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When Love Is Not Enough

How Mental Illness Can Be Emotionally Destructive

I am aware that I tend towards a more complicated view of life. Simplicity, brevity, certainty: these are beyond me. They have been beyond me for as long as I can remember.

And yet… 

Some primordial part of me (my heart?) had, until now, always held the unwavering conviction that there could be no more simple and certain a thing as love. Love, you see, is beyond doubt; it is beyond the conceptual rumblings and ambivalences of an uncertain mind. Love is well resembled by Cupid’s arrow, shot straight and true as… well, as an arrow. 

Now, the rest of me had, of course, managed to “categorise” love. It was as if the full-blown, full-throttle, full-cream version of love was, however real, somehow a peak experience or an unobtainable fantasy, however fully I believed in it. And so I loved, in various ways—all true—throughout my life. I loved with respect, with compassion, with forgiveness, with friendship, with loyalty, with commitment, with hope. But only once with true passion; only once with the direct simplicity of Cupid’s arrow; only once with my whole being… 

When this love became a part of my life, I was as surprised as I was elated. Why now? And how?! How was it possible, after all those years of categorising love, for the set of all sets to fall into place there and then? And yet, unquestionably, it had. And it was glorious. I soared. I wept. I was ordinary. I was beautiful. I was myself. And this is where the tragedy began to set in. 

I have long been aware of my “mental health issues” (henceforth known as “life shit”). And I’ve tried, with some desperation at times, to sort my life shit out. I’ll go into this in another post, but for now let me just say that I have tried my share of therapies and therapists, and I have been excruciatingly introspective. So I have owned my life shit. I’ve been honest about it. And, in this instance, more completely emotionally honest than ever before. And so we come to the punchline… 

The simple, beautiful, indestructible, pure, and entirely effortless love which was born of that incredible union was not, it transpired, enough to carry the weight of the reality upon which so much else rested—most conspicuously, the reality that is my life shit. 

Who wants to watch someone soar into a life they have been denied whilst watching from the ground, unable to join them there? And who, from the airborne perspective, wants to watch the one they love fail, over and over again, to unshackle themselves? How do these two perspectives align? Well… They don’t. And neither party will wish to cast the other as the villain of the piece; neither will willingly take upon themselves the felt mantle of such a role, either. Love says otherwise. And yet… Such are the characters of this story: destined to love without compromise, and yet live with the consequences of their individual truths. It’s a bitter and unwanted pill indeed. It’s an impossible realisation. Until, pathetically, it becomes inevitable. 

And so, something less conscious takes over. Primal instincts and their consequences, behaviour, begin to have their way. And thus the beginning of the end is unleashed, in as unlikely and unpredictable a form as the genesis of such an uncommon love. And words lose their meaning. And love is toppled from its thousand-year reign. And all that is left is the letting go… 

I’m aware I am being somewhat cloudy and elusive. This is not a tale I wish to tell in simple terms. And this is because, when love is not enough, it is because everything else is too complex and impenetrable for the facts to be plain, the story to be simple, and the ending to be satisfactory. My only hope is that you find acceptance, should this tale ring true; and, if not, that you never have to make sense of it.

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