Supporting a spouse with mental illness Learning How to Ask for Help

04 October 2019

To be pleading inside me so fiercely to ask for help to reach out and to feel so melodramatic. To be afraid that what I’m dealing with isn’t big enough to take up someone else’s time. To cringe when people say to let them know if I need anything because I know how many times I have wanted to ask, but couldn’t force myself to actually make the contact. To practice what I’ll say in my head so many times until I finally talk myself out of it.

The Difference Between React and Respond

26 September 2019

###One of the most powerful things I learned in order to improve my marriage and improve my outlook on life was to learn to respond instead of react. I had never realized before that interacting with someone based on my emotions wasn’t a balanced way to live and wasn’t fair to other people. My emotions are based on my perspective from old emotions and fears and if I always react based on what they tell me, I won’t always see the perspective of others, or even what is really happening in the moment. The following shares what I have learned about responding.###

Are Things Really As They Seem

17 September 2019

I didn’t know how to ask for help, I fought every day against the words “please help me” coming out of my mouth because I wasn’t the one struggling with depression, I wasn’t the one with the gates of hell gaping after me, I was just the one watching it all happen. I was the one that was supposed to stand for the person I loved, I was their rock and their support, I was the person who was supposed to have it all together and to be okay, so how could I be asking for help? What help was I supposed to be asking for anyway? I couldn’t ask the people in my life to face hell, it felt like there was only room for one in that hellish doorway, and a part of me feared that if anyone else stood in that place for me, that I would no longer be needed, that my place in his life would be lost. And I also had no idea how to ask for someone to back me up, how to get a support system lined up behind me to help me when hell got too scary for me to handle.  And even harder for me was when it wasn’t hell, but it didn’t feel quite right either. When it wasn’t about him walking out the door and me not knowing if he would come back, but when it was just the little things, the lack of connection, me so badly needing a hug (him not in a place to supply it), but not knowing how to ask for it because I didn’t want to scare anyone.

We all fail at who we are supposed to be

12 September 2019

“We all fail at who we are supposed to be”. That is my favorite line from Marvel’s End Game because it feels like the story of my life. I  had so many expectations for myself, that I could save my husband, that me being cheerful enough, hopeful enough, resilient enough, around enough, would make things all better. I thought that me just being there would be enough to save him from his depression. So imagine how crushing it was when those things weren’t enough. And it had nothing to do with my spouse. It wasn’t his fault I wasn’t enough and it wasn’t my fault I wasn’t enough. It was just how mental illness works. It isn’t my job to fix it, it isn’t my job to be the end all be all.

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