In my last few articles I described my journey through depression whilst being in a long distance relationship and how it developed into anxiety attacks often triggered by social media. As a grown woman in her thirties it feels like a very strange thing to admit happening!
In the crescendo of my paranoia, about to foolishly end my relationship, my boyfriend went missing. It might not sound too major to you dear readers, as he had simply gone out late night jogging, leaving his phone at home, accidentally locking his sister out of his house where she was staying. However, for the worst half an hour of my life I truly thought he was dead – injured in some terrible accident or worse and that it was my fault because of the pressure I had put him under with my depression and anxiety. I prayed to every single god and goddess I could think of and probably a few made up ones that he would be safe. Half an hour later he was home.
I realised then how much I loved him, how ridiculous this whole social media paranoia thing was, how I could not depend on another person to cure my illness and how I had to do this on my own if I was ever to save myself and my relationship.
I decided to give him space for a few days and not message him and to deactivate my fb account. I had to break the cycle. I made the decision to see a doctor and get professional help.
The next day my boyfriend told me how he had confided in a young female friend and she had advised him that she had split up with her boyfriend when she was attracted to other men, did what she wanted and then got back together with him afterwards. She also said that if her man was worried she was cheating and was having trouble believing her then it would be his problem and she wouldn’t care.
Instead of being angry or insecure that he had gone out with this girl I felt huge relief. I now knew I had nothing to worry about with these young girls on his fb. I would never behave in such a selfish and insensitive way with the person I love like this girl was foolishly recommending, especially if I knew they were suffering from a mental illness.
To be fair to her she is very young and I’m sure as she grows older she will develop a more mature attitude towards relationships and mental illness or she will gain an unfortunate reputation.
I felt good about myself that while I may not be as young or physically attractive as these girls, I know I am worth a 100 times more and that makes me 100 times more sexy. I am a more kind, sensitive and loving person, selfless in my love, honest, loyal and caring. My relationships will be meaningful and fulfilling and any man who is lucky enough to have me will be the most loved in the world because I LOVE MYSELF FIRST AND I‘M PROUD OF BEING THE GOOD PERSON THAT I AM AND I WILL ALWAYS STRIVE TO BE A BETTER PERSON.
I also have a new insight into the male psyche. Men need attention from women other than their spouses, be it a glance on the bus or a ‘like’ on facebook. It boosts their ego and makes them feel young and good about themselves and why not? Women do it also. It’s not the worst thing in the world and doesn’t mean they will be unfaithful. They need to have the freedom to have platonic female friends and to go out in groups that include younger single people as well as hanging around with other couples. Most importantly they need a partner who can recognise this and not get jealous and try to control or own them. To be this person I need to lose my insecurities and put my trust and faith in my partner.
I got officially diagnosed and prescribed medication for anxiety, PTSD and unipolar depression and have signed up for counselling. I apologised to my man for ever doubting him and promised I would get well and give him all the freedom and space he needs. He was wonderfully sweet and said I didn’t need to apologise as it was an illness. I was very happy that we both finally understood. I still feel physically and mentally depressed but as each day passes it lessens and I now have hope for the future and am a stronger person.