I need help

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My ex and I split due to severe depression on my part. I have always had it, however have never treated it until recently. I was diagnosed with PTSD and major depressive disorder. I bottled up a lot for a very long time. I am not denying that the last 3 years of our relationship (we were together for 6 years total) were extremely hard and emotionally taxing for him. The only things I had been able to do were take care of my child and go to work; and I wasn’t doing the best at either of those either. There were days that I could not even get out of bed because the depression had become physically paralyzing. I was so lost in it that I didnt know how to help myself. He left me very unexpectedly (although it is crystal clear why now) and in a hurtful way. I moved out and back to my parents at the beginning of summer. I started getting help for myself and am doing much better now. I understand that this will always be a constant battle for the rest of my life, but can also be managed and kept under control. Since then we have remained in contact and still see each other a few times a month. Since then, he has been living the single bachelor life and bought a new house. He says that at the end of the year if I can prove that I can take care of myself that we can revisit a relationship, and that my child and I should be able to come back home next summer. The tricky part is that I have already disrupted my childs school schedule and emotional well being with the move. I think it may be more detrimental to her to move her back and forth. Also, however selfish it may seem, the idea of him potentially being with anyone else during that time is heartbreaking. I don’t know how I would feel being around friends that have seen him with other women over the past few months. I love him with all my heart but am unsure if the damage can be repaired.

Category: Tags: asked September 19, 2015

1 Answer

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You need a multiple-person support system. If you have medication, you need someone who will help you take it regularly. You need people who, if you can’t, will help you take care of your child and be there for you. You need someone who can help you rework your schedule, someone who can help be there to support your child emotionally.

This part is critical: you need empathetic people to be your support system. The positives are as inaccessible to us as junk food in a vending machine when you have no quarters—you need people who will not get mad at you because you can’t be positive or tell you anything along the lines of “you’re too much”. You also need people who will do nothing more than listen and validate your feelings, and a person who will give you advice. No one who will turn the conversation into something about themselves or anyone who acts like you just need to “try harder” or that you’re being “lazy”—they have to fully understand what you’re going through. I recommend finding someone who has had depression in the past and has recovered now.

Please remember that this depression is not your fault. Do not feel guilty for something that is beyond your control, and do not let other people make you feel guilty for having depression. Just like you can’t stop a headache with the power of your mind, most of us with depression are stuck with our symptoms, even if we are managing our depression with medication or other techniques. It is unkind, misinformed, and hurtful to those with depression to say things like "you're too much".

And if your husband cannot fit all this criteria to be in your support system, then he doesn’t deserve to be your husband in the first place. You deserve to be in a happy, fulfilling relationship with someone who loves you and does their best, not leaves you in a hurtful way. If he can do this, then yes, you can be in a relationship together, but you can’t be in a relationship with him specifically if he aggravates your symptoms. I know you love him, but if being with him makes your depression harder to deal with, then there’s no point in being in a relationship with him because neither of you can give each other what you need.