Written by Taylor Nicole.
There are a lot of relationship milestones that can seem kind of intimidating. The first date, the first kiss, the first time saying I love you. However, for me, there’s one relationship milestone that terrifies me. That is, the first time I disclose my mental illness.
I know it’s time. I can’t keep my mental illness a secret.
When things start getting pretty serious and I start envisioning a future with my partner, I know it’s time. I can’t keep my mental illness a secret. Why? Because like any illness there will be hard times. Times that seem impossible and times that your illness rules your life. Mental illness is no exception. Mental illness can overcome your life quickly and swiftly. It’s important to inform your partner of your illness, so they can best understand you if and when your illness strikes. Sometimes this can end a budding relationship…and that’s okay. That just means they aren’t the one.
Sometimes things are beautiful and your partner will accept and understand your illness the best they can.
But sometimes things are beautiful and your partner will accept and understand your illness the best they can. This is the best case scenario. This means your partner accepts you, despite the flaws in your chemistry. That is something very special. Having a partner who understands your illness can take a lot of pressure off your shoulders. But after you tell your partner, you may wonder, who else do I have to tell?
Mental illness can be as public or as private as you feel comfortable.
Although it’s extremely crucial to tell your partner of your illness, you are under no obligation to tell anyone else, whether they be on your side or your partners. Mental illness can be as public or as private as you feel comfortable. You do not have to inform others of your illness. No matter how much you like someone you don’t have to tell them everything.
When you start a serious relationship you gain new friends and family.
When you start a serious relationship you gain new friends and family. You share connections. You may feel like it’s important to share your medical information with them. If you’re comfortable with them then feel free to share away! But you do not need to open up just because they are part of your life.
You matter the most.
If you’re choosing to share your life with someone, yes, you need to confide in them about your health issues. However, you do not need to disclose that information to anyone else. Your illness is your business, no one else’s. Pick and choose, share with the world, or keep it a secret. It is about making yourself comfortable with your illness, not others. You matter the most.