Finding Happiness with a Mental Illness

I had an interesting conversation the other day with a very close family member. They basically told me they are just living life, doing what they have to until they die. This hurt me on so many levels. I am really close to this family member and what he said resonated in my life because I have had those thoughts plenty of times. I tried to offer him ways to get out of the feeling of loneliness but nothing helped. I realized if the roles were reversed I would feel the same way.


What makes us humans get to a point that we think there is nothing worth living for in this life? That feeling that we are just getting by waiting for death to claim us is a real thing that crosses the mind for many people. Is it that society says that we should be a certain way, a worker bee that works long hours and that we can’t enjoy life? It has something to do with it, but it can’t just be that simple. There are plenty of people that enjoy life.

Do they have something we don’t? Or is we have something they don’t​?

I wondered to myself about being alone after talking to my family member which prompted this blog post. I know what he wants in this life is someone to love but he believes so strongly that you have to find a supermodel to be happy and that is far from the truth. I think just finding someone that loves you should be enough. He doesn’t believe that the way he looks is good enough for anyone so he has given up the idea of being happy. That, in turn, has made him believe he is just doing what he can to move through life waiting for the clutches of death. He is just going through the motions in his own way.

I am the opposite of that because I revel in the loneliness that is my life. I just do better by myself, but this subject has come up on my blog before, and after talking to my family member some truth crossed my mind. In my own way, I have given up on relationships and companionship simply because I have been alone for so long.

Am I just waiting alone for death to take me someday?

There are nights when my anxiety reaches such high levels, it crosses my mind that if I had some in my life, I could discuss what is bothering me. It doesn’t bother me so much that I want to go out tomorrow and get a girlfriend, but will I always be okay with being alone? It’s a serious thing to think about because this topic never really came up in my anxiety thoughts until this year. 

I quit my last relationship because I knew this life I lead would be impossible to put on another human being. I deal with so much and my life is always messy, how could I ever bring a person into my chaos?

It could be I am just fooling myself to believe that I am okay being alone, and eventually, like most things in my life it will catch up to me at the wrong time. I don’t feel the need for companionship unless my life is really going wrong like it has during the winter times the last three years.

I just don’t look for companionship anymore though there have been a few that have tried. I am so focused on finishing my degree that I am close to finishing that goal that I often forget about the outside world.

I have my blog, my screenplay, and my memoir that keeps me busy. I have used my writing to get through some of the worst parts of my life and I feel good that I can turn to writing for a place of solace. The question is still valid.

Can someone go this long without someone special in their lives without losing a real part of themselves forever?

I am so torn because this is not a subject that doesn’t come up in my life very often. Its a trigger that hardly happens because I am so laser focused from the moment I wake up and I am trying so hard to get things done in my life before I let someone in.

For so long I didn’t believe that someone like me could never find happiness because I have a mental illness.

I am curious what my fellow bloggers think about this. Do you have a partner that understands your ups and downs of your mental illness, or are you like me and content with being alone?

Always Keep Fighting.

J.E. SkyeJ.E. Skye

Photo Credit:

Emma Frances Logan

James Sutton


76 Replies to “Finding Happiness with a Mental Illness”

  1. I too am a kind of person who don’t belive in relationships. The reason behind this is the same you mentioned, I don’t think I want to make people go through my chaos. But yeah, when it comes to happiness, you can find it anywhere even in a beam of light. Relationships get complicated after some time and especially for those people who are just not comfortable in sharing their demons with others.

      1. Even if they do understand, there always a limit to it. We have no clue for how long our demons have come to stay, and people can’t really keep lifting us all the time. I think they too have their life they need to focus on and after putting up with our weakness for some time, they finally quit and leave us all alone.

      2. That’s my biggest fear. It is why I ended my last relationship. She was willing to stick it out with me but for how long? It’s tough so I chose to be alone for now.

  2. My boyfriend understands how I get and he is able to lend an ear for me to vent about my life, the madness that goes on in my mind, he’s the first person I go to for just about anything and what helps is that he is my best friend. So he’s there if I need some advice or a different perspective. I, too am the person he can go to for anything, and I’ll be there. Granted, him and I are in a long distance relationship, but the way we see it is that we’re never really far if we’re close at heart. Furthermore, a relationship there has to have an equal amount of give and take. If there isn’t any, then that’s not a balanced relationship. Great post!

