Wedding Guests

Monday, September 14, 2015

I could use up this whole post blabbing about how darling my friend Ciera's wedding was, because it was, indeed, amazing. I could just as easily type entire paragraphs on this fantastic vintage dress that I found from Psychic Sister in downtown Oly, because it is also darling. Instead I would like to talk about the taboo. I would like to talk about depression and about Michael and about our relationship. Openness and honestly have always been things I have tried my best to bring to you guys through this little internet space, and I feel like if I'm not using it to talk to you about what's real and not entirely coated in sugar and sunshine, then there isn't really a point. I hope that you agree with me, but if you don't, you can always jump past the break and just look at the pretty pictures. Up to you.

As most of you know, Michael and I broke up about a month ago. (If you're new to my blog, then hello! This post will probably be a little weird for you. Stick around. It's not all serious.) I had felt him drifting away from me for quite awhile, and often times when I tried to communicate with him or ask if anything was wrong he would just shut off. Because of this, I became hyper sensitive; touchy about the smallest of things, and quite possibly the world's biggest nag. We still loved each other very much, and he was without a doubt always my best friend, but things were fading quickly and I felt like no matter how hard I tried to fix them, or to hold on, they disintegrated regardless. Neither of us really knew what to do, and me moving out of his parent's house and into my own was just about the final straw. We talked to each other and decided to go on a break. We would check in after a month or two and go from there. That was the plan. 

A few days after the break, Michael finally admitted being deeply depressed for many months. He told me that he had been in complete denial of it, thinking his depression was something that he had conquered long before we met, not realizing it was something he would be facing his whole life. Having always prided myself on our ability to share everything, I was shocked. So many situations popped into my head that I would have handled differently, had I known what he was going through. He was not pulling away from me, he was pulling away from everything and everyone, getting sucked further and further into the pit that depression was creating in his mind. Things only got worse after the break.








::PHOTOS BY M::
PSYCHIC SISTER VINTAGE DRESS & BELT :: CHARLOTTE RUSSE HAT :: THRIFTED NECKLACE :: TARGET NECKLACE :: MAC LIPSTICK IN RUNWAY HIT

After we broke up, M's depression spiraled. he began to question everything in his life, thinking that he was broken, that he didn't deserve anything, that him and I could never be. We met twice within this period to talk and support each other. We'd go on long walks and share our feelings, hug and wonder if we had a future. I'd joke about it being the most supportive breakup ever. We'd both cry the whole way home. He told me he didn't know what he wanted; from me, from himself, from life. He said he needed time. I told him to take all the time he needed and that I'd be here. I did extensive reading on how depression can effect relationships. This was invaluable to me. Everything was beginning to make sense. 

With time, Michael slowly began to come out of the worst of his depression. This isn't to say that it magically went away, or that he isn't currently still battling it, but that the worst part of this....flare up (episode is such a nasty word) was beginning to die down and he was able to see more clearly. We talked a lot about our relationship. Never once had either of us stopped loving each other. I had never stopped wanting to be together, and while I was looking up and being optimistic, I think it's because in the back of my head I knew we would end up back together. That may sound silly, but it's completely true. I wanted to make sure we had ample time to figure things out and make sense of what had happened. I wanted to address our issues and work on them before jumping back into things. I headed off to California as a single lady. 

Determined to make the trip completely on my own, I told Michael that I would contact him once I had returned to Washington. I lasted about nine hours. Oh well. It felt so good to talk to him on the phone and share with him the amazing experiences I was having. The trip opened my eyes to so much, and let me see more than ever that figuring things out with Michael was exactly where I wanted to be. We saw each other the day I came home.

Since my trip we have been going on dates. It was only yesterday (typing this on the 13th) that I called him my boyfriend again. We have talked a lot about his depression. He is now seeing a therapist, which we are both really excited about. We talked about not melting into one blob of a person this time around and working to maintain separate social lives and senses of our own identities outside of "us." We have been wildly in love, as per usush, and things finally feel back to normal. I cannot express how much I missed the way he smelled.

