My name is Bridget and I’m married to someone who’s depressed.
One of the above statements isn’t quite true. My name isn’t really Bridget.
I’ve had episodes of depression since I was 17, some stronger than others, some longer than others. So when my partner of a year confided in me that he was miserable, I empathised.
The seven stages of grief on The Well.
I encouraged him to see a doctor, which he did. Matters improved and our relationship continued. We loved each other very much. That was the first time, four years ago, I became aware of my now-husbands’ mental well being.
Since then there’s been a lot of self-medicating, some awful episodes of sadness and some very poor behaviour, mostly his. In the last four years, including the year we got married, his mood has remained somewhat volatile.
I’ve tried to support him. I’ve tried to nurture him. I’ve tried being tough. I’ve tried to be happy in my own life and not let his illness take me over. I’ve called in the mornings to wake him up and tried not to let the fact he will probably be in bed all day bother me. I’ve pleaded with him to stop drinking or stop smoking weed. I have threatened to leave. I’ve called his best friend at midnight getting him to come over after he’s threatened to harm himself. I’ve screamed from frustration when he’s apologised for being ‘shit’ and a ‘huge disappointment’. I’ve paid the mortgage. I’ve made sandwiches, made the bed, made dinner. And then cleaned it up. I’ve apologised and defended and made excuses for him. In short, I’ve tried to love him enough for him to get fixed – and he never does.