8. Be able to tell the difference between speaking to an episode and speaking to someone you love.
9. Try to understand the trials of an illness. Illnesses involve medicine, lifestyle adjustments and a responsibility to take care of yourself in a way that others don’t understand. Loving someone with mental illness means honoring it the same way you would another health issue.
10. Exercise patience, compassion and perspective.
11. Learn difficult lessons, like knowing when to give someone space and when to hold on with all you have.
12. Be conscious of your own well-being too. It’s being able to know your limitations, and when someone you love requires help from someone else too.
13. Realize that mental illness comes in all forms and degrees. It’s respecting all levels of it.
14. Overcome frustrating and painful roadblocks. Identify solutions and have difficult conversations that can also teach you about yourself.
15. Know that the person you love is remarkable and irreplaceable, despite the pieces of themselves they fight the most. By embracing and adoring another human being the way they deserve to be loved. It’s strength, kindness, maturity, fearlessness and passion.
Loving someone with anxiety and depression just means loving the only way any of us ever should—with listening hearts, open minds and a willingness to look into the many branches of each other’s souls.
This post was originally posted on HerTrack.com, a website for the modern woman learning to navigate life. For advice, laughter and support. A place to #ShareWhatMatters and tell your story.