When is the Best Time?
This pack of mine. Love, radical transparency and unconditional acceptance at our very core.
A lot of people ask me how I knew it was time to tell my lovey about my mental illness. The DMs fly in regularly:
‘Kate, when is the best time?’
‘And what is best?’
As most of you know - I don’t think mental illness is something to be ashamed of at all. I think it is a badge of courage and warriorhood. Fighting one’s brain and surviving? That is pretty darn epic.
With that truth held close, I told my lovey on our first date before the drinks even came (💁🏻♀️😂). I told him in a matter of sentences:
Bouncing my leg up and down beneath the table, anxiety pulled through every inch of my body. “Hey Dave (that’s my lovey 👋), I want to tell you something but before I do I want you to know that talking about it doesn’t hurt me and isn’t something I’m looking for pity for. It also isn’t my identity. It’s just part of me like everything else is - like my brown hair and my bad back hand at squash.”
“Okay, of course. You can tell me anything.”
(God, he was such a winner from the very beginning 💗)
I paused and took a deep breath.
“I struggle with mental illness. I struggle a lot.”
He smiled genuinely and without a second thought, nodded again. “Oh okay, that’s totally okay. A lot of people do.”
He paused, looked down, shook the doubt from his head and then immediately locked eyes with me with those incredibly kind eyes of his.
It was his turn to take a deep breath.
“Like me. I struggle too. I struggle with anxiety.”
A wave of relief washed over me and our drinks arrived. We didn’t talk about it the rest of the night but from that moment forward, we were in deep.
Vulnerability for vulnerability - there is just nothing stronger than that exchange and the acceptance of it.
So yeah, that’s how I did it. Simple. Clear. At the very beginning.
I’m not sitting here tonight telling you this is best practice. What is best practice for you will be your own best practice.
That said, when you jump off the cliff and bare your soul, sometimes you fly instead of fall and you certainly won’t ever know unless you give it a try.