5 Things To Remember When Dating A Girl Who Struggles With Self-Love

I am self-destructive. I used to punish myself for not living up to the impossible-to-reach expectations that I had put onto myself in high school by breaking the surface of my baby-soft skin with the sharp blade of a razor almost nightly.

I understand that it's heartbreaking to imagine that someone could be filled with so much desire to inflict pain on themselves, but I felt so far removed from myself that cutting was the only thing brought me back to reality.

It was often the only time I could feel anything at all.

I barely ate, I barely slept, and I just continued to self-destruct. I almost got to the point of no return. I kept my depression a complete secret from everyone because I would rather have had it kill me than let it destroy everyone else around me.

And although most days I may be a walking mess of flaws and weakness, that doesn't mean I'm not trying to love myself the way you love me.

For all the loops and turns I put you through, here are some things you should know:

1. I will have good days.

On these days, I will see everything in bright colors and feel on top of the world. I will smile, laugh, and act the way I used to, and it won't seem like I'm pretending. It may be temporary, but you will have the woman you fell in love with back in your arms. Our relationship will feel so secure, and you'll remember why we chose each other in the first place.

2. I will have really, really bad days.

I will hate absolutely everything and just want to curl up into a ball, not speaking to anyone, not doing anything, and just cry. Days will go by where nothing goes right, where I feel like it's me against the world, days where I just can't take it anymore. There will be days where the thought of me leaving this world doesn't seem so bad. It won't be easy for you to sit back and watch me go through this.

3. I will need reminders.

I need reminders that you love me, why you love me and what I do that makes you happy. I look in the mirror and hate everything I see. I sometimes see a body, but no one in it. I need you to remind me that I am good enough and that I am going to be happy someday. That we're going to get through this together. That you'll always be there.

4. I will need space, but I'll still need you close.

If I'm having a bad day, please do not ask me "what's wrong" every five minutes. Half of the time, I don't know why I'm upset, I just am. I know you're concerned and just want to help me, but sometimes I just need you to be quiet or let me be by myself. If you really want to help, hold my hand if I reach for it or give me space if I ask for it.

5. I love you.

Regardless of the things I say on my bad days, like the way I talk about myself and everything around me when I'm in one of my "moods," I love you more than you will ever know. Understand that I appreciate you for choosing to love me through all of this, and for being there for me when I need it the most. Without you, dealing with this would be that much more difficult, and I couldn't make it through each day without the hope that, someday, this will all just be a distant memory.

Thank you for never giving up on me.

Understanding how to love someone who doesn't love themselves can often do more good than any doctor or pill. It reminds us that we're human, and that everything will eventually be all right with the support of those who care about us the most.

We'll go through this rollercoaster ride together, and we just have to remember to never give up on each other. Just hold me. Love me. Help me learn how to love myself. And please, never forget this: Just because I don't know how to love myself just yet doesn't mean I don't love you with everything I have.