    1. Thank you for sharing your story with my blog. I am curious are you both dealing with the same madness? I always wondered if I found some like myself who could understand.

      1. Well, I mean we do because we are college students. Anything associated with college pretty much, him and I commiserate together haha. We’re both really understanding people who are always there to listen and we do our best hear each other out. We both have anxiety, so we try our best to be open in talking about it. Like if I ever have a panic attack and I’m talking w him, he’s calming me down on the spot.
        I think that if you were to find someone who really is there to listen and lend an ear and provide good advice, you’d be set. Someone who really sees your goals and is willing to help you achieve them☺️. Be with someone who makes you feel like a better you👌🏽.

      2. I am happy that you have someone like that who you can turn to for help during a panic attack. It is the worse feeling being alone in the middle of one. Thank you for sharing.

      3. Not a problem. Thanks! I hope you find the kind of person you’re looking for ☺️

  3. This is such a great topic. I just recently hit depression and this has been the biggest obstacle, my relationship. My husband loves me and tries to be there for me but I feel guilty dragging him into this mess because I feel like I’m draining him. I’m not happy and told him many times that I feel he is better of without me, to go look for someone normal to make him happy. He is crazy in love and says that he will wait for my craziness to pass by. But we’ve together half my life so he claims that he has seen me in during my good times and it’s worth the wait. I just feel that I’m wasting his time but we will see what happens. I enjoy being alone. I like to just drive alone, go places alone, and even go catch a movie alone. He is the opposite, he can’t do anything without me. Relationships are extremely difficult during mental illness episodes.

    1. I couldn’t agree me more of how tough things can be with a mental illness. My last relationship we were together for six months and for about five of those it was constant chaos, this was before my diagnosis. I ended it because, even though she wanted to be a part of my life, I just couldn’t do that to her. I had already tried to kill myself and that hurt her a lot because she was in school eight hours away.

  4. I do think people can be happy alone but I think we are meant to do life together. The right person will be honored to live in your madness. My husband and I have been together 10 years, we have two children, and we are actually happy. I say actually because I never pictured myself being able to remain happy with another person or even find a person on this earth that could handle me. I did myself a huge disservice in the beginning of our relationship by not knowing my true me and underestimating his ability to see the real me. The right person has the ability to love through every episode and counter it with open arms and understanding. Mental illness may make us feel hard to love but I promise that is just the depression talking. I really enjoyed your post and reading through your blog. Hang in there❤️

    1. Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your success with having a mental illness and having a relationship. It gives real hope that though I feel okay being alone right now I can be more open to others. Maybe I will find what you have found in your husband. Congrats on 10 years together.

  5. This is very relatable content. Idk I feel the downs harder than I should. I feel like the ups only last for a flash infront of my eyes and then reality strikes a gong and my head phases back to feeling negative. It’s gotten really bad, but voicing myself has really helped. I hope your family member is doing better, and I wish you the best of luck in this world. Until tomarrow, read you next time.

  6. The way I look at it is that I don’t want a relationship just for the sake of having someone around. If I meet someone and it feels like they are able to accept me 110%, illness and all, then great. If not, I’d rather be alone.

  7. My mental illness has never been an issue for any of my exes except my ex-husband. He literally said the words, “You’re easier to manage on medication…”
    That was about the time I told him it was time for a divorce.

  8. I will admit that I am a person like the one you described accept, I am in a relationship. I’ve somehow managed to find a woman to stay with me through all the chaos for over 27 years. However, I would very much welcome for this life to finally be over. As I struggle with the depression, anxiety, memory loss and bouts with anger, I’m just ready for it to be over. I suffer from suicidal thoughts on a regular basis, but I just don’t want to hurt those who do care for me. Sometimes the thoughts get so bad that I just end it. But that would be devistating for those who do care about me. I don’t want to hurt anyone, I just wish I could pass away. Even though I’m in good physical health, I have a DNR (Do not recessitate) braclet on at all times just in case I have an unexpected heart attack or an accident. I really don’t want someone prolongning this life any longer than it has to be. I know the day will come before too long when I will not be able to work and because I have spend most of my life in service related jobs, I don’t have any retirement plans. My family has a history of dementia and I would rather die from a heart attack or accident than live to the point where I have no quality of life or don’t even know who I am. Honestly, I don’t see what people are trying to hold onto. We are all going to die. The question is just when and how. I’m as ready to go as I will ever be and that is not depression talking. That’s just how I feel.

