’s so hard to love someone who doesn’t love themselves. My ex put so much time and energy into me and never got anything out of it. My ex is still very present in my life and it’s still not easy for him at all. He’s seen me tear myself down. He’s seen the aftermath of me hurting myself. I made him break down and just cry from what I go through. I asked him what the hardest thing for him was and he said it was knowing how I saw myself and knowing he couldn’t do anything about it.

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