Who needs to know?

Who needs to know?
Suffering in silence.

This is not easy for me to write about, so please be nice.

I sometimes share snippets of my mental health issues and struggles on here. That makes you special. In a way, you know more about me than some of my closest friends.

Why is mental health issues, or just mental struggles so hard to talk about? You wouldn’t think twice about telling someone if you’ve broken your leg – If you’re walking around with crutches and a cast people can see it anyway. There’s not really any serious consequence of telling people.

Of course with more serious physical illnesses there will be consequences. Maybe only the people closest to you will know. And it will be difficult. But you will never be told to just not be sad, to smile more, or that nothing is wrong with you.

It’s all in your head

I know. That’s the problem. That doesn’t make it any less real.

Maybe I’m a hypocrite. I don’t believe depression and similar is something that you have to hide. If you have the people around you to support you, to understand why you sometimes “act out”, so you don’t have to feel as bad about it. But almost nobody knows my internal struggle.

The fact that my boyfriend does not know is plaguing me. I feel guilty. I know he wants the best for me. He has done nothing to suggest that he wouldn’t support me through everything.

So why doesn’t he know?

Because there’s a feeling even stronger than the guilt. Fear. Fear that he would never look at me the same way, that it would be impossible for him to understand. Because that has happened to me before. By one of the most important people in my life – complete rejection. A scar like that does not heal easily.

But does he need to know? Does he have a right to know?

I dont’ know.

Thank you for reading.



PS: This is not meant to be a competition of who has it worse. This is my personal experience and feelings. Your world may be different, and I don’t mean to dismiss anybody’s suffering.

PPS: I acknowledge the existence of complicated chronic illnesses like fibromyalgia that’s both physical and mental, but that’s a discussion for another time.

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LET'S CHAT!

20 Comments

  • A lot of people have other illnesses, different then what you have,different then a mental illness. This, doesn’t mean you suffer any less then others.
    “it is just in your head ” is a phrase that uneducated people use. You can’t punish ignorance.
    I know, I learnt about mental illness after my Grandmother was diagnosed with one. She died because of it.
    About your boyfriend or the rest of the world. Sharing this part of yourself is very personal. Is a part of you that make you suffer. It is something that you don’t want but you have. Understand that, the people you share it, might won’t fully understand it.
    You share it if you feel like. It depends by what kind the relationship you two have. It can put it to a test. Are you ready ?

  • Oh, Anne, I’m so sorry to read a post like this from you. It must be terrible. I partly can relate to that, probably, as I have problems to show certain parts of me as I lost people through it. It feels so weird.

    I know you love your boyfriend. It’s impossible for a stranger like me to tell whether you should tell him or not, though. Otherwise I would like to tell you that a person who can’t accept this part of you, is not good enough. Still I see the careful part, the part that’s afraid especially with the negative experience.
    In my personal (!) opinion, he would have a right to know if this part of you affects him. Otherwise, I’d say whether you keep it a secret or not is up to you. It’s no shame not to tell. It’s a complicated topic.

    Sending you lots of hugs!
    Sassy xx

    • You’re so sweet, thank you for taking the time to write to me <3 I really appreciate your support, it'll help me get the strength I need to muster up to tell him. Sending a million hugs right back to you <3

  • I want to wrap you in a giant hug and let you know it is okay to feel what you are feeling. What you decide to share and with whom is completely up to you sweetness. Sometimes trust and timing is everything. You will figure out those who love you for you. If there is anything I can say to you from my own experience, it is that when someone rejects us, it is not necessarily their rejection of us as a person but rather of something they just don’t know how to or aren’t able to handle or deal with. I don’t know if that helps but when I finally realized that, it changed how I see others, hell – it changes how I see myself! HUGS!!

  • Hello Anne. It’s wonderful that you can talk about your challenges here, but wouldn’t it be even more wonderful if you had two or three trusted people around you who you could talk to in more detail? I think you at least should tell your boyfriend, and I’m confident that he’d really, really want to know about this stuff, as he’d want to be a part of helping you with it.
    It’s very useful that my girlfriend is aware of my problems. Most of the time it means she can make allowances when I’m on a downer but I remember a couple of years ago I’d been out of work for a while and was struggling with a job application because “I’m too x, I’m not y enough. They’re looking for z” and she just knew that at that particular moment I needed my arse kicked so she told me to stop moping and get on with it. It’s the only time she’s been so forceful and I really needed it. I got the job and it’s set me up for the next stage of my life.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience. Seeing that it can be positive to let your loved ones know makes it easier for me to the right thing. Hopefully good things will come from this in my case too. I wish you all the best!

