This always makes me choke up
Every fucking time.
Sadly, this is the fate of most people with mental illness.
People love you until they realize mental illness isn’t like in the movies or TV - it doesn’t cure itself in 30 minutes to 2 hours because someone loves you. Then, they tell you that you can always depend on them when you’re sad…and one day they realize that you’re always sad and that they can’t just “advise” your sadness away with their infinite wisdom. Sometimes you just need a kind word, an “I love you”, to be told you are valuable, you are beautiful. Even if they say you’re wrong, or that you don’t mean it, it still sinks in. And believe me, they grieve inside when you stop trying, even though they probably understand why you did.
Loving someone with a mental illness is one of the the hardest and most selfless things someone can do. No matter how the person may rage at you (and, side-note: most often they’re raging THROUGH you, not at you. But, they feel they can vent their fear and aggression in your direction because in their heart they believe you’ll still love them and because the demon they actually want to fight they don’t believe they have the courage to take on.) they love you harder than you could ever imagine.
The main things to remember when you make the decision to love a person who suffers from mental illness is that they cannot make their disorder(s) just go away…YOU cannot make them just go away, no matter how hard you try to love them through it, and they need more confirmation than any healthy person that you do love them, they do mean something to you, that their existence in the world is meaningful, and they don’t need you judging them, no matter how erratic their behavior, no matter if they refuse to do things the way you think they should do them, or they don’t feel the way you think they should feel about a situation.
If these are not things you can manage to do (and it’s really not much more than just showing some kindness, understanding and empathy), then perhaps it’s best that you do not forge relationships with individuals with mental illnesses. ALLLLL of this is doubled if you, yourself, also suffer from mental illness(es). If you are unable to provide these simple things, it is clearly unfair to expect them.