  9. It has taken me the better part of my life, but yes I have found the perfect supportive partner. He understands me better than I understand myself. There is no limit to His support or understanding of my personality issues. He builds me up when I need it the most. When I mess up, He is quick to forgive. He is slow to anger and quick to love. He defends me, guides me, teaches me and best of all He loves me just as I am. The longer we are together the closer we grow. He knows just how to calm my fears. With Him I am strong and He enables me to succeed. He supports me. I wish everyone could have a partner like mine.

    1. It’s an amazing story and I am really happy that you were able to share your story with me and my blog. It means the world to me to see people within our community find happiness.

  10. Why would not having someone special in your life for a long time cause you to lose a real part of yourself forever? I’d think being in a relationship would be more likely to cause you to lose a part of yourself. I’ve been mentally ill for a long time and have never been in a serious relationship. I’m mostly okay with being alone but I do feel sad about not having a relationship. There are a lot of downsides to not having a relationship and things you miss out on as a result but I certainly don’t feel that I’ve lost a real part of myself forever.

    1. It’s just a fear I have because some people say I am not a happy person. I am very introvert. I don’t really smile and I like being alone. Not being in a relationship is fine but I think it’s human connection I will lose as a part of my self. I honestly don’t have many friends that I see often, which is part of adulting but I always worry about getting to the point where I fail in, well, real human connection with someone of the opposite sex. I mean loved being in relationships when I was in them. I just was never good at keeping my mental illness outside my relationships. If that makes sense.

  11. My husband and I started dating 18 years ago last month, and have been married almost 15 years. When I met him, I wasn’t looking for a relationship, but when you least expect it, expect it. We’ve been through many ups and downs since we’ve been together, and most of it revolves around my mental illness, which I did tell him about when we first met. We’ve been through a lot of couples counseling together and it has helped us communicate better. I’m still having a hard time seeing myself as an equal in the relationship sometimes because it feels like he’s my caregiver, driving me to my appointments because of my anxiety about driving. He even does it when he’s sick with a bad cold, like today, and I can’t help but feel guilty. He always tells me that if he didn’t want to do something, he wouldn’t. I believe him. He’s been a rock by myself side all these years. But I do worry what I’d do without him.

  12. Honestly, the most serious, hard-workiest of the relationships I’ve had was just a friendship, and that drove me crazy eventually because I was just so sick of feeling like I was performing some bizarre ritual while everyone else seemed to be just casually living life. Eventually, it felt like work that I was inflicting upon myself for a reason that was no longer good enough. It’s hard to articulate my thoughts on whether to be or not to be alone, but you gave me something to think about 😀

  13. My partner is pretty good with my ups and downs, but it did take him a bit to get used to it when we moved in together. Obviously, when you are simply dating and don’t see eachother every day it’s easier to hide them from the down days. However, living together, he always sees me struggling. Even though he is patient and tries to take care of me while I’m feeling overwhelmed, anxious or depressed, I know it’s probably hard for him. I think it helps that he grew up with a mom who was bipolar and had anxiety and depression. But many days I feel terribly guilty putting him through my mood swings.

    1. Thank you sharing this, it’s great to hear successful stories of people with mental illnesses being able to share their life with their partners. I can see why you would feel guilty but is sounds like he will always be there for you. Thank you for sharing this on my blog.

  14. I have been alone by choice for so long (over five years now since I’ve bothered dating) I don’t think I would be able to fit another person in my life now. I definitely consider my mental illness to be a factor in this, thinking that I will eventually be left and abandoned, etc, so why bother. It helps to commiserate with others.

    1. I am sorry to hear this Cheney but I understand. The worry is there that we will be left because someone can’t handle who we are. I always think about if I could find someone like me, but that would be disasterous in my mind. There are times when I can barely deal with my issues. Thank you for sharing this, it means the world to me.

