The Issue With Feeling Unlovable When You're Mentally Ill
The issue with feeling unlovable. The issue? It can be an issue and pardon me for being redundant here. The topic for this post was derived from a comment a reader made. This person mentioned the word unlovable in the context of mental illness. I quickly scribbled the word down and put it away for a couple days.
I open my day-timer today and see the word, UNLOVEABLE, written in large and bold text by my own hands. I sort of grimaced, watching the rain fall from a gray sky outside my window, and wondered if I really had to put it in bold, I mean, it's not as if I have no experience with feeling unlovable. I feel it often, and if you struggle with mental illness, well, perhaps you do too.
Now, unlovable is a rather complicated word, so let's try to define it with (yes, again) my thesaurus. It's nice to step outside of our minds and try a practical approach to definition.
Defining the Feeling 'Unlovable' In Terms of Mental Illness
To be unlovable is to be (and stay with me here): unloved (yes, the thesaurus states the obvious yet again). But it also lists the following words as synonyms for unlovable:
>Forsaken (I will not lie; I just pictured a bad horror movie)
>Thrown over (It states this with no further explanation)
>Spurned (I would need to look up this definition in order to explain it)
So, that's that. The word rejected makes sense. Mental illness can make us feel rejected, not part of society, perhaps even thrown over, whatever that means. Uncherished, this word often tied to the emotional aspect of love, is also relative. But what does it feel like to believe that, on some level, we are unlovable largely because of our illness?
Mental Illness Can Make A Person Feel Unlovable
That's the truth and it's important to explain why. There are two answers that come to mind:
>The diagnosis spurs feelings that we will not be accepted because of our illness. We cannot be loved;
>These feelings, beliefs, serve to isolate ourselves.
The reality, moving past the issue of feeling unlovable, is that we are not unlovable we are instead empathetic, human, real. The reality: you are not unlovable. Having a mental illness can be a largely negative experience but it has positive aspects. Yes, positive.
>Being diagnosed with a mental illness forces us to open our eyes; the world isn't always kind, not to any of us.
>At some point in our lives, as human beings, we all feel unlovable. Having a mental illness can be isolating but we all experience these feelings and although the illness can make us feel unique, make us unique, it also makes us human.
>Learning to live with mental illness, accept it, opens us up to other people: we are less likely to pass judgment on others.
This issue of love and mental illness, of love itself, resides in textbooks. I can only touch on it lightly but I hope that readers will share their experience and feelings on the topic.
In other words, share the love...sorry, bad joke!
Champagne, N. (2012, February 9). The Issue With Feeling Unlovable When You're Mentally Ill, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/recoveringfrommentalillness/2012/02/mental-illness-the-issue-with-feeling-unlovable
Author: Natalie Jeanne Champagne
I'll be 40 this summer.
I've been single for over a year, now, and just too afraid to even try to date. Why should I try? Anything I have to "offer" in a relationship is pretty pathetic; I've found that men want either a replacement Mom (with money) or a trophy wife (with money). All I have to offer is little more than you'd get from a dog and maybe your best friend. Not enough money there to make any man pay attention.
Worse, I'm mixed, which means that I'm lambasted for not dating minority men (no interest, no attraction), and fetishised by the guys I'd actually date. I've even had people suggest to me that I "go gay", which is the stupidest thing I've ever heard; it's not 'going green', you're either into the same sex or you aren't. And I am NOT interested in women.
So I'm resigned to eventually dying alone, I guess; my daughter doesn't know me or even contact me (she'll be 12 this year), I have maybe two friends who actually make an effort to stay in touch with me, but one of them is getting married later this year, so I'll be down to ONE friend.
Honestly, I'd get up and try to make changes to my life if I thought there was any hope that I could attract a decent guy. But given my age and what I'd need to make myself interesting to these men (advanced degree, job security, thousands of dollars in savings, family connection, a vibrant social life, photos from my worldly travels, etc), combined with the shrinking pool of worthwhile men at 40, and I realise there just isn't enough time left.
Suicide looks like the only option within the next 10 yrs.
