The Harsh Truth About Marriage and Depression

For those of you who read CBG’s blog, you’ll know that he’s going through a tough time right now, mentally and emotionally. He’s finally getting treatment for his depression, but he’s struggling to find the right treatment for him. He had a bit of an upswing for several weeks, but then his doctor switched his medication and well…it all went downhill from there. To the point that he’s now worse off than he was before he even started taking medication to begin with.

And he doesn’t see his doctor again for another week and a half.

While a part of me wants to say that CBGs depression isn’t about me, as my bestie pointed out this week: of course it does. Because that’s what happens in a marriage. We don’t exist in two silos. I’ve been feeling dragged down. Kind of like when someone is drowning…they grab onto the closest person to them, and end up pulling them down, too. With my own current issues with Seasonal Affective Disorder and not being my best self, I’m having a tough time keeping us both afloat.

In fact, I’m pretty sure that I can’t do it.

Basically I’ve gone into survival mode this past week or so. I’ve been doing as much as I can to focus on, and take care of myself. Right now, with CBG thinking and feeling the way he is, the best I can hope for is to simply avoid conflict as much as possible. This has resulted in me not really being around a whole lot. I’ve been…hermiting, as I do sometimes, but in the best way possible for me. I’ve been spending time reading, napping, watching movies alone, still running every single day. Leaning on friends who understand and who are able to help me see things a little more objectively.

On the one hand I feel like I’m abandoning my husband, but on the other, I know that I can’t keep us both afloat right now. I just can’t. I feel like the best thing I can do is take the space I need to focus on myself, and ride things out with him. He’s not in a place where he is able to do the best things for himself and those around him. I know that’s the Depression talking but as anyone who had been in this place before knows, Depression can’t be reasoned with. I’ve tried. It has only made matters worse.

So right now…we’re in survival mode. Don’t talk about anything important. Recognize the Depression when it does the talking. Do your best to avoid conflict. Get used to feeling lonely.

The thing is — I miss my husband. Not the person that I’m still sleeping beside (most nights), but the man that was there before….months ago — maybe even years ago — before this all began. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen him. I started seeing glimpses a few weeks ago and it was encouraging, but all that’s gone now. He’s been replaced by someone else; someone I don’t recognize or even particularly like.

However, as my bestie has also reminded me: this isn’t a forever situation. Things will improve, we just have to hang on until then.

I just wish someone would throw us a lifeline. At this point, we both need it.


8 Responses

  1. This post makes me so sad. Especially because I’m a fixer and I don’t like seeing my friends hurting. But, I too have been there, done that. Just don’t forget to continue to show your physical love for each other. Make yourselves stop each other in his/her tracks to give a hug and an I love you as often as you can. I’m hoping that both of you have enough left in your lifeline to give at least that much to each other. Physical affection goes a long way to bring a smile to one’s sad face. As always, I’m here if ya need me. xoxo

  2. […] still and focusing on my breath kind of meditation. I am feeling this particularly lately since life isn’t exactly fabulous at the […]

  3. I’ve seen you both together and although right now is hard; I’ve seen you two together. You both are the real thing. You are stronger than this moment.

  4. […] I feel like an asshole talking about how difficult my husband’s depression is for me to deal w… Anyone who has ever had a depressed spouse/partner knows this. It’s so hard watching the person you love struggle. It’s devastating to watch them engaging in self-destructive behavior. It’s exhausting to constantly be fighting against the pull of negativity so you don’t start drowning right along with them. […]

  5. Full disclosure. I’ve been lurking on your blog for months. It all started when I wanted to find motivation and inspiration as a runner and found your blog.

    It’s only now, however, I feel compelled to write because depression is close to my heart. Depression is the reason I started running. I need the runner’s high in conjunction with depression meds.

    Depression hurts. And the side effects of anti-depressants hurt even more. What I can impart is to take one day at a time. Try what regimen and combination of meds work best. Things don’t stay the same is what I learned so far.. Hang in there!!

    • Hi Nic:

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me. My husband and I are at the “one day at a time” stage now and so far, it seems to be helping. It’s way too easy to get bogged down focusing too much on the big picture. Sometimes today is all one can manage.

      Thanks again. It’s helpful to know that I’m not alone. 🙂

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