Relationships and Depression

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Strangerdanger
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:25 am

Relationships and Depression

Postby Strangerdanger » Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:29 pm

I have been diagnosed and treated for major depression for 4 years. My meds mostly work, and with the exception of a few rough patches, meds and therapy have largely helped me work through my depression, and set and achieve life goals.

I’m incredibly thankful that I asked for help and got it.

My girlfriend is also dealing with mental illness, though she has put off getting help. We’ve been together six years, sharing this apartment for 4. I’ve grown a little resentful of the experience of her resisting her own impulse for self-care. She leaves out piles of dirty dishes, dirty clothes, piles of trash, negative self talking, expressing unyielding misery and her immediate environment is a reflection of her misery. My immediate environment is a reflection of her misery.

I made drastic changes in my life over the last 3 years: I’ve gotten healthy, exercising daily, not smoking, not doing illicit drugs, doing volunteer work, started a career. I take pleasure in making choices with purpose and fostering the gradual enrichment of myself and those around me. The only problem is that she is constantly undoing my work, messing up our house, wasting time money and energy. I feel like I’m pouring water into a cup with holes in the bottom. This cup, my life, will not be full of the substance of my choosing until she can begin to work on herself.

She’s now spending $300 an hour for therapy, not taking her meds, admittedly doing worse emotionally, and I’m not getting less tired pulling her weight. All the ‘little things’ add up year after year.

At some point, I realized I no longer daydream about us, or our future together. I don’t think of a family, or even what we would be doing together in 10 years. I don’t have any motivation related to shared goals: she doesn’t have goals as far as I can gather from her. She has tapering momentum: she is approaching the zero. This is no doubt the result of her illnesses (ptsd from sexual trauma, adoption, drug use, etc.) compounded by a decade of self-neglect.

I don’t really know where this leads, I just want to say this so someone, somewhere, because I feel like I'm suffocating. Tonight, after working, volunteering, sitting in traffic for 14 hours, i will do housework past midnight, get 4 hours of sleep, and repeat.

I thank god as a gesture, having never believed in such a thing, I know that the medication is the only thing keeping me sane. I cling to it like a blind man grasping for his walking stick.

Where does this lead? I hate this, i really do. I deserve, after so many years of toiling and suffering, my own peace on my own terms.

How can I get that?

Thanks for sharing in this with me.

Lil Welby
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:33 pm

Re: Relationships and Depression

Postby Lil Welby » Tue Oct 29, 2019 1:18 pm

Hello Strangerdanger, and welcome.

First off I just wanted to recognize all of your accomplishments, as someone struggling with depression for the last 8 years, I know how difficult it is to take action and make those changes in your life.

My wife doesn't struggle with mental illness, but that in and of itself can introduce its own issues. If you've never had to struggle with mental illness, you can never truly understand it. There are things that I feel like I need to do on my path to recovery that she just doesn't see the same way I do, and it essentially sets up a road block of sorts, or at least that's how I perceive it. I don't know what the answer is, but relationships do present their own challenges.

Just as you found your own path, so too must she find hers. It's very difficult to help people who don't want to help themselves.
We refuse to recognize that everything better is purchased at the price of something worse. -Carl Jung-

clairefreeman
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:08 pm

Re: Relationships and Depression

Postby clairefreeman » Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:55 pm

Hello StrangerDanger- I'm Claire and I am new to this site. Literally just created an account so am pretty much in the dark about how it works. Please bear with me. I read your post and just wanted to offer my 2 cents for whatever it's worth. I too struggle with depression and other disorders so I know firsthand how terribly difficult they can be. One thing I learned the hard way is that you must take care of yourself first and foremost. You can't work on improving your life while the person closest to you is just spiraling downward and quite possibly trying to take you with them. It would be great if you could lift yourself and your partner up but that would pretty much require being Superman emotionally and physically. Please don't sacrifice your happiness, peace, joy and well-being etc for someone else who will only wind up hurting you or stepping on you to get ahead. You're not doing yourself or them any favors. Trust me- I threw away everything for a person who took everything then left me after I sacrificed everything thing. Trying to pull someone up is a great gesture but not if they only end up pulling you down in the process. I know it may be tough but cutting them loose is the best thing you can do for yourself. You should hold out til you find someone perfectly suited for you. One day you will be glad you took care of yourself first.

Spleefy
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:54 am

Re: Relationships and Depression

Postby Spleefy » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:40 am

Hi Stranger,

Welby made a great point: “it’s very difficult to help people who don’t want to help themselves”.

Your girlfriend sounds like she needs more help than what you or anyone else can give her. Nobody can help her unless she is willing to make an effort herself.

Congratulations for stepping up to the plate and being a good leader to your own life.

It sounds like you’ve been setting good examples for your girlfriend. It’s just a shame that your life changes didn’t inspire her to make an effort to do the same for her own life.

It is hard to maintain a healthy relationship with other people when we don’t even have a healthy relationship with ourselves. There are also times when we have too much baggage that we carry with us into the relationship. I think these two reasons is a part of why so many relationships end in failure.

Like claire mentioned, she may just end up dragging you down with her. You definitely don’t want to jeopardize all your hard work. You’ve worked too hard to get to where you are now.

It’s tricky because you are in a long-term relationship. And I do think that we need to do everything we can to help our partner through all the bad times.

However, because you are not married, this might be a good opportunity to assess whether or not you see a future with her. Based on what you mentioned, you can't. And to be honest, from an outside perspective, I can't see it either.

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. If she has been this way for several years, and she has not changed her ways, then her future is going to be the same… unless she is willing to put in the effort and hard work to make changes in her life. This is a high risk relationship, and she is a high risk partner.

Like the other posters mentioned, it sounds like you both need to work on your own lives separately, at least for the time being. You definitely need to keep focused on your progress and let her do the same. Maybe in the future, who knows, you may be able to pick up the relationship. But it just sounds to me that you’ve outgrown her.
Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those who are crushed in spirit.—Psalm 34:18


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