When you have a mental illness, alone time can be very important. Although, sometimes you want too much alone time and then you start to isolate yourself. It’s hard to find a balance, especially if you live alone. Trust me, I’ve been there. But, how do you cope when it’s the opposite? Suddenly, someone is there constantly and they’re living with you. It can get overwhelming.
This past weekend, my boyfriend officially moved in with me. No longer is this my apartment and no longer is it just my dog and I. No, we went and got ourselves another dog. So, now I have my little fur baby, his big fur baby, and him all in a one bedroom apartment. Yeah, it’s as crowded as you think. Don’t get me wrong, I love every minute of it (except when the dogs are acting up).
What I’ve found most helpful is my alone time, no matter how I get it. And I’m talking no dogs, nothing. Just me. Today, my boyfriend is off of work so, I had to ask for my alone time. Well, not really ask, I just told him I needed some time. He understands it’s not about him, I just get in these anxious moods and I need time to calm down. So, while I sit outside and drink my coffee, he’s inside with the dogs playing video games. I don’t know how long I’ll be outside, but I know he understands.
Now, during the week it’s a bit more challenging. I haven’t had any alone time without dogs because I’ve been trying to keep them separate when I go outside. I don’t want them to be alone together just yet. Tomorrow, I’ll probably put one in his spot that he stays in when we leave the house so I can have some time to myself. I won’t leave him alone too long, though.
How else can you cope when living with someone else while you have a mental illness?
Well, they have to be understanding. They have to be willing to help you when you need it. This past week, my boyfriend has had to do the dishes for me. I don’t like this, I’d rather do the dishes for him since he works, but he doesn’t mind. He also has cooked for me, as I tend to use that time to get my alone time.
The thing is, you have to talk and understand each other. If he doesn’t feel like cooking dinner, I want him to tell me that. I want to help him as much as he helps me. Some days I’ll be able to cook dinner, other days we’ll have to order pizza because he’s exhausted and my mind can’t function properly. It all depends on the day.
But, at the end of the day, it comes down to communication and respect. I always let him know how I’m feeling. Just so he can be prepared if something were to happen. Things have been going great, and I’m glad we made this choice.