Depression Dependants

Husband is caught in the pit of depression. I can see him down there, hanging out with my mom. We were all down there together but I couldn’t stand it and clawed my way up.

It’s dangerous down in that hole of negativity. There’s a cold sense of comfort that comes from wrapping yourself up in misery. Nothing good left to lose. No rug to pull out from under you. Slow death disguised as coping.

The problem is that while I might not be stuck at the bottom with hubby and the momma I am still dangerously close to the edge. Depression is like a large black hole that is constantly trying to suck everything else into it. It takes immense strength to pull yourself out of it and almost as much strength, if not more, to keep from getting sucked back in.

I see them imprisoned down there but am not strong enough to lend them a hand to pull them up. I don’t think they’d take the hand even if I could offer it. Their presence down in it adds to the gravitational pull of the depression. Makes it that much harder to stay out of the pit. The negativity is contagious even to the strongest positive immune systems.

I don’t know how to motivate them to fight their way out of this. I know I can’t carry them but I feel guilty about it. I know logically I shouldn’t feel guilty but that doesn’t stop me from wrestling with it. Part of me want to distance myself until I can build up my reserves but I am more afraid to leave them alone.

I wish there was a magic phrase or action that could inspire them to want to challenge the hold depression has on them but I know from experience that each person’s battle is unique to them and their motivators will be different. What works for me doesn’t work for them. They feel safe in their negative blankets, they’ve bought into the lies whispered at them from the recesses of their minds. The self-fulfilling prophecies of pessimism reinforcing their belief that they deserve to suffer.

Battling depression is so much harder if you’re surrounded by willing participants.

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12 thoughts on “Depression Dependants

  1. A wonderful piece of writing. I hope it will be enough to pull them back to a positive mood… Miracles can happen!
    Best regards,
    Beth

  2. So well described! I sympathise so much with you. Many in my family suffer from depression and associated illnesses and it is so difficult to deal with because, as you say, we are all different and respond well to different things. Which of course is why mental health is so badly funded and those suffering from mental illness are feared by most people. Your mother, I know, is very unhappy because of the recent death of your father. Is there anything else that is causing her to be unhappy? If there isn’t, then probably only time will help her. After the funeral is over the loss seems so much greater as there is nothing to do except get used to being alone. She must try to get out and meet others regularly, talk about your Dad and have a cry. With time she will get more hopeful and will start to live her life again. It does take time though and being with other depressed people won’t help her. You don’t say why your poor husband is depressed and coping with him will be that much harder for you. I am so pleased you have been able to fight your depression. It takes such a lot of energy to fight it and I think you are doing wonderfully. You are an intelligent sensible woman so you know that to cope with your own unhappiness and also with others around you you must make sure you eat sensibly and rest regularly. You must grab every opportunity you can to be happy and not feel guilty about it or let others try to make you feel bad. If your Mum’s and especially your husband’s depression goes on for too much longer they must get help from a doctor. Or you must get advice on how to deal with them. It is hard being a carer. Good luck my dear. xx

    • Both my mom and husband have experienced past abuse that traumatized them and created victim mentalities in them both. Whenever they feel like they are being attacked they go to the worst case scenarios and feed the depression that lingers around them at all times. Both seem afraid or unable to be happy. Neither wants to get help. My mom, although seemingly unable to help herself, made sure to instill strength in me from the time I was born, constantly telling me I didn’t have to depend on others for my happiness, well-being or survival. That I was capable of so many things and strong enough to not let others take advantage of me. She did it in a responsible way too, it’s not like I ever felt like I never had to follow rules or listen to others, just that I didn’t have to let others limit me from growing, learning and standing up for myself. I just wish she would take her own advice. Husband too is looking for someone to come save the day and make his problems go away. When he isn’t in the throes of depression he is fixing everyone else’s problems and helping everyone else but when he gets caught it’s like he forgets all the advice he’s told others and just gives up. Right now he is still freaking out about the whole police thing. We haven’t heard anything about it and it’s been over a month. I am not worried about it but apparently it’s been eating away at him. I can’t make that issue go away and so must just ride it out. Hoping my silent company of support will be enough for both of them.

      • I hope so too! I hope you have the strength to keep going. My eldest daughter suffers from Bi-polar Disorder and when she is fine she is sensible and can help and advise others. When she is not well she can’t motivate herself to do anything and ignores all good advice and forgets all she knows she ought to do. She will even fail to take her medication. She seems to want to self-destruct during these times. Fortunately she hasn’t been too bad recently but I do worry constantly about her.

      • In the gauntlet of human emotions “worry” is one of the least productive ones yet so many people still spend way too much time focusing on it. The ironies of life I guess. I’d rather worry and know I can feel than not care about anything and be empty.

      • Oh yes, I agree! But a little spark of worry soon grows without us being aware until we are consumed by it if we aren’t careful. All very difficult 😉

  3. Clare said it perfect DBA. I would just like to reinforce that if you feel yourself slipping, it is important to get some help from a professional – it is not possible for you to feed them emotionally and maintain yourself as well. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

    • Thank you. I have told them both where I am at and my limitations right now. Luckily I do have a pretty great support network that I can turn to so I just have to wait this out and hope they find their motivation soon, for everyone’s sake.

  4. Oh, how hard it is to be near the pit resisting the pull to give up and fall in. Self preservation is important and your silent presence is probably much appreciated–I know it has been for me. We have to want to help ourselves in order to seek help (yeah, duh). I hope your husband and mother find a way to want to help themselves.

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