Living with Depression

When my girl was little and wasn’t well I always wanted to scoop it out of her and make it mine. I remember when she was a baby and she went all limp and was hardly breathing. We rushed her to hospital and watched her being prodded and poked with injections and hooked up to oxygen. I could hardly breathe myself and I would have happily taken her place in a second. It would have felt easier to take her place than to watch it.

I have that same feeling sometimes with P as he struggles with his depression. That same helpless feeling that can’t change what is happening and is painful to see. Unhappy without me, unhappy with me.
But I stay hopeful that he will find his way through it.
It is difficult to watch though when I know I can’t help. Other than to try to make him feel loved.

He has to try.
But right now he doesn’t want to. In moments he finds the energy to laugh with our girl. Hiding the extent of all that sits underneath but she knows. She talks to me a lot. The pressure of his sadness removed from her by my presence. Not having to pick up the responsibility of trying to make him smile or make things better but finding she does in moments when she is laughing. She is a remedy for any man in all her sweetness and funny.
But I feel her need to breathe in a world of her making and I wish it for her with every bone in my body.
When we are alone together she allows all her frustrations and worries of life to come out. I am a safe place for her moments of anger which she can give with both barrels.
And five minutes later she will come and give me a hug or will message me to apologise. And I always repeat the same words.
You don’t ever have to apologise for feeling the way you do. I love you in everything you are and will be. You’re completely wonderful.
And then we move on and she will happily talk about some random thing that is going on in her world. I love hearing about it all.

Yesterday I felt P’’s depression at full force.
His self loathing about everything he is was ramped up high. I think my lack of visibility last week was part of it.
It makes him insecure. I find myself feeling that too.
I was out and about and felt happy doing things that make my life brighter. I like being happy. It is how I’m made and it suits me. I can be around sadness and darkness, it doesn’t scare me, but I choose the light. I choose to find the happiness of life in every simple little way I can. This is it. No second chances. I don’t need spectacular but I do need to feel like I can be me whenever I can.
While others search for more I am happy to just be. When I think of all the things I see and hear I realise how very lucky and fortunate I am and how important it is to value every wonderful moment, experience, and encounter, to treasure all the people I love and to feel the privilege of being a person who is able to do that. I know that not everyone can.

As P ripped himself to shreds and then went on to tell me how he is going to be a professional gambler I found myself thinking “with what?” Financially we have nothing other than the roof over our heads and there is no way I am losing that security. I fought to hard for it.
I felt the storm beyond the wind and the rain that raged in the world beyond my four walls.
I had to walk away and take myself for a swim. Just to reboot and catch myself at its core.
When I returned it was to distance. That can feel difficult. Trying to be there for someone but sit on the outside in the cold. But I feel warm from other things and people who surround me who I don’t really share with in details but whose happiness provides a blanket that keeps me warm and makes me smile. I guess that’s what I get from others. Their happiness warms my heart. It provides the smiles that I can pay forward to others.

What I have noticed is that I feel less frustration. An acceptance of my limitations.
P said to me “ you must think I’m so weak”
I never think that. I think that this once happy go lucky man who is so full of kindness for those he loves and who holds decent and noble values has been ground down by life. He always said that I was the only person who ever made him feel loved. And then my girl came along too. Double bubble. But he doesn’t have any love for himself and the more he lets himself go the harder it is to climb back up. He won’t seek help and won’t help himself and there is nowhere to go with that. It’s just a downward spiral of hopeless.
All that I give elsewhere and despite all the times I watch people I’ve worked with make those changes required for a happier life, I find myself completely impotent in being able to do that for someone I care about.
So I remind myself that I’m only a human who cares a lot and all I can do is try …



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