Isn’t love a complicated thing? It can be the disease and the cure. No matter how much it hurts, we never stop craving it. A simple chemical release of endorphins seems to shape our lives. We can love our mother, our partner, our friend, our cat, our IPhone, our endless choices of which cheap TV shows to stream through our Netflix… Love comes in many shapes and forms. No matter how much we tell ourselves we are better off alone, we still desperately look for love.
Love is imbedded deep in my soul and personality. I remember being 15 years old and crying on my bedroom floor; my father sat next to me. He asked me what was wrong, and I said that I was crying because no body loved me. He said that he loved me, but I said it wasn’t enough. I had the unconditional love of my family, yet I longed to have friends and a boyfriend. Ten years on I have accepted that friends have never been a permanent staple in my life. I spent years blaming myself, thinking that I was a freak and my haggard personality was the reason why I was a loner. I was never part of a group and I was always chosen last for group school activities. As I grew older and found my inner peace, I realised that the reason why I didn’t have many friends wasn’t because of me, but merely because I never found friends who could understand me. I understand that being friends with someone who has a mental illness can be hard work, but that is no reason to give up me. I would never give up on you, and my life experience with the big L word if anything has made me love more and harder.
A few years on and in my early twenties, I howled for my mothers love like a lonely new born. I would email her poems about my desperate helplessness, scream for hours in my bedroom next door, self harm and overdose to get her attention. I wasted so much time and energy questioning why she had abandoned me. I wondered why everyone else had abandoned me, friends taking all my money and endless men tossing me to the side of the bed after taking what they wanted. Embezzled in a chronic cycle of mental illness, I sought solitude in the only thing that gave me that unconditional love I so desperately craved. Being a nurse and looking after others was the only thing that gave me purpose and a reason to stay alive.
Many years of therapy later, and a negative relationship fallen apart, I realised I had been taking love from all the wrong places and in a form that I thought I was only worth. If I thought that I was only worth being used as a convenience and pleasure that was all I was going to get. Now that I have grown up and learnt to love myself I have found that I am worth so much more. I am a good person and deserve all that love can offer. I no longer seek acceptance of anything less than I deserve, I refuse to be used and tossed aside. It has been a hard lesson to learn, probably one of the hardest, but now that I have learnt it I am set up for life. I have found happiness, acceptance and attracted people who will be with me through thick and thin.
After stripping back my mental illness I have found myself more empathetic and understanding. I have learnt that my mother never left, but loved me in a different way. People love in different ways, and its a difficult thing to get your head around. I am grateful that my grandmother showed me how to love in a way I see is right. She was kind, loving, protective and unconditional. I love unconditionally, and I will accept love that is only that.
Those who mind don’t matter, those who matter don’t mind.
Amy Belle ❤