Handling a relationship without affecting it when you are healing from depression and anxiety.
I have mild-moderate depression and I see a psychologist occasionally. I seem to be having this in waves from moderate to mild to feeling ok. One thing is for certain. I feel myself that I am not easy to deal with for a partner in a relationship. Due to my condition at times during the past 3 months that I've been this way I have been more prone to negativity towards myself. I had low self-esteem, self-worth and joy in life. From time-to-time I would experience lack of sleep and cry for no reason at all. Or feel like I'm a terrible burden upon my partner due to the way I am. I tend to overreact more easily than normal, need reassurance of some things, overthink more often and talk more negative in general. I feel like this has started to affect my partner. He opened up to me and told me it's been not easy on him but bless him he's been so understanding and respectful. However he is human too and has at times been resentful, frustrated and annoyed at me without me knowing. I wish I could be that nice, funny girl he loves and I am sometimes when okay but we have had so many constant arguements due to my reactions from my condition that I feel so frustrated at myself. I feel like my condition will ruin my relationship and I am so scared. I break down so much. He doesn't even know. I love him so much but I can't control this fully. What do I do? I feel so bad for him and worse when he had curiously asked how long he thinks I might be like this. I know I'm not easy but I feel so scared to lose him that I'm considering a bit of distance so I don't overreact or create drama to lead to small arguements as I've done.
Atm I'm healing myself and getting more okay than 3 months ago.
Any advice guys? I would really appreciate it.
Hi Jas-kay and welcome to the forums.
This really struck me from your post...
he had curiously asked how long he thinks I might be like this.
I find that really upsetting. Putting pressure on you to get back to "normal" isn't helpful.
I remember I told my husband once that I felt there was only so much he would take before he left. His answer like your partner scared me. He said everyone has their limits.
That made me wonder why even bother? MI is just that... An illness. Not something that we will cure and be "normal" again. An illness that we manage.
The pressure I felt to fight my MI was enormous. Get better or he'll leave you. Pretend to be happy. Don't let him know how bad it is. Hide it. Pretend to be in control.
But the truth is we are human. I fought my depression and refused to truly manage it. I ended up suicidal. What is the point? I can't be perfect so why bother? He will leave me one day so leave the world instead before he can hurt me.
Your MI is part of you. Your low self esteem is part of you. Maybe it is time to sit your partner down and tell them how crap it feels to be pressured to perform. I didn't express it clearly. I burst into tears. Told hubby I felt like he was saying this unhappy me is not worth having. That unless I hurry up and get better he won't love me or want me anymore.
He looked stunned. Said he was talking about being proactive. He said what he meant was he wanted to see that I was trying. That I didn't just use my depression as an excuse to be miserable and give up or use it as an excuse to lash out at him and expect he would just tolerate it.
Relationships are give and take. If your partner can't accept that there will be times that you are unable to give and to show you patience and love then he's really not worth keeping.
Sorry if this doesn't help. Just my thoughts. Take care of yourself.
Thank you for your insight and I'm sorry to hear what you've been through. I only hope since then there has been more happiness in your life.
I talked out my fears and inner thoughts with my partner. He was quite supportive. Turns out what he had meant when he curiously asked how long was because I have had depression and anxiety in the past 2 years ago, although for another reason altogether and I didn't know him at the time. He was asking so he could try to pick up on ways to help me get better and use my past strategies that worked for me and how long I used them that they actually helped me. He says if wanted to give up he would have a long time ago but he doesn't easily give up on the one he loves. He wants to be there for me. I guess sometimes our MI allows us to overthink and create fear from that which it did for me. We aren't always able to think logically. So me talking to my partner was a good thing. Him confirming my thoughts or clearing up a misunderstanding was important too. When it is heard verbally it helps us. I felt more relaxed after that. I hope I can get through my MI but now I'm less anxious that I won't soon and I'll lose my partner. Hope I didn't jinx that.
i am currently going through very similar circumstances but in the position of your partner.
ive been with my gf for two years and in that time she has steadily declined with her depression/anxiety etc. I have thrown myself tirelessly into the relationship to support her and remove stresses from her life to heal. But as you know its not a quick a fix. We've repeatedly had tough talks about me not deserving what she puts me through etc. Although ive been firm in my reassurance that ill always be there to help her, the truth is that it does wear me down. A lot of the times nowadays i feel drained from the patience, openess and tolerance that these MIs demand.
Ive contemplated many a time to just break it off. I have felt many bouts of frustration, resentment etc that you described. As much as that would hurt the both of us, it would be the simplest way to keep the burden of her illness from affecting me. But i love her so so much, and despite the happy beautiful person i fell in love w being less and less present, i am having an extremely hard time giving up on her. she makes a huge effort to get better (therapy, meditation etc), the results are often too slow for my healthy mind's liking. But i find what helps a lot personally is to watch the black dog institute videos on youtuve to remind me of what we're fighting together.
im sorry i dont actually offer any solutions to your problem. But i wanted you to know from the otherside that youre not alone in what you're going through. I constantly tell myself that its not a linear journey and that its a learning process for everyone.
Im very glad to hear that youre healing yourself, keep at it!
P.s. this is my first time posting on Beyond Blue, but i actually just resolved some conflicts in my head by writing this to you. So thank you.