My mental health took a turn for the worst after I got engaged. Before then, I had no idea that I even had a mental illness. Therefore, when I started seeking help soon after marriage, many well meaning friends and family members began to hint at whether my marriage was causing the problems.
Before becoming engaged, I was in control of my life. I had a boyfriend, a job, OK grades in school, and a leadership position with my campus ministry. I thought those were all indicators of success so I had no reason to believe anything was wrong. However, what I didn’t realize is how much I had controlled my life to hide everything that was wrong. Not only that, I had no one to compare my life style to. All of the symptoms of my mental health problems have been there since childhood, so I thought everything I experienced was normal.
I didn’t realize it wasn’t normal to isolate myself for days at a time
I didn’t realize it wasn’t normal to revert to self harm whenever I felt lonely or stressed
I didn’t realize it wasn’t normal to space out for hours at a time
I didn’t realize it wasn’t normal to view other’s as more human than myself
I didn’t realize I was frequently experiencing panic attacks because their presence was so familiar
I didn’t realize it wasn’t normal to be afraid of absolutely everything
I didn’t realize it wasn’t normal to spend hours at a time pulling my hair and picking my skin
I didn’t realize that it wasn’t normal to daydream about life more than actually living it
I didn’t realize I was depressed until I had experienced true happiness
Marriage didn’t make my mental health worse. It simply placed someone in my life that was around to see these sides me that I had hidden from everyone including myself. Being married burst my perspective of what is normal in life. My husband isn’t causing my anxiety and depression — he is exposing it. He is questioning the life that I once considered normal and showing me that it is possible to be free from all of this. He has been my number one prayer warrior, supporter, and voice of reason. Things may seem worse right now, but only because I am working through the hurt of all of my lost time. For the first time in my life, I have answers to everything that had been holding me back. My marriage has done the exact opposite of making my mental health worse. It is the only reason I know how to get help and begin to make progress towards recovery.