Ok, I'm taking the necessary steps (finally) to really take care of myself. I was doing a little here and there but apparently not enough. So I've reached out to a couple of friends who I trust (it's hard since my best friend moved so far away), I am trying to find at least one support group I can check out (harder than I thought to get info), among other things.
But in the mean time, my BF is the worst I've ever seen him as far as his depression goes. The only interraction we have, and I mean the only, is watching a movie together. I know it makes it easier for him because just simple conversations are too much for him. I feel guilty for feeling so alone because I know he cannot help what's going on.
So here is my question - do I just let things run its course? I know I'm not responsible for how he feels and that this cannot be fixed. But it's getting to the point where it's somewhat alarming (well, at least it is for me because I'm not used to this). Or is this something that will work itself out on its own? I have to say that he's doing everything necessary - taking his meds faithfully (even though it appears he needs a new combo), going to his therapist, etc..
And also, there are things like phone calls and paperwork that are rather important that needed to be done and I've been taking (Heather's ) advice by not being so co-dependent or enabling but at this point, if certain things don't get done, it could cause problems (i.e. medical bill issues that could affect his credit, legal stuff, etc..). So would this be the time to jump in and get this stuff done?
I mentioned in a post the other day that it seems whenever I post something relating to the subject of the depressive part of this illness, no one responds. Am I overstepping a line here? I'm just trying to do the right thing. I know some of you are probably tired of hearing about my situation but I've kind of lost the support I had (his Mother) and the only others who have a clue as to what I'm going through are everyone here. So any advice is appreciated!
Gosh, I don't know Angel. I wish I had some great advice for ya, but I just don't. So his mom isn't helping at all? And he isn't really talking much right? I can tell you what has helped me... I went through a major depression back before I was married. I racked up a bunch of credit card bills, and pretty much stopped paying my bills altogether. My boyfriend (now husband) stepped in and helped me. He saw one of the bills one time and I started crying. I had basically gotten stressed to the point that I shut down. (I tend to do this when I get super depressed) I was also not cleaning my house. It was bad. The only way I know to describe how bad it was, is that I had a cleaning service come out for an estimate, and they said they couldn't do it. So that should give you an idea. My mom offered to pay to have the house cleaned, so my boyfriend decided he would do it, and mom paid him. He spent an entire week doing that. Then he helped me get all of my bills straightened out. He found a credit counseling service for me and helped set me up on a loose budget. He basically got me to a point where I could see and think more clearly, like started over fresh. It really helped me a lot. I don't know about your boyfriend, but when I get really super down, I can't do much of anything. Then the mess and finances that built up made me feel worse. It was a frightening downward spiral. So, when he helped me clean things up, it made me feel better... a little less overwhelming. So I don't know if I'd agree with some one who told you not to help him out. You might try and see if he will talk to you. Tell him you love him and want to help him through this time. Then ask if he would like for your to take care of the important stuff for him. I don't know if its a possiblity in your situation, but I think it might help him to clear his mind. My depressive states are better than they used to be, but I still get very down sometimes. My husband is very good about just backing off and letting me do my thing. He will clean the house up for me if I need him to, just because he knows that will make me feel better. Something as small as a pile of dishes in the sink can send me into "the darkness". So he will help me, which helps me to see it as an accomplishable (is that a word? haha) task. Hope this helps a little. I'll keep ya in my thoughts.
A positive attitude wonít solve your probs, but it will annoy enough people to be worth the effort.
To answer your question - yes it does help. If I even get one small reminder or something new that I did not think of before, it gives me direction, hope, and an opportunity to take a deep breath and look at things in a different light.
I would do anything for my BF yet there's the human side of me who gets just a slight bit of resentment (this is the part that I feel soooo guilty for because there really isn't anything to resent). He's not doing any of this to me or on purpose. But this is a perfect example - I work full time, come home and cook our meals, pay the bills, etc.. Then I just get too damn tired to do anything else (plus the fact I'm feeling a bit under the weather myself). So as we speak, there has been a pile of dishes in the sink for 2 days that I thought "hey, I've been doing everything else........" But I'm going home at lunch (as I sometimes do and go do them!) So just you alone sharing your experiences and giving me the specific example of the dishes brought this to mind. And it gives me a kick in the butt that I'm just being childish. It's this inner fight I have with myself but when my compassion and understanding take over, I'm more than happy to do any and all that I can because I would hope that he would be there for me just as much.
In fact, this man is so selfless and when he wasn't in the state he is in, he went above and beyond for me. Even the last couple of days, I've come home and he has somehow managed to, in between sleeping and not feelign well, surprise me by putting something up on a wall or put a new lamp table together we bought (we just moved) so I see that he's really trying.
You're feelings are totally normal... try not to beat yourself up for them. I feel really guilty when I have to rely on Mikey for things that I feel like I should be able to do. But then he reminds me that some day he will need to cash in all the favors. That is what a relationship is all about. Give and take, helping one another... He is having his wisdom teeth surgically removed in September... so I'm sure he will be cashing in A LOT of favors then. Haha He is a big baby when it comes to this stuff!
