Standing Back

So CBG is going through a tough time right now. Again. Or perhaps I should say “still”. The truth of the matter is that he really hasn’t been himself for the past year or so.  A lot of it has to do with his mom’s passing, this I know. But there is more there than just that. The last year has stirred in him a lot of deep, inner issues. Demons that have come to the surface – that he has to fight.

And truthfully? He hasn’t really been fighting them. He’s been holding them at bay for the most part, but something’s holding him back from launching a full-on attack. I don’t know what it is for sure. I don’t even know if he knows what it is for sure.

It’s really tough for me to sit back and watch him go through this. My overwhelming inclination is to try and swoop in and fix things for him. That’s the road I was headed down earlier this year, when I made the decision to take a bit of a break. What this translated into was us not really communicating a whole lot in between our regular visits. I spent much of this time focusing on myself and my girls and doing what I needed to do to feel good about myself and happy with my life. CBG spent much of this time doing the same as he usually did (I say this not as a criticism, but as an observation. You all know I love my guy like crazy). I honestly don’t think the time we spent “apart” changed anything for him.

The truth is, he’s depressed. Sure he goes through the motions and puts on a good face, and maybe when we’re together he feels “okay”, even good, I’m not sure. But what I do know is that when a person is unable to do the things they need to do in order to feel good and happy, then that is depression. I was there once myself, not that long ago, it feels like. We don’t really talk about this – his depression – it’s easy to forget when we’re together and loving each other, and easy to ignore when we’re apart because it’s not right there in my face. But it’s there, nevertheless.

The one thing I learned from my own struggle with depression is that there’s not really anything that anyone else can do. Sure, I can love him and do my best to prop him up when things seem really bad, but the only person who can get him out of this hole is him. I’ll be honest – it’s frustrating to watch the struggle. And beyond that it’s scary, too, because depressed people don’t always make the best decisions. I know this from my own experience. I made my fair share of questionable decisions while I was losing the battle with the depression monster.

It’s difficult standing back and giving him space. It’s difficult just watching and hoping that he’ll be able to find a way to pull himself up out of this. It’s frustrating watching him making repeated poor choices and seeing him not living up to his full potential as a human being. He’s capable of so much more. He deserves so much more. But there’s nothing that I can do to force him to see it.

There are days when love just doesn’t feel like enough to help him through this.  But what other choice do I have?

12 Responses

  1. When I was in my darkest days, the woman who would become my wife ended up in therapy herself. She just didn’t know what to do, and eventual she left for a while. She still struggles with how to deal with me when I slip, but I have never been in as dark a place as I was then.

    • It’s tough because I understand what it’s like to be on the other end of things…being the person who is depressed. Depression was one of the reasons why my marriage ended. So to now be the person not knowing how to help the one I love, it feels extra difficult.

  2. I’m here for both of you should you need to talk. CGB, for you because I know what its like to hurt so badly because an important peson in your life is gone. And you, Sunshine, because, I live with a depressed person. Hugs to both of you. xoxo

  3. It has to be hard to step back and not try and fix it and know that even if you DID try and fix it, you can’t, because as you say, it’s not something anyone can do FOR you. Just your support and love is all you can do. I know you know this, though. And I hope things improve for him too.

    • Thanks. It’s REALLY tough to *not* try to swoop in and make it better. But I know that doing that really isn’t going to help him, and will only make me feel more frustrated with the situation. All I can do is support and love. It’s tough.

  4. You know I can relate to this as well. My man has his own battles to fight. Most of the time he seems good then others… when I ask how he is, he’ll say, “I’m breathing.” When he’s with me, he tells the world he’s happy. So, that in itself, makes me feel somewhat responsible for his down moods. Is it triggered because I’m not there? Because, truth be told, I’m glad I’m not there. HE needs to figure it out for himself. HE needs to understand that he’s worth the good in his life just as I’M doing this for myself. We both know it takes 2 whole people to make 1 amazing relationship.

    I know he’s blessed and has so much good in his life. I see it and he does too. But when he’s down, he’s way down and all I can do is helplessly watch and love. I get this. I don’t have any advice at all.

  5. Depression is never easy – either for the person living with it or those living with them (family and friends…) It isn’t just a “get over it” kind of thing. If they could, they would. Until he decides to do the work that needs to be done, it will be a sad shadow that will follow him.

    I may only know you both through Twitter and your blogs, but I feel for you both and I will keep you all in my prayers.

  6. Oy. That’s a toughie. I struggled with depression for a number and number of years before I even realized what I was dealing with. You’re right – when you’re the one who’s depressed – there’s really nothing anybody can do to make you feel better. I went on medication and was in therapy twice a week for a year. I think the combo worked as slowly, over time, I just started to feel more like “me”. I guess all we can do for anybody else is just let them know we’re here and hope they’ll reach out.

  7. […] is a bit unstable right now. CBG has been battling his own demons. The holidays are coming and I’m feeling a bit of the financial strain. I’ve been […]

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