And if you're wondering why I'm telling you this in such great detail it is because I think it is extremely important to create an open dialog about mental illness. I know so many people who would (and probably have) reacted to this as "pffft they got back together. what trash. how weak." I wish I could say that I didn't care at all about those voices, but I do. They still hurt me, and yet I feel like this message is important, so I am beating down the overwhelming anxiety I have about posting this and doing it anyways.

Depression completely twists the world of the person it is terrorizing. Society puts so much on the shoulders of men; the pressure to be strong, to be a "provider," to be above emotions...all that crap. I read somewhere that women are 50% more likely to suffer from depression, but I couldn't help but wonder if that statistic was skewed because men don't want to admit they have depression, seeing it as a sign of weakness and therefore not "male." I think it is so very important to acknowledge not only the unrealistic pressures society puts on women, but those that they put on men as well. I think it is important to respect everyone's relationships, so long as they are healthy. Also, and this is something that I have personally struggled with, I think it is important to recognize that everyone's love story is different. Everyone deserves their own happily ever after, and we shouldn't let that be skewed by Disney or Hollywood or our friend's husband who is always posting on Instagram about how great his wife is. We should recognize the beauty in the love we have; not compare it to everyone else's love story, but instead write our own. So far, this is mine.

21 comments:

  1. Beautifully written. Creating a dialogue on mental illness is extremely important.
    I can definitely relate to some aspects of what Michael was/is going through. I myself have shut down and pushed people away because of my mental health not being ideal. He is lucky to have you by his side, just like I am for having my friends around.
    I wish you two all the best!

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    1. Thank you so much Nahla. You are such an honest and beautiful soul. I wish we weren't so far away.
      You will always have a friend wherever I am at, and I hope I can see you again soon.
      ♡Mariah Alysz

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  2. I am really glad to hear he is seeking help and I really believe therapy can work wonders ( from personal experience). Depression can be a lifelong struggle, as I've found for myself, and he will probably always have ups and downs. But now is the perfect time for him to really learn about himself better, because next time the feelings creep up he might be a little bit stronger for it. Good luck to you both :)

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    1. Thank you so much for your insight and kind words!
      I know that now I am actually aware of what's going on, I can work to help things instead of just taking everything personally. His therapy is going really well so far, so that is good.
      ♡Mariah Alysz

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  3. I always appreciate honest, albeit difficult, posts from bloggers. It's true that social media and the internet today facilitate the mentality that "everyone else has it so much easier/better than me" and I think it has made the battle of depression just that much more difficult. In the same respect though, it has helped to open up a dialogue about mental illness that is very important for people to hear. I have a few family members that battle depression regularly and it's a tough thing to bear for everyone involved. Being supportive and just being "there" are the best things you can do. Just like in anyone's life, there will be ups and downs. Much love to the both of you! <333

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    1. Thank you so much for all your support and love!
      I completely agree that the social media age has really hurt by making things seem so flawless and perfect. I hope that even by having an open dialog I am help combat that, even if it is just with one single person.
      ♡Mariah Alysz

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  4. Good luck to you and Michael - depression is such a scary big thing. He can do it, he's stronger than he knows, and with you there supporting him, I know it will improve. xoxo

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  5. I'm glad that you shared your story. It really is important. My boyfriend that I've been with for over five years now suffered from depression a couple of years ago and it extremely affected our relationship. He withdrew and lied about things and couldn't take care of himself. I ended up having to leave and it broke my heart and his, but eventually he confronted it and sought help and after a while of sort of dating again and feeling things out, we got back together. We've never been happier. Everything is not always sunny and bright and sometimes you have to weather a huge shitstorm to get to there. If you ever need to talk, please don't hesitate to e-mail me or anything!