I think the more you can do right now, the better the chances that he will come through this episode sooner. At least that is the way it is for me. The less I have to worry about, the more I can focus on coming out of "the darkness". We have our moments, and I'm sure he gets really tired of me. But, like I said, some day the shoe will end up on the other foot, and the rolls will get switched. Kinda part of the loving relationship.
A positive attitude wonít solve your probs, but it will annoy enough people to be worth the effort.
Just wanted to say that I think you're doing amazing things in a really difficult situation right now. Don't feel bad about any of your feelings - if you're angry, resentful, fed up or whatever you have a right to be. Doesn't mean you don't love him and doesn't mean you want to leave, but you have a right to get cheesed off every now and again and mooch around in a bad mood for a while.
The helping out bit is a really fine line, but I'd agree with the earlier remarks - when you're that unwell you're really not able to sort things out and having someone else do the really important stuff is a big help. Last time I was really ill my family had kind of gone into 'compassion' fatigue and didn't do anything - I lost my home, my job, my savings, got into loads of debt and nearly had my son taken away from me. Sometimes you really can't help yourself.
Can any of your friends (or his) help you out practically with sorting out these bills and stuff? Anyone who can pop round for half an hour during the day just to tidy up a little or something? A godsend, I know, I don't know anyone who would do it for me but it's worth mentioning. And maybe your bf could be encouraged to do a tiny little thing, like just rinsing his plate and cup after lunch? I know it sounds silly, but the last really bad bout of depression I had, I put together a list of tasks with my therapist to work on everyday - tiny things like wash two cups, water the plant in the lounge, fold the socks and put them in the drawer. I just started with one aim for each day - sounds crazy but it seemed to help - I felt like I was actually doing something without being overwhelmed and I was able to build up quite quickly to things like cooking a meal and putting a wash on.
Hope something there helps
PS I haven't been depressed for over a year now and am looking at going back to work - I've sorted my debts out, got a new place to live and my boy is never leaving my side again! Just want you to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel x
Thanks for sharing your experiences as well. You've offered some really good suggestions.
As for picking up the slack - that part is easy. I only feel the resentment feelings briefly in passing. I've always been good at organizing (I'm quite a list maker), taking care of finances, etc. plus it gives me something else to focus on.
The HARD part is not reacting. It seems that no matter what I do, even being in the same room, it seems to irritate my BF. If I could just put tape on my mouth (funny but I'm serious) because then there would be no arguing. Why can't I just let him vent or be grouchy or whatever. Why why why do I have to get into every little thing? I'm just so on edge 24/7 that I think I'm just ready for something to happen and when it does, I'm already "there." Such a simple solution but such a hard thing for me to do. Sigh.
Please go easy on yourself, Angel. Being an SO to a BP person is not easy, and I often feel sorry for my DH that's he's stuck with a wretch like me.
I'm glad you're giving more to yourself. Once you get more into that groove, it will be easier to give to your BF. Or not give (a piece of your mind) as the case may be. It's difficult being in a relationship when all you do is give and go for long stretches of time with negative or no attention from your BF. That's the "unconditional" part of love that's so tricky to achieve.
Make sure he knows you're helping because you love him and have faith that he'll be back on his feet eventually. He may miss his old self as much as you miss him. The rage he feels could subconsciously be his own feelings about himself projected onto you. It's doubtful even he knows why he's so angry.
Have you ever tried over the counter herbal remedies like Kalms and Rescue Remedy? No chemicals, non addicitve, no side effects, v good in situations where there's a lot of on going tension? They really help me when things are difficult.
Also, saying to your BF 'I need some air - I'm going for a walk' will not make you a bad person and will just give you some time and space so you don't need to 'hold your tongue'. Do you have a car? Great to go and drive round the block shouting swearing and generally 'letting it out' without anyone knowing (just make sure you keep the windows rolled up!).
You're doing amazingly well - it'll turn around at some point, I'm sure xx
You know, you guys are terrific. Seriously. I came in this morning feeling blah but reading your replies gave me a lift (and I had to chuckle about the driving around bit screaming/swearing with the windows rolled up). I've done that a couple of times lately and I wonder just what people driving past me are thinking!
But all kidding aside, I know I need to get out of my own funk or this will all just snowball and create the one situation I'm trying to avoid.
Last night I came home with a different attitude. I asked him if he wanted to go to a car show (he was sleeping like he usually is when I get home). Unfortunately, since it's every other week, this was an off week and it wasn't there but at least we got out for a drive - something we haven't done in about two weeks. We didn't talk much but we didn't argue either. We went out for an ice cream and then went home and watched a movie. Not much conversation and I miss holding him sooo bad but it's something.
Just as a side note, his MRI (for his headaches he's been having) came back negative thank God. He's on new meds for his migraines - something he's not too happy about because it's more than one. There's one called (spelling?) Amytryptoline which supposedly interracts with Lexapro, which he's on. Anyone know about this one? My mammogram, however, showed a spot - trying not to worry too much until my next test (Monday) at which time they said they'd tell me before leaving.
Just waiting for a break........I know there's one out there with our names on it.