Yes, some of us are unlovable. I realized this when the last woman I was talking to told me that she was undatable. She is amazing, and we were seemingly perfectly matched in so many ways. But my personality wears on everyone I interact with. I have come to think of it as having a perishable personality...as I have noticed that the bulk of my friendships fail to extend beyond 3-4 years.
I don't intend to be generally negative, but I'm unable to maintain consistent employment because I have to revert to medication to treat the bipolar symptoms. I've watched literally every friend (romantic and otherwise) move on without me, and not look back.
To me, unlovable isn't in the context that no one can love me, because some have in the past...but no one will ever be in love with me because I am incapable of being happy in this life. I abandoned the thought of finding someone to grow old with when my former fiance and my 2 year old autistic son's mother (who always claimed to want to be a family more than anything) married a man nearly 20 years her senior a mere 2 months after our 4 year relationship ended.
It saddens me to know that at 40 years old, i have had my last kiss, I know that I will grow old alone in misery -- but not self pity, because I know I am a good man who cares deeply, but i cannot survive another heartbreak. Suicide is not an option as my life insurance policies won't pay under that circumstance. I wish the doctors had failed to revive me 13 years ago after I was clinically dead for nearly 5 minutes. Everyone I know would be better off today to have never interacted with me. So yes, it is possible to be unlovable.
Yes I'm not loved, other than my dog, thank GOD for her, but I am lovable if anyone would give me a chance and vice versa to know who I am and who I've always been but better now from all this pain. I'm grateful that I know I'm an even more compassionate, empathetic person than ever, to where it's almost to the extreme of what I'd try to do to help anyone who might be going through anything like this or other. Few people know how to really listen, let alone to hear what someone is saying. I'm grateful for the few people I'm lucky to know who do that.
Belive me, all children love us.
I have self diagnosed borderline personality disorder,, as I fit all the criteria.
When I was younger I just thought that I was very shy and easily hurt.
I remember building walls around myself so that I would not get hurt. I also have always dissociated from a very young age ( anxiety symptom)
All in all, I am very defended, so it is difficult to get close and to make relationships with others- I become dependent and that is a scary feeling.
People have recognized my talents and feel admiration for them and that is a wonderful feeling. However there are very few people in my life who are close enough to me who could ever be in the class of loving.
The only person who loves me unconditionally is my mom, and she is unwell. My dad loves me, I know, but I am not sure to what extent. He has disowned me at times over the years when things have gotten bad.
Over the years I have been in long term relationships but they have all ended and I have been the one to suffer. Thus I have decided to stay alone and avoid the humiliation of it all again.
I am the quintessential unlovable. No one can get close enough to me to love me. I have walls that are higher and thicker than anyone can get through. I do that to keep myself safe. Yes, at times it can be lonely, but at least I am not getting hurt over and over like I was before.
To Alain, I am sorry you get put in that position but I'm sure when you stop looking for someone, then someone great will come along and appreciate you for all your great qualities.
To Sherry, You are right. If something happened to me, I'm sure no one would find me for a long time. Many people are very isolated in their mental issues and that needs to change.
To Dawn, That is a hard thing to bear. To feel like a burden is something that weighs heavily on many with mental illness. However you can do something about it. You can help your family and friends in other ways. You can make them gifts they need or suppers and invite them over. You can watch a child if you are capable. You can go places with them and help carry groceries. Even little things can help them in big ways. Helping give back can help you feel less like a burden and help strengthen your bond with them as well.
To John, I saved yours last because it's a hard one. Some women want the "bad boy" but I think it's a phase. I think when they mature and are ready to settle down, women want someone who will be responsible and able to address their needs. BUT they don't like neediness in a man, that shows too much weakness and jealousy. It can become a control issue and lead to other negative things. So I totally agree with you but wanted to explain it out.
All that I know is that I"m tried ob being the "too nice to date guy friend".
I've been complimented on the way that I treat women, but I still end up banished to the friend zone.
The only solution that I see is to become the "bad boy" that women seem to fall for so that I don't die alone.