Once upon a time, my love went through a very dark time. He was lost in a sea of grief, sadness, guilt, doubt, and negativity. He was more than depressed, he was drowning in despair.
I felt like I was watching the self-destruction through a window, unable to reach him. I wanted to end his pain while he needed to feel it. I was distraught and sometimes angry as I watched him drown, refusing help. He needed to work through the pain on his own and I was not part of his process. And as much as I understood the reason, it very nearly ended us.
I was in a lifeboat watching my love just barely keeping his head above water refusing my help, resenting my presence. I often got the feeling he was asking me to just leave him alone and let him go.
I can’t describe (and I hope you never have to experience it yourself) how devastating it is to watch someone you love slip away into depression. It is an insidious disease that plagues many of us at different times in our life. It can be subtle and momentary but it can also be totally destructive. I was in school studying Psychology while all this was going on. There were times I went to class feeling like I couldn’t manage another day of the depression but then, some help would come during that night’s class and keep me going, helping me understand, helping me cope. I created this collage to express my personal pain as I watched the depression take over his life. He was becoming someone I didn’t know and I felt alone and helpless.
If you don’t live with depression, you don’t really understand it and you don’t understand that it affects more just the depressed person. There are ways to deal with depression, assuming there is someone in your life pushing you toward it and assuming you allow yourself to be pushed. My love needed a major negative experience to wake him up and seek professional help. He was against using medication and opted for counseling. It took a very long time and in the end, he came out a different person. I’m not sure he is entirely whole (but how many of us really are) though he manages his depressive feelings pretty well. As for me, I am still coping with the different person I am now married to. All I can say is I’m working on it. I have no answers and welcome helpful thoughts from you. If you are going through something similar, perhaps we can support each other. Maybe you want to try collage journaling to express your feelings. If you do, I hope you will share.