I’ve been away for a week to try and wind down from my own anxieties. I had to begin the process of letting my family know that my struggle with depression the past few weeks has begun to feel bigger than I am.
Have you ever NOT told someone who is very close to you about your current struggle with depression?
This will sound terrible, but I had been doing that with Erik. With the decrease in my workload I’ve been feeling depressed and restless. There have been several desperate and sad moments of contemplating suicide, but only briefly. I would always scold myself for being selfish, narcissistic and that my depression only causes issues for my loved ones.
Erik knew about my distant past with Depression and my attempt of suicide, but I’ve been keeping him in the dark thinking that I was saving him. We aren’t just boyfriend/girlfriend, we are partners. Telling him that I’m sad and that I can’t control it isn’t a burden I really want him to help carry.
HOWEVER…I had to.
We got into a little spat yesterday. I was in a GREAT mood with the beautiful weather, but just like a switch I went into full monster mode. It’s like something comes in with a wet towel and drops it on your head. You feel groggy, headachey and pissed off at everyone. He made a comment about me acting like a crazy lady that sent me off the deep end. Our fight was totally stupid, but only because I had him trapped, confused and in the dark with what was going on.
Later that afternoon we had a full discussion about my recent depression and suicidal thoughts. He was, of course, devastated. He knew and understood in a split second I was being honest. We are struggling to keep our home afloat and when the right hand wants to walk out on the left….the whole dynamic changes.
He has had a day to process it. I have had a day to process it too. I’m a super emotional person anyways, but he normally isn’t. Until now. I was held, told I was his rock and that he’ll be my clear head when I can’t. That it’s OK to ask your partner to help you find help. Somehow, it’s easier now than ever before to conquer Depression with a partner who SELECTED ME to be with and has seen all the ups/downs based on his selection. He tells me that he has never been happier with his choice in partner; I am clearly feeling unworthy of his devotion.
None of this is easy to admit, especially to an internet crowd, but Depression is no joke to fight. I managed to weasel away from it before and I’m sure this time will be the same. This time I’m not walking the cowardly path and letting people know…
I have Depression. It’s OK…and not OK at the same time. There is no shame in admitting it (but I must confess that I’ve been feeling a whole lot of shame recently), but it’s not OK to use it as an excuse to cripple you and your common sense.
Erik was right. I was acting crazy, but only because I was exhausting myself with trying to keep a perky happy-go-lucky personality with someone I should be authentic with. I feel totally stupid.
If Depression or suicide is something you’re dealing with there is no shame in letting your loved ones know. Sure, they may think at first you’re being dramatic or that you’re lying, but as long as you spoke your piece that’s all you have to do. Give your family/loved one some time to process what you just said to them. How AWFUL do you think it is for a family member (even if the relationship is strained) to know that there may have be more to you than just mood swings.
Depression is icky and people with it normally avoid confronting it. Thus, people with Depression normally don’t invest the time to find necessary resources to manage it. Letting your family know really helps them keep a tiny eye on you to make sure you’re living life the way you are supposed to.
This morning we are heading to the seacoast instead of packing for our move. We have been on autopilot so much trying to take care of our responsibilities. Today, I’m feeling as if he’s taking care of me by taking inventory of what’s really going on.
I love this man and never before have I wanted to get better for myself. I’m spoiled rotten and I like it. I’m going to get over this bullshit Depression and enjoy the start of my life with this man.
If you or someone you know is dealing with Depression or suicide:
My personal advice on this to the family members helping someone with depression: you know who your loved one REALLY is. Encourage them to be themselves, provide easy resources (not exhausting…we have SUBZERO energy) and help them make both small and long term goals.
You aren’t alone. Never have been and you won’t ever be unless you MAKE IT THAT WAY.
Sending all my love and support out to you!