Loving Someone with Depression: What It’s Like For the One You Love

Falling in love is great. Especially if it’s with someone great! First you go through the honeymoon phase where everything is just so awesome and nothing stands in your way. Unfortunately, a couple doesn’t always stay in that fun little phase. As time goes on, you really start to learn more about the person you are in a relationship with. You learn what makes them tick. What makes them happy. What makes them sad. What makes them mad. What they love. What they hate. You learn their routine. You learn their mannerisms. You can tell when something is wrong. When they’re not quite themselves.

Everyone has their bad/sad days. You can’t deny it. We’ve all been there. Even “normal” people get them… Some more than others. But nonetheless, this is something we all experience.

Loving Someone with Depression

When you have depression and/or anxiety (side note here: they are not the same thing! They share similarities, but are entirely different things. You can have one or the other or both. Just because you suffer from depression, doesn’t mean you suffer from anxiety and visa versa.), you never really know when you’re bad days are going to hit. Everyone says “it’s a choice to be happy” and yes, for the most part it is. But sometimes it’s not. Sometimes you just fall into a deep, dark hole and there is no ladder to help you climb out. For me personally, I can be so happy all day and with the flip of a switch be so sad and start sobbing. This doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. It’s hard to explain, it really is.

In the 5th grade, I was diagnosed with depression. #embarrassing. I had a lot of things going on in my life at the time. My mom was in a lot of trouble for doing drugs. My dad and other mom just had a baby, so I was no longer an only child. And let me tell you something: being an only child for 11 years and then having another baby come in the picture is hard! I wasn’t the priority anymore – literally felt like I didn’t even matter and that the world would have been a better place without me. I couldn’t understand how my parents could love me so much one day and then not the next. The next 12 years of my life were difficult. Don’t get me wrong. I had lots and lots of good times, days, months in between there. I had some great experiences. Met some awesome people. But there was a lot that went on. A lot of times when I just felt like I could leave and no one would miss me. A lot of lonely nights. Hate riddled my bones.

Once I hit 22, I could finally see the light. Things were starting to fall into place. I landed a full-time job with benefits. I bought a house on my own – something that I had worked very hard for. I bought a new car. I met an amazing guy that I now love with all of my heart.

{Another side note: I just want to say realllll quick that I am in NO way what-so-ever trying to make excuses, I am just trying to shed some light and say how I feel. I am not speaking for everyone because we are all different, but if you can relate and I can help you, then my job here is done.}

I recently had a bad few days, so I decided to write about it. Writing is so therapeutic! I am in a “new” relationship – been almost 10 months now, so we are definitely passed the honeymoon phase. We get along great, for the most part. We laugh a lot. A LOT. We fight. We love. We cry…

So let me just back up a little here – and I’m sorry that I’m rambling. I promise I’ll get to the point. I feel like I am at a pretty good point in my life. I don’t have bad/sad days nearly as often as I used to. I’ve learned to deal with it, how to hide it and just pretend that I’m fine. I know that not everyone knows how to handle it, so I try to save my weak moments for myself when I can cry in the shower or after everyone’s gone to bed.  Let me give you a scenario… On Monday, I was having a normal day. Get off work, pick up my child (who did not stop whining from the second I picked him up until the second he fell asleep),  have to go to the store for food – boo!, come home from the store and I was so damn annoyed. I was on edge. I was irritated. Everything was pissing me right the hell off! My sweet boy was driving my absolutely insane. I finally ended up kicking his butt and putting him in his room – mother of the year over here! I cooked breakfast for dinner. Still was annoyed, but trying to come out of it. By the time I went to bed, I was alright. Tuesday I was just so anxious. Something was bugging me, but I couldn’t pin point it. And to be honest, I didn’t want to figure out what it was. It takes to much time to figure it out. So I settled with “I don’t know what’s wrong.” It’s just easier that way. Even if you do know why, it’s hard to put it in words. It’s hard to say it in a way that someone on the outside might understand. I expressed how I felt like crying. When I was asked why, “I don’t know” was all I could say. Sometimes you just REALLY don’t know what’s wrong. You’re just off. Wednesday was another normal day, but by the middle of the day, I started to get a headache and started to feel.. not good. By the time I went to bed, my head was pounding and I just felt worse. Sometimes it’s too much too deal with. Sometimes it’s hard to be strong all the time and put up a front. So I rolled over and started to cry. I tried real hard to be quiet, but your nose starts to run, so your sniffing a lot and your body kinda shakes as you let it out and breathe. So then it was apparent that I was crying. I was asked why I was crying several times and I didn’t answer. I said “nothing.” “What’s wrong?” a few more times. Finally I said “I don’t feel good.” That answer wasn’t good enough and I was left to sleep alone. So what do I do? Cry even harder because my truthful answer wasn’t enough. I felt worthless. Unlovable. Loser status. By saying “I don’t feel good” doesn’t always mean my belly hurts or my head. It can mean that I literally don’t feel good. I mentally do not feel good. My heart hearts. I am sad. I am mad. I don’t know why. I just don’t. I tried to sleep with my sweet sweet baby, but his bed is just too small for the two of us and I didn’t want to wake him because I was tossing and turning, flopping him all over his twin size bed. Besides, he already gets me more than he should. Poor kid. If I cry in front of him, he will immediately start to cry and hold me and tell me everything is okay and hug me tight. He’s been that way for as long as I can remember. I guess that’s what I was searching for, but it wasn’t fair of me to try and put a four-year-old in that position. I didn’t want to be alone. I just wanted someone to hug me tight. You don’t have to tell me that it’s going to be okay because I know “this too shall pass.” I’ll get through it. I always do.

I can totally understand that “I don’t know” is an extremely annoying answer. I get it. I don’t like to be told that. I genuinely what to know what is wrong when I ask someone. I need to take my own advice sometimes when I say that “I don’t know” is sometimes a good enough answer. In a situation where the person (me, in this case) is so sad for whatever unknown reason, we don’t want to be alone, even if it seems like we do. Please don’t leave us alone. For some people, that just proves that all people do when times get tough is leave. It’s nice to know that someone truly cares and can accept your “I don’t know” and love you through it instead of being frustrated.

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Almost three years ago, I walked away from everything I had ever known. I needed a blank slate. I needed to start over. I wanted to be happy. My son did not deserve to have an unhappy family. It was hands down THE hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I didn’t have a job. I didn’t know how I was going to do it on my own. I just knew I couldn’t live like that anymore. It wasn’t a healthy lifestyle for any of us. A while after I had left, I received this picture with the words “I wish I would have realized this sooner. I wish I would have believed you when you said I don’t know. I wish I would have understood then what I do now.” I think I replied with “me too.” By that time, it was too late. My wounds had finally started to heal. I had to find this picture again and share it because there is so much truth to it. Here’s a few more that I’ve found that are good..

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Please know that it takes courage to write these kind of things and I have been fighting with myself on whether or not I should really post this. A million thoughts rush through my mind. It isn’t my intention at all to hurt anyone’s feelings or to make anyone mad. I am not looking for sympathy in any shape or form. I am just writing this so you can possibly get a glimpse inside of what goes on in my mind.

Other good reads on this subject:
13 Things To Remember When You Love A Person Who Has Depression
20 Things to Remember If You Love A Person With Depression
When Someone You Love Has Depression

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