A Mental Illness Relapse: Losing Sanity and also My Partner

TW: mentions of self harm and suicide.

Have you fallen in love? Have you found the one person who gives you butterflies even after so many fights and so many disagreements? I did. And I lost him as dramatically as I found him.

You see, I have been struggling with myself. Struggling with my mind. Struggling with disorders that until a month ago I did not know I had. Struggling to find an identity for myself, I would cling onto the most relatable one - feminism. Suffering so many violations on my mind and body, I would choose the easiest tool to occupy my space in a relationship - control. Yet I failed to control my mind. I was left (and still am) vulnerable, impulsive and suicidal at most times. So vulnerable that I broke down in a huge mall filled with people the evening I went out to choose a birthday gift for my person (not sure if I should still call him that).

This person wasnt ideal. Yet this person was all things I grew to love. This person saw me through two years where I have been the most emotionally raw dealing with one blow after another. I cannot forget the time and money he spent amidst an electricity crisis to get me to finish my dissertation in a safe and secure environment. I cannot forget the time he flew to be with me while I was going through a difficult admission process. I cannot forget the night he fed me daal, catered to all my needs and practically carried me to get my colonoscopy done the next morning. I cannot forget all the times he made concessions for me, rushed to be by my side, made me countless meals and listened to me cry (although most of the time he was clueless about what to do).

You see, I have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. There is a profound emptiness that I have carried within me forever. There is a desire to create a “home” that I never had. Countless violations made that desire so much stronger. I was learning about my fear of disappointments. I was learning about the limitations that other people have. I was in therapy. I couldn't understand why he wouldn't communicate the way I wanted him to. I couldn't understand why he wouldn't express his emotions the way I could. Yet I was beginning to see him as human, with his own flaws and merits. I was beginning to understand that acceptance meant embracing all of him and being better together.

When we moved in together I was going through my first major mental illness flare-up. I had made my share of impulsive attacks and we were somehow together despite that. With his company, medication and therapy I was healing, I was on the path of regaining my productive pace. We had our occasional skirmishes but we managed to stick together. I remember how anxious I was the day he went for his job interview. I remember how elated I was to let my parents know that he scored the job. That my boo had landed the job he had talked about for as long as we have been together. I finally had my "home". After some time I no longer had the fear of nights that I carried in me since childhood. I was healing.

But little did I know how fleeting that moment of joy would be. It was in January that I relapsed into my illnesses. The intensity to be loved and cared for grew stronger. The suicidal ideation became frequent and tough to fight off. The loneliness was all consuming. I have never experienced such high impulsive urges. The pandemic did not help the situation. As we had less and less time to interact my insecurities returned, the progress that I had made in therapy started to vanish. I craved for his company, for his time, for his attention and to be held while I gear up to fight with my mind again. I was exhausted. But he never asked why. And I made mistakes. Mistakes that I will never be able to take back. Just like all our good times, I would never forget the night when I finally took up the knife to slit my wrists. He had a big work assignment the next day. It was a tumultuous night, where I cried my heart out and he finally made his call. He was terrified of me. And I understand. Anybody would be.

There isnt much to write about the rest of the days. He pronounced his verdict and the doctor pronounced hers. I was at risk and was to be kept under parental supervision or admitted to a rehabilitation facility. I have never felt pain more acutely in my life. I have never cried more than I have cried in the past three months. My therapist is still worried about my well being. I dream of killing myself in my sleep. I look at the medicine box on my bed stand wondering how many of these will be enough to kill me. I haven't recovered. Perhaps there's a long way to recovery. And I have lost my "home" in my battle with these psychological disorders.

And there's it. From surprising me with a trip to my favorite place on my birthday to being on the block list of his phone, the journey was fast. I didn't expect it to be so quick. I expected my person to stick together for a little longer. But cant blame him much, can I? I am failing everyday at this battle with my mind, how do I expect another person to understand the nuances and intricacies of it all! Perhaps all these would have been different had I not had these disorders. Perhaps an earlier diagnosis would have saved all these trouble. There are just too many things I wish I had done differently, too many situations I wish were different.

That trip to Vietnam remained unfulfilled. That plan of trekking the double decker remained unfulfilled. I have the Baby Yoda but I lost the person I would watch The Mandalorian with. I have the Doctor but I lost the person I could tag in a Doctor Who meme. And that is the biggest regret I will have even after I heal from this relapse.

I am an Axomiya and a student of social sciences; two identities that I am absolutely sure of!