Today my husband is down. The depression has descended upon him unbidden and unwelcomed but it is still there despite medication, therapy and all the efforts of the past. And I am a combination of angry and sad. I feel like I am in a perpetual state of mourning.
My challenge is to be in the present but that is so hard. I remember what he was like before the depression got progressively worse and I want to go back to that. I want my friend back.
That’s not to say that I don’t love him now or that I see glimpses of what he truly is, but I am so tired of the depression that masks all of that. I’m tired of going over the same ground time and time again. I’m tired of trying to let him know that things will get better. I’m tired of having to take sharp right turns in my day because the announcement comes, “The depression’s back.”
Sometimes I wish he weren’t as attuned to his depression as he is. Sometimes I think that if he didn’t know so much about depression, it wouldn’t have as much a hold on him. Sometimes I think – and I feel so guilty about this – that he is just playing this for sympathy and to get out of doing things. And sometimes I am just sad, sad that so many people are facing the days that I face or facing something worse.
And then I remember to be thankful. I did wake up this morning. I have a loving husband who on his good days is very good. I have two beautiful caring children who are in relationship with two other beautiful and caring people. I am able to walk and talk. I’m relatively healthy and I have different interests. And God loves me. Gratitude. It has the ability to bring us back to the path we need to be on – one of growth and enjoyment. But if gratitude is so difficult for those of us doing well mentally, imagine what a task digging up gratitude must be for a depressed individual.
So, even though the day is and has been difficult, I will try to be grateful. And I will concentrate on that, hoping that someday I will be truly grateful for this experience of depression in my husband, grateful that both of us have reached a place where we can remember those blessings together.