It’s been another tough day at the office and I’m curled up on the sofa in the foetal position feeling desperately lonely, even though George is within arm’s reach, facing the opposite direction. The silence between us is somehow deafening, tense, and uncomfortable.
He’s secretly wishing I wasn’t there, and I’m torn between needing him to hold me and equally wanting to be left alone.
We haven’t had a fight. We aren’t on the brink of breaking up. We are very much in love and our relationship is strong but we are both suffering from depression. He is going into an episode and I am trying very hard to bring myself out of mine.
In a perfect world, when one or both of us is having a particularly rough day living with our mental illnesses, the other would understand. He’d make me a cup of tea and bring it to me in bed, kissing me ever so lightly on my head and telling me he loves me and it will all be okay. I’d play with his hair and give him a cuddle and reassure him that this feeling will pass. We’d smile at each other and believe the comforting words our partner had said, and everything would be well again.
But, it isn’t that simple. Depression can’t be just pushed away with a hug and a kiss. Anxiety doesn’t listen to comforting promises of things getting better. They are insidious, cruel and consuming illnesses. Logic is silenced. Reality becomes blurred. Self-destruct mode kicks in, and honestly, saying “I love you” doesn’t magically fix it and make everything ‘all better’.
Every case of anxiety or depression is different from the other, so no, we don’t experience the same thing or have the same symptoms. That means we also take care of our health in different ways.
At the end of the day, I’m thankful that my partner understands me and that he always has my back. Our relationship is unique and it presents us with challenges every single day, but we are stronger together for them. We’re just a regular couple, making it through the best way we can!