Mental health is a passion for me. I struggle with severe mental illness (SMI), as I’ve shared on here before. But mental illness doesn’t just impact the diagnosed; it impacts their loved ones and anyone close to them.
Mental health and relationships come with their own sets of challenges. I am so grateful for my husband who supports my mental health journey and who is my unbending advocate.
That’s why I was excited to participate in The Tandem Collective Global’s real-along for the book Overthinking About You: Navigating Romantic Relationships When You Have Anxiety, OCD, and/or Depression by Allison Raskin (Workman Publishing). This read-along was a great way to immersive myself in the book and answer questions about my contributions to my marriage while dealing with SMI.
What I Liked about Overthinking About You
I loved the thoughtfulness of this book. Ms. Raskin writes with a warmth and honest approach about anxiety, OCD, and depression, and how to navigate relationships while you have a mental illness. Another quote that hit me hard: “I might not feel this way or see the world this way, but I acknowledge and respect that you do” (p. 90).
This book is practical advice, research from experts, and nuggets of wisdom. While Overthinking About You is written from the standpoint of new and relatively new relationships, I found the discussions about anxiety and conversations about mental health applicable to my marriage. My husband is incredible, but I know my mental health puts challenges on our relationship. And that’s on me.
Activities in the Read-Along
As I completed the read-along, I highlighted passages and filled my notebook pages with resonating words. Here are three statements that rang incredibly true for me:
- A useful acronym to respond to anxiety – “STOP: Stop, Take a breath, Observe, Proceed” (p. 40).
- “It’s a lot more reasonable to ask someone to weather a storm with you when you already have a strong foundation” (p. 59).
And my absolute favorite:
“None of us are Superman, and that’s a good thing.”Allison Raskin, Overthinking About You (p. 78)
Another activity asked about your healing rituals. Here are some of mine:
- Sit outside with my husband.
- Go for a long walk, ideally while listening to an audiobook.
- Take a hot shower.
- Pet my dog.
- Let myself have a good cry.
Also, I liked the read-along activity that asked us to think about our senses and what awakens them. I came up with these:
- Seeing the bright colors of tulips and the Northern Lights
- Tasting a delicious dessert
- Smelling a great perfume, coffee beans, and fresh-cut grass
Ms. Raskin understands the importance of mental health, and she writes from a place of honesty and realism. This book isn’t full of broad-stroke advice that you’d see on a motivational Pinterest board. Instead, it’s a thoughtful look at how you can manage your mental health, specifically anxiety, OCD, and/or depression, and be in a positive romantic relationship.
I’m happily married to a wonderful man who supports me and my mental health. While some of Ms. Raskin’s messages were solely for people in the dating stage, I still took away some great points about how I must communicate what I need when I’m struggling and how I can take hold of my own mental health in relation to my marriage.
Overall, this is a 5-star book for me, and I highly recommend if you struggle with mental health and are/want to be/have been in a relationship. It’s a great read with a long-lasting message!
Two quotes I’ll end with:
- “There is power in knowing you are not going to change your morals in reaction to pain” (p. 193).
- “No matter what happens, my life is in good hands. They just happen to be my own” (p. 196).