When We Were Young
A few days ago my husband and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary. It wasn’t so much a celebration as an acknowledgment that we still actually like each other and didn’t mind being married. We’ve been together for almost 20 years and have watched each other grow up. We’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly and we still keep coming home from work to each other and I don’t take that for granted.
When I was first diagnosed with depression we were in our early twenties. I had gone home over Christmas break and for some reason, the New Year’s holiday sent me into a tailspin. I can remember being extremely upset that my life wasn’t going the way I had planned – even though I’d made no plans – and decided that I should drive myself off of a bridge. Obviously, I didn’t but I called him and told him that I knew something was wrong with my mind – that what I had considered doing wasn’t okay. When I look back I don’t think I even told my Mom because I was scared and ashamed. Upon returning to school in the fall I took advantage of the free counseling at UNT and saw my first therapist – Jed. Jed was awesome! He also recommended talking to my doctor about antidepressants…and I did. Embarrassed, I told Jacob and his response was simple, ‘Okay’. He didn’t leave, he didn’t call me crazy, he didn’t say this isn’t going to work; he simply said okay.
He’s been there through some of my worst days. He’s told me to get out of bed, let me sleep it off, listened to my rants, and trusted me in my darkest time – when I had postpartum depression. And through it all, the response has been the same – okay. I’m sure there have been moments he’s thought, “What in the hell, did I get myself into with this woman?!” but if he has he’s never said that to me. There have been those moments that he’s reminded me that my faith needed to be stronger to get through some things but he’s never taken my mental illnesses as nothing. He’s never brushed it off, even when we were young and restless.
If you have a spouse, partner, lover, whatever, that struggles with mental illness and you’re floundering to help them, that’s okay. It’s not an easy road to travel with someone. We have our good days and bad days. We have days when we’re on top of the world and days when we have crawled in a hole and pulled the dirt on top of us. But through every day it’s been a blessing to have someone who wipes away the tears and cheers me on at the same time.
Until next time…