I had a mini-epiphany at 6.10am this morning. For me to have anything at any hour before 11 is amazing so I’m really taking this one on board.
It was one of those moments in life where you see a situation clearer than ever before. Similar to that point in an eye exam where the optician suddenly drops the best lens into the viewing panel and you see things as never before: clearer, sharper, the layer of blur you just can’t shake removed. Like the eye exam it lasts only an instant but you know you’ll never go back to seeing things that way again.
I can’t really explain my epiphany without some context so hopefully you’ll bear with me. When I was first diagnosed I was in a relationship. It was pretty serious: living together with marriage vaguely on the long term plan. When my illness hit its peak the relationship crumbled and I dealt with that period in my life mainly by myself. We co-existed until I was strong enough to leave.
For the last number of years I have filed that relationship under “damn you depression”, the end attributed to my illness making it impossible for me to be somebody he could love. He couldn’t cope with the me he ended up with and I couldn’t be any different because of where I was emotionally. I have always looked back with a sense of regret – not that it ended but that it ended because of my health. Another thing to resent my illness for.
This morning I saw it very differently. I realised that we were in two very different relationships: I was in one where I thought I could be myself, even the very worst version of myself, and he would love me regardless. He was in a relationship with the girl he met, who had long since ceased to exist.
It might not seem like a very big epiphany but it has turned my brain upside down. It’s not that the reasons for the end have changed, on the surface they are the same: arguments, lack of trust, no communication. But my perception of the underlying cause, the “secret reason” we kept to ourselves, has been smashed. It wasn’t my illness, it was his inability to accept me for who I really am.
He once told me “it’s not that I don’t love you but you make it very difficult”. I now realise that until 6.10am today I thought that he was right.