My first “coping with depression” book came. I’ve been reading diligently. I’m trying to absorb every bit of help and knowledge I can. Then a strange thing happened. I’m finding myself fighting myself. I’m reading this book because the boyfriend is depressed. I’m looking at how to alter things for him, to try to help him in whatever little ways I can. And he just sits there depressed. He won’t get help. He berates me and is unkind. But me, I’m reading, I’m empathetic, sympathetic and trying to do what little I can.
Then the other side kicks in. He’s sick. He can’t help it. His ass-hole-ness is a function of disease, not malice. I really want to believe that. I want to help him. I just feel so lost.
My new book was recommended to me whose husband is depressed. She recommended three books. I ordered two. One is still on the way. I’m about a third through it. I thought it’d be uplifting. Now I’m just mad at me.
When I read the list of “unofficial depression symptoms” I began to worry. Yes, that’s the boyfriend. Or it could be a list of things to look for in an abusive relationship. Where does the line get drawn? How can I talk to someone that has no ability to communicate logically? Am I dumb for sticking around? How long should I deal with this? Has it been too long? Is this impacting my life too negatively?…
Well, I know I’m doing ok. I’m better than I was when this started. As it seems to typically go (I learned that from this book), the boyfriend had all kinds of ideas about where I was wrong and harming the relationship. With surgical precision he sliced me down, and then tried to break up with me. I told him no, we weren’t breaking up and he needed to get a handle on whatever crisis he was going though. He did, however, make some good points. I was too attached to him. I needed to get out more and take better care of myself. His words were less kind, but I always try to find a silver lining.
So I did all of that. And, I think to the chagrin of the depressed boyfriend, I did it for me. I made new friends, and reconnected with old. I started doing WAY more stuff. Too much so actually, I’ve since had to cut back. I have pursued new interests and excelled at them. I lost weight, and can now literally kick someone’s ass. I am proud of myself. I am a better person than I was. I’ve also learned how to lean on people when I need to.
I’ve done all this, and become an expert in depression. The boyfriend has done nothing. Wait! Not totally true. He’s leveled his pandaren character to 90. He has also dropped out of school, and life. GO BOYFRIEND!!! He’s also watched almost all the Dr. Who episodes starting with the ninth doctor. Can’t forget that achievement.
The book I’m reading is called Depression Fallout by Anne Sheffield. It’s about “the impact of depression on couples and what you can do to preserve the bond.” I stole that right off the cover. The chapters I’ve read covered depression and its fallout. Fallout being the lovely roller coaster I’m on. Also a chapter on denial and one was overview of what depression is and what it feels like. The depression chapter was tough. I don’t want my loved ones to feel that way, ever. It was also insightful. The chapter gave merit to my thoughts about depression and what it does. As I’m not done, I don’t know that I’d personally recommend this book, but there the info if someone needs it. God knows I scoured the internet and found very little to help me.
What do you think? Are you stuck like me? Have you read a good book or seen a good website? Let me know. It’d be nice to know I’m not all alone in this.