      1. Thanks / you’re very welcome James. I’m glad I found your blog and you inspire to me to share more of my own story 😊

  15. Four years ago my life was starting to spin out of control… I have a wonderful hubby who has stuck with me through all I’ve been through… Actually NO… It’s what we have been through… The for better or worse, in sickness and in health… I get the not wanting to put someone through what we go through but it should be their choice… Lots of dialogue… In time we all have needs and it’s way easier to deal with when you have someone on your side to help… We’ve been married close on 23 years… We both made that commitment to each other… Relationships are work! But so much worth it in the end… As for sharing… Find an outlet… For me it is a faith based support group… It’s made a big difference in not only my life but in our marriage… I can take off my mask and be myself…

    1. I can see your point. It gives me hope that you have found happiness through sickness and in health. That is something that hopefully I will find. But if not I will be okay with just being me. Alone isn’t so bad at least for now.

      1. Alone can be a great thing… As long as it isn’t isolated… And… I wasn’t looking…love found me…

  16. I really liked this post.
    I had a boyfriend (we’re not together anymore) who had problems and I was always there for him – and he was there for me, any time of the night or the day. So when he or I felt bad, we’d just text each other and talk about it. It really did help, because even if he couldn’t understand my situation every time, he was there for me and didn’t jusge me (and vice versa). And I think that is very important, I could never be with someone who couldn’t understand and accept me for who I am.
    But when i’m in bad parts of life (akawhen the wave of depression hits me again) and I am not in a relationship at that time, I just can’t bring myself to get together with someone. I’d much rather be with myself, until I figure everything out because I can understand myself better than anyone, and being with someone wouldn’t be beneficial neither for them nor for me – I wouldn’t ne able to give them the energy and attention they deserve because I’m focused on myself and my mental state, and they wouldn’t be able to give me the understanding and support that I need. I don’t know, this all is very complicated. But I do strongly believe that when we love someone, we accept everything about them and the mental health problems are something that we can overcome – even if we don’t heal completely, we won’t feel alone anymore. And that is a good feeling

    1. Thank you for sharing this, I am really glad to see that someone can still be happy alone even when facing such hardships with something like depression. I like that you can identify that you need to figure out yourself and bringing someone into the fold while things are bad wouldn’t help the situation at all.

  17. James, I, for one, think you should let someone in now before you are done. I am not saying you should go out looking for someone but do keep the “door” open. There’s always something unfinished. That’s just the way life is. We all have our problems. Waiting for all of them to be rectified will have you waiting a hundred years. Don’t do that to yourself.

      1. I can understand you wanting to be alone. I’m a true introvert, even when I go out and get some shopping done. I’m the one who is at family gathering sitting in the corner watching everyone else. And I like myself this way. I am still supportive of friends [very few] and family. I do engage in conversation, even with strangers. However, I am usually happiest when I am alone at my computer.

        With all this said though, my door is always open. 😉

  18. If you aren’t ready to be with someone, there’s no shame in that. I had so many relationship issues in the past due to addiction, dating others with mental illness too, a lot of factors. But I finally found an amazing man that I’ve been with for over two years. We have our fights but we get through it and we have a very stable relationship. He helps anchor me when I’m out of control. It’s just finding someone who supports you, regardless, & that support must be reciprocated.

  19. I think it can be really hard to be open about what you’re going through in a relationship – only because you don’t think they’d really understand, or even if they did, it would be a lot to handle. Would it scare them away? I think you know what you need right now in life. If you’re content with driving your focus on what you want to get done (writing), then companionship isn’t a main focus. Ultimately it’ll be something you’ll have to think about down the road, but at the same time – there’s a companionship with friends, too. You don’t always have to fight alone.

    1. Thanks for this. You make some amazing points as always. Your right, I have my writing and I know what’s best for me. I am just going to let things happen and be more open.

      1. You’re welcome. And exactly! It’s something you just have to take day by day and go from there. Best of luck, as always!

  20. I have manic depression and severe anxiety. It’s something I dealt with on my own for a very long time. Now I’m very fortunate to have a loving, understanding partner who is always there for me- no matter what is happening. I think it’s an important thing to be able to handle on your own. While other people may be understanding and kind, no one understands it better than you yourself.