  • It takes serious courage to tell someone, courage that takes a long time to build. You could always see how they feel by first mentioning the issue abstractly (like “I read about someone who” or “I heard about this”)… That’s what I’ll do when struggling with knowing how I feel about telling someone. It’s so personal, I can’t really give much advice. I just know that for me, my mental issues were made easier by telling my now-husband, because even when he didn’t understand he would try to help the best he could. I think for the two of us, just knowing I was struggling with something out of my control made it easier for him to be patient with me when the struggle became external.
    Best of luck. I hope you never have to deal with that rejection again.

    • Thank you so much Elizabeth. I know from your blog that you have more than your fair share of health issues to deal with. Thank you for being so understanding. I think that’s the way I’m going to do it too – and thank you for sharing your perspective, it helps knowing that it can work, and not everyone will react the same way as my ex.
      I wish you all the best <3

  • Its great that you feel that you can share part of your story on here, thank you for sharing. Its completely up to you if want to explain to your boyfriend on how you have been feeling. I had a heart to heart with mine not long ago and he never realised how low I was feeling and since then he has been a trooper. Don’t let that fear take over you hun. Even just talking about it to someone or on here can help make a difference. Take care xxx

  • Hey Anne, you are great. What if he looked in a whole new light? Just a thought. As you can see, fear is but an obstacle. Lift it like 1 of your weights. You’ve already made the most important step. Maybe you tell someone that’s close to you. Working your way up to the 1 you love most. Please don’t my signature the wrong way, Anne #NOTHINGMatters but You

  • I think that when you ready you should tell him. You’re not giving him your 100% by hiding something like that from him. He sounds like a wonderful guy and would support you if you told him which could be beneficial to you when seeking help and comfort. If he doesn’t respond the way you wanted him to by avoiding the subject or another negative response then perhaps he isn’t the one for you. A relationship definitely consists of two people building love and support as high as it can go. The very best to you and good luck ! Hope you feel better as well 🙂

  • I am still getting to know you, but I already think you are an incredibly nice and adorable person! Wish I could meet you in person. Thank you for sharing your heart!

  • I know that you posted this a while ago but I came to your blog because you have commented on my post about mental illness so I know that you know a lot about it (also – you seem to be a very nice person!). I don’t know if you remember but in my post I mentioned that I had never been affected by depression or anxiety but I am. I know that a symptom of depression can be putting on a lot of weight quickly but what I am eating is constantly on my mind yet I am still putting on weight and eating more than I should. This is making me more and more unhappy about my body and making me less and less confident. I’m trying hard to overcome the depression and anxiety but as you may know, one day you think everything is fine again and you feel very happy but the next day it is back worse than ever. This is the first time I have ever put this on the internet but I’m hoping it will help to talk to someone who I am not familiar with. I was just wondering if you have any advice on how to be more positive about my body image and how to make myself stop eating so much. I hope that you are getting better and I would like you to know that you are really inspiring and your posts always make me smile. xx

    • (found it^)
      I still remember your post, and I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling with depression too – I wouldn’t want that for anyone! The very best advice I can give you is to seek professional help, maybe starting with your doctor or a school counselor. They can help you get to the root of your problems. A big increase (or decrease) in appetite can be caused by depression, and it will get easier to handle as you get better mentally. But short term you can try to find another way to express your emotions (if it is emotional eating), like a coloring book, meditation or going for a walk – whatever works for you. Just don’t be too hard when you do eat a lot, so you don’t fall into a bad cycle of restricting, then binging.

      You seem like a really lovely person, and I really hope you find a way to get better xx

      • Thank you so much! It’s actually my first time seeing a psychiatrist today so wish me luck. I will take your advice on board you are such a kind person I wish there were more people as lovely as you:)xx