“Will You Still Love Me If I …?”

I had the TV on for background noise yesterday while I was working on a cake. If I am alone and not at the computer I have to have something on, whether it is the radio or the TV. I leave it on the same station that I watch the news on and it just goes on with talk shows, soap operas, whatever. It doesn’t matter because I am not watching, I just need to hear talking or I get too distracted – as ironic as that may sound.

But two things did grab my attention.

The first was “The Talk”. Their final guest was Charlie Puth and I was very impressed with him. He is funny and a very talented singer/ songwriter. He told Sharon Osborne that he almost didn’t get to sing the song that made him famous “See You Again” on which he was featured with Wiz Khalifa. They co-wrote the song for the movie “Furious 7” as a tribute to the late Paul Walker who died during the making of the film.

He explained that the producers loved the chorus he wrote to go with Khalifa’s rap but they wanted a star to sing it. He begged them to let him do it to the point where he actually told them if he couldn’t sing it, they couldn’t use it. Now that took guts, but it worked and the rest, they say, is history! The video has well over 3 BILLION views.

The second “distraction” was on Rachel Ray’s show. I didn’t pay much attention to the recipes she and other cooks demonstrated. But then I heard her announce Judith Light. Now, this is an actress I have admired for years – ever since I first watched “Who’s The Boss?” She is currently on the hit show “Transparent” where Jeffrey Tambor plays her ex-husband who comes out as transgender. Now my point here is not to discuss that. I have never watched the show and only know of it basically from award shows where it wins a lot!

Something Judith said really hit home for other reasons. She was telling Rachel about a woman that she met who was a teacher and told Judith that not only were her students watching it but they were doing so with their parents and it was opening conversations. Judith said that they were able to ask “Will you still love me if I …? Will you still love me?” She said that the … could be anything.

This reminded me of my situation with my family, friends, my church family, culinary school, you name it. When my family found out I was bipolar I was treated very differently. I was sheltered from things like finding out that a guy I went to school with (and the son of a couple they had been friends with for years) shot himself. I found the obit in my Mom’s stuff after she died. My sister acted as if everything was okay between us but really it hadn’t been for years. They were basically embarrassed by me.

My Mom told me the first time I was hospitalized for depression (before the bipolar diagnosis) that if I ever killed myself she would never forgive me. When I did have a very serious attempt, my family wouldn’t listen to me when I tried to tell them I didn’t want to die, I was hearing voices because of a new medication. The voices told me nobody cared about me, not family, the staff at the hospital I was at, no one. So, when they didn’t believe me after I came out of it, all I could think of was gee, maybe the voices were right.

If I could have asked them “Will you still love me if I have a mental illness (or two or three)?” I wonder what their answer would have been?

Would they have told me honestly that they were embarrassed by my behavior? That I  was a disappointment to them? Would they have admitted that they saw me as my illness, not as a person who was suffering with it even more than they were?

Don’t get me wrong. I am not bitter – I have gotten way past the hard feelings. I have forgiven them, and I have forgiven myself for buying into it for so long. And the great result is that I am not only free from the heartache and guilt, I have control over (most) of my mental conditions. They do tend to rear their ugly heads once in awhile – take the fact that it is 3:30 in the morning and I am sitting here writing a blog post when I have to finish a cake in less than 12 hours! I will get it done, but the fact that I am not the least bit tired can be a warning sign.

I think the line “Will you still love me?” can apply to a lot of things.

  • Having a mental illness
  • Having any type of chronic illness
  • Being gay/trans, etc.
  • Having an affair
  • Not wanting to become the third pharmacist/doctor/police officer/whatever in the family
  • Wanting/not wanting children
  • having an addiction of any kind

When I got together with my current husband I warned him about my physical and mental health problems. I had to tell him that I couldn’t have children, that I never wanted to get married because I had such a horrible past and an even worse first marriage.

He said that he understood but he wanted to go through it with me. And the first 10 years were absolutely horrible. People might have thought that things were okay but they weren’t. And the hardest thing was that I felt that, just like my family, he could only see how my behavior was hurting him. They all couldn’t grasp that I wasn’t my illness and I felt like I was watching myself screw things up for all of us. I was helpless. But we persevered, prayed, and kept going back to the fact that we were friends before we were husband and wife. We also had our faith to hold onto and I believe that was what saved us. Oh, and the fact that we will still love each other no matter what life brings.

Now you might be saying, “Ya, I read this or that in another post you wrote earlier.” And you might have. What I try to do with my blog is use things that have happened to me to hopefully help others not go through the same things. And I look at all of these things from different angles.

I totally believe that God allows me to go through all that I have and will to strengthen me and use me to help others. And my answer to that is “Bring it on Lord!” And when I see my family again in heaven I can tell them all about how the suffering, neither mine nor theirs, was not in vain. (Just a note my sister is still living but there will come a time when we will all be together again).




11 Replies to ““Will You Still Love Me If I …?””

  1. I’m sorry to read that your family couldn’t see past the illness. Mental disorders are frightening for a lot of people, and when you have to deal with one (or three), you can’t expect strangers to understand, but you should always have your family to hold on to.

    I was lucky that way. And I wish you had that chance too… But nobody can change the past, right? I hope your present and future life will make up for the hard moments in your past.

    *Big hugs*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Cyranny. My present is full of hope and caring people who accept me as I am. The new people that are coming into my life via our move have no idea of my past and just accept me for who I am. As I said, I have worked through all the issues and I only bring them up here when I feel they may help someone else. My husband and I have a very loving relationship and I have come to see he has been with me all along – I was just used to people giving me mixed signals. Now, I have to get over to the cove as it has been ages. We are on the hunt for a new furbaby (and think we have found one) and that and new cake orders is taking up a lot of my time. But it is all good stuff!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am so glad to read this 🙂 I have great respect for people like you who don’t give up in adversity! It is good that your years of working with all the challenges that life has put on your way, you are surrounded by good and loving people… And I sure can’t wait to have news about the new pup 🙂

        Have a great weekend! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a beautiful post Lydia. You’ve helped me understand a little of what it’s like to live with a mental illness & you’ve managed to do it in a uplifting way. That is a gift. It is so obvious in your writing how generous your soul is & how honest you are in your desire to help others. I feel privileged that you have shared some of your story with us xx


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