  21. My bf doesn’t understand my ppd that I’m dealing with (post partum depression) and even made the comment how long is this going to last. Extremely insensitive. But, I know many men / fathers don’t know how to deal with the mother of a child who suffers from this. Hell, I barely know how. But I feel like unless the person can relate they may not be able to be there for you like you would want / need them to be.

    1. It can be tough. Be don’t like what they don’t understand. It’s hard to put yourself in the mind of people like us. Hopefully you can find middle ground.

      1. It really be tough and it is! But, this is helping! I was really nervous about what people would think about my posts.. slowly but surely I’m getting over that!

    2. I went through the same thing after my son and I agree with James, people do not like what they do not understand. For me, most of my family did not think anything like this even exist (you’re automatically supposed to be happy after bringing life into the world) but you cannot help how you feel inside. I encourage you to keep writing. No matter how short or long and get out when you can. Find YOU again.

      1. Wow! And my bf would say that all the time you should be happy you have a baby! Not only do they not understand they don’t take the time to try to either .. and People can be really insensitive about your feelings. Thank you so much I will!

  22. I truly believe I would not be alive today if it were not for my husband of 25 years. I met him a little while after I became “mentally unstable,” I can’t believe I was able to tell him but I had toor it would end anyway. I love my alone time and still havent told him all my stories, just last night I told him the story I posted about yesterday under daily prompt degree about losing a friend, the only friend I had at age 9. He is full of compassion and we both sometimes forget just how unstable I use to be. Rare find but glad I did.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story. 25 years is absolutely amazing and I am glad you have someone to share with. It gives me hope when people tell me stories such as these. It’s amazing sometimes to look back at how unstable you once were, and to see that even if you have moments now, it’s not as bad as it once was in our lives. I take comfort in that.

      1. I am much different now amd it is just as mich because of him as medication I’ll have to take for life. There is always hope. I know, I wouldnot have believed it either!

  23. I’ve often struggled with this ideology. However, I’ve also been blessed to often meet a few people that mostly understand the utter chaos that my mind can be.
    Each path is enriching in its own way depending on ones perspective.

    1. I understand where your coming from, I do have really close friends, one or two, and friends that I talk to. There is family. But mostly it’s just easier being alone.

  24. I honestly appreciate this post because I know now that someone else has done the same thing… isolated themselves to avoid hurting others and wound up hurting themselves! I too am a writer and have published a self help book about coping with mental illness written from the perspective of someone WITH A MENTAL ILLNESS. I can honestly say that I COULD HAVE had many Girlfriends throughout my highschool years, there were many girls that liked me, but I was too depressed to realize it and had such a low self esteem that I just didn’t make a move or anything. I really regret this but in the end I think it was best given that I am bipolar and that is a roller coaster I would rather ride alone, because it’s not fun, you can go off the rails and really get hurt! but people insist on putting you back on the ride, putting the ride back on the tracks and keep the thing going even though it’s not guaranteed to be safe

    if you want to buy my book you can copy this URL or search “leave your demons” on amazon… it’ll say by mr. robert lewis auchey, thanks everyone for listening

  25. Yes i feel the same way every day. I get so irrated with people who dont even try to understand or just say get over it! My brain is not something I can just stop. That you for sharing for support check out my recent poetry on mental illness

  26. Hello,
    Do you offer reviews or promotions? I am releasing a novel on amazon depicting the legal journey of the mentally ill and i would love a review or feature. Because my message is important i am offering the novel for free.
    Thank you!

  27. Single for 25 years and loved (mostly) every minute of it. I know my prince is out there somewhere, but I’m pretty sure he’s already married to someone else. 😉

    There’s nothing wrong with being alone.

  28. James, you have quite a meaningful life and it would appear you are reaching many with a message of hope.

    I am 53 with bipolar 1. I divorced after 25 years largely due to complications related to my illness. I am no longer looking for my ultimate soul-mate, but I am quite content to have a good many with whom we “share one another’s burdens.”

    Keep writing! You have a gift.

  29. Great post! I think people forget that sometimes the partner can make it worse too. There is a difference between being alone and being lonely and sometimes the loneliest place is right beside the wrong person. You will find someone when you’re in the right place 😊

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