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flybutterfly

We can be overcomers of our struggles with Depression- even Major Depression

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BeingBre
Posted

Thank you for sharing. My partner suffers with depression and I in turn suffer. In my experience, she's radically changed and therefore so have our interactions and shared lives. It has made our relationship very difficult to navigate. I am struggling with balancing compassion and empathy for her while setting boundaries and remaining authentic to myself.

Tine
Posted

Thank you for sharing @flybutterfly It's great to hear that there can be hope and a light at the end of a tunnel.

@BeingBre I am impressed with so much wisdom I read in your words in the midst of your struggles. It's a difficult balance but as the saying goes you can't pour from an empty cup and as selffish it might seem at first to take care of yourself in the long run it's the only way to truly support your partner. All the best to you both.

flybutterfly
Posted

@BeingBre your partner who suffers from depression is still in there, she is still the same person, she needs your help to remind her of her great qualities that depression fogs our brain and wants to make us forget. Our brains with depression give us false messaging about our true selves, and traumatic events that have happened to us can take away our self-love, and make us feel unloveable and make us withdraw and isolate. But we need connection with others and we need our people to help us feel connected to them and with consistency. We also need some levity from the heaviness we have been carrying - laughter and fun, plan things to look forward to. Help generate the seratonin our brains lack. For example, my husband learned from me that sunflowers brighten my mood so much- he started bringing one home picked fresh from a co-worker’s own garden when he told her about me. An old friend of mine sends me funny text messages constantly. She also mails me thoughtful little gifts. Another old friend wrote me handwritten letters reminding me that I have support, love and friendship and I am valued.
I can empathize with your struggles to support and feel connected to your partner- my husband has gone through the same for 11 years with me. From day one that he met me, my major depression had just started less than a year before. He did not know many times if he was strong enough for how bad it was for me back then and for years. But when he finally made the choice to be my partner to defeat this and always help me to keep it at bay, and when a few amazing friends stuck by my side continuously through it all - until then, all of my self-work to help myself develop mental strength like no other was not sustainable. We cannot do this alone. And as my husband and few unwavering friends see now- my light and new love for life was worth the support and time they found for me. My relationships are stronger for all of this. Love and friendship heals. There is no greater gift than giving light to someone in the dark. That is why I spend my free time giving my new light to strangers that I like to call new friends. Also please know you don’t have to fix anything, just listen, let her vent, give hugs, give smiles, reach out to her especially if she is isolating.
I am always here for support. Chat with me any time.

BeingBre
Posted

@Tine Thank you for your kind and supportive words.  I've recently learned that I need to prioritize my own rest and recuperation before I can adequately support anyone else, so I find your advice to be spot on.  

@flybutterfly Thank you for your kind advice and support.  She is definitely prone to withdraw and isolate.  Similar to your husband's experience, I too often ask myself if I'm strong enough to continue being a supportive enough partner for her, considering my own challenges surrounding mental and emotional health.  She is also an introvert which makes it hard for me to tell when she genuinely needs energetic space and when she's actually withdrawing and isolating further.  Your mention of consistency makes me think that what will help me better help her is setting some type of daily intention from now on.  Each day I'll aim to do/say at least one thing to remind her of her worthiness.  Thank you for all of the examples you've provided; they're very helpful for me and this new practice.  I sometimes feel discouraged when she doesn't outwardly express enjoyment of or appreciation for my attempts to make her feel better but a growing degree of patience has helped me deal with that.  We too thankfully have the support of family and close friends through this so I am optimistic.  I would like to see our relationship grow stronger through this.  I am on a similar mission to share light with as many beings as I can.  Thank you for affirming that there is nothing broken for anyone to fix and thank you for being so welcome.  

flybutterfly
Posted

@BeingBre hi, you seem like a wonderful, compassionate soul that has enough light to keep shining within yourself-nourishing your soul, while also shining your bright light on your partner to help guide her out of isolating and bringing her back to her self, her self-love, her gratitude and appreciation for your thoughtfulness as she sees your consistency and unwavering choice to be her partner in this and you two can grow much stronger as individuals and as partners. All relationships take effort and making the choice to keep showing up through the hard stuff as well as enjoying the easier, lighter times when we feel more connected. But it’s getting through the hard stuff together that makes our relationships so much stronger for it. Anyone can be there just for the easy parts, but when you really care, and I see you do, a real relationship blossoms from being there through everything. And the more she sees your consistent, unwavering loving kindness to her-the more you will draw her best self back out and her gratitude and appreciation will be abundant. Because she’s introverted apart from depression, you can ask her how can I help you? You can tell her you are not sure when she genuinely needs some time to herself to rest and replenish because she’s so exhausted to the bone, and ask her to help you know the difference and how you can help her feel connected to you. Sometimes if the depression is bad, she just might not be able to find the words or she might subconsciously pull back with wrong guilty feelings of being a burden to you, I’ve experienced both of those myself. Things got so much better for my husband and I when he finally stopped showing resentment for me and saying hurtful things that rightfully made me feel like a burden. And none of us want to feel like that. When my husband gave up on me, when my friends gave up on me, I gave up on myself and there was nowhere good for me to go from there. But, when they learned what my illness really is and what it is not, and showed up and showed up with so much love and friendship, it gave me wings to fight my illness and its symptoms harder and harder and never stop fighting to live my best life and work past it all to nurture my relationships with those few that I saw were Really there for me.  I know it’s tough, but do not take any of it personally- remember it’s an illness, not her fault and some things with this illness are always going to be out of our control.  Also, she may not understand a lot of what’s going on with her. I didn’t with myself for so many years and that in itself is scary. I have faith in your strength, you seem a lot more emotionally intelligent than my dear husband. And as you both learn more about how depression affects her, what triggers it, what generates Seratonin-the good feels and joy and also calm for her-the more knowledge that is had and communicated, the less doubt you will have and less fear of the unknown, plus the more faith you will have in your future together. Having friends and family to support in the ways they can is wonderful, but no one really gets it unless they have gone through it themselves- so I am always still here as a friend to help you or both of you with all that I have learned and all of the tools that I keep in my daily practice, plus the mental strength and resilience that I did not have before but I cultivated. You can even inbox me any time. 


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