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    1. Sara,
      I cannot express how beautiful it is that you shared this with me. I am so touched. It is so relieving to know that another couple has gone through something so similar and come out the other side. Depression is such an interesting creature, and I still have so much more to learn about it, and from it. Thank you, so, so much.
      ♡Mariah Alysz

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  6. Thank you for sharing this, and I am happy that you were able to support him through this difficult time. I have dealt with depression in relationships, and found it really hard to see clearly what was happening with the other person, because it felt like it was just all about the relationship. I hope therapy helps for him and I think it is really great that you are sharing your story here. There is such an awful and needless stigma for people who deal with depression, anxiety or any other struggles like these, and I think every time someone speaks up about these things, it helps lift some of that stigma.

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    1. Emily, thank you so much for your support and kind words. The stigma around mental illness is definitely something I hope to actively combat the very best that I can over here in my small blog corner. Michael's therapy is going quite well so far, and given him a lot to think about, so that's good. He's on the up-and-up currently, though I know his depression will always be a factor. I think the reading I did on not taking certain things personally has really helped me...as I tend to take everything personally.
      ♡Mariah Alysz

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  7. It's always very difficult going through depression and I think it's really important to talk about issues like this and engage people in conversations about it to reduce the stigma. It's always difficult when it affects relationships and it's sad to hear about your relationship ending and I do hope you're OK and that the therapy is helping him too. I am new to your blog but I will be sticking around! - Tasha

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    1. Tasha!
      I am so glad that you'll be sticking around! I'm glad this post didn't scare you off, haha!
      Hope you continue to like what you read!
      ♡Mariah Alysz

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  8. Being with someone who has depression is tough. Especially when they suddenly pull away from you, it's hard to not take it personally. For some reason I seem to attract the type, maybe they see me as nurturing...and probably I am...but then they always leave me when it "flares up" and I always end up hurt. You guys seem to have been together for a while so your situation is probably different...but I don't know. I think it's good to always just keep doing your own thing and stay true to yourself, in any type of relationship.

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    1. I completely agree! Cultivating a strong sense of self and independence are absolutely necessary in a relationship. In the past I have allowed myself to basically blob into one being with the person I was dating, and that left me lifeless and gross. Being true to yourself in vital, and I thank you for your kind insight and wisdom.
      ♡Mariah Alysz

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  9. Hey I am truly obsessed with your blogs. You are such a big inspiration for me. Well, I just love this wedding party outfit. Can you tell me from where you got this? Actually I also have to attend a night wedding reception at some domestic party halls in Boston MA so I need a perfect outfit for a night wedding. Any suggestions please!!

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    1. Hey there! And my goodness thank you for your kind words!
      I got this amazing dress from a vintage shop in downtown Olympia called Psychic Sister.
      I'm sorry for responding so late to your comment, and am probably much beyond your party dates now, but I think anything with a little sparkle or shine would look great in one of those party halls!

      Best,
      Mariah Alysz ♡

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  10. Thank you for writing this piece, girl. My partner also struggles with a form of depression, it's tough.

    Most importantly: "We should recognize the beauty in the love we have; not compare it to everyone else's love story, but instead write our own." I need to work on reminding myself this more each day. It's so easy to compare our love stories to others, especially over social media.

    I've followed you on Instagram for a while now, but I'm speedily falling in love with your blog. If you're ever up for some blogger networking at Evergreen, we should get together.

    Again, thank you so much for writing this piece!

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    1. Hey there! (omg I am really, really awful at responding to blog comments in a timely manner, so I apologize)
      I truly struggle every day with not using social media as an outlet for comparing my relationship to others. I think it's because as bloggers, social media is a huge part of our lives, and thus so much more real to us than it may be to other, even though we are at the same time aware of how picture perfect it is. It's a strange situation to be in.

      And I'm just moving into a new apartment in Tumwater, so I'll be much closer to Oly and totally down for a meet up!

      Best,
      Mariah Alysz ♡

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