Although the word ‘partnership’ elicits a sense of formality or legality, here I mean partnership as more of a long-term friendship or relationship. I mean it as the pact you make with someone, however overtly or implicitly, that says you will be leaning on each other now, counting on each other, working for each other.
Partnership means there is someone out in the world standing up for you and standing by you. Making you laugh, making you talk, making you go to work, go to bed, making you tea (or coffee, or a smoothie, or bringing you milk and cookies).
I’m not sure, literally, where in the world I would be without my partner. He arrived in my life when I was on the edge of a very steep precipice, when I was on the verge of crisis. And here we are, stumbling along, plunging ahead, six and a half years later.
Recently his grandfather died, and we talked a lot about how invaluable it is to have a partner during difficult and exhausting times. How grief, especially, and trauma wear us down until we’re thin and papery and have nearly nothing left. We can recover on our own, surely, but the process is so much faster with a steadfast friend in your life.
As people who suffer from mental illness, we sometimes experience more difficult and exhausting times than others. Partners are to us even more invaluable, even more essential, and even more worthy of praise.
Keep fighting, but make sure you find some people to fight with you.
Keep digging up those reasons to keep living.