Saturday, December 1, 2012

the marriage relationship can offer so much strength

Communication is... everything... in marriage - I've decided recently.

I had a mental breakdown (I can honestly say that now, looking back) after I found out that my husband received the fellowship position starting in July, 2013.  I had not felt depressed before - ever - in my life.  It was a heavy feeling, but it was easy to ignore because my life is so hectic and crazy - almost every minute of every day.  Easy to ignore until things were quiet and calm, until I had time to think.  Gradually though, it completely encircled me, and I completely lost all energy or desire to do things that I used to love.  I felt like I couldn't handle anything.  And I started to assume that my husband felt that way too - not about himself but about me.  I avoided talking with him, thinking that he wouldn't understand and hoping that I would be able to just "get myself out of it".  But the vicious cycle continued.  I kept pushing him away and feeling worse about myself.  I honestly was starting to feel really nervous about how sad I felt inside.  I even made an appointment with my doctor.

Then, one night, my husband wouldn't let it go any longer.  He had taken me to the beach for a brief respite and I had ignored him the entire car trip home.  He said that we had to talk.  We were both upset, frustrated.  He asked me why I was pushing him away, why I was so unhappy whenever he was around, why I wouldn't talk, how he could help me.  I tried my best to explain how I was feeling.  We delved into major marital issues, like whether we would have married each other if we'd known what we know now, how we've changed since he started residency, how we really feel about each other, etc.  After a long exhaustive discussion, late into the night, it surprisingly ended well.  He expressed his love and support.  We talked about various ways I could avoid medication (for depression) and pull myself out of "the slump" I was in.

For weeks I had woken up with a heavy heart, no desire to get out of bed or do anything at all.  But after that night, after feeling my husband's unwavering support and love even despite my inability to function, I woke up feeling strengthened - not totally light and energetic like usual - but like I could make it through the day and that everything would be okay.  I was surprised by the strength I felt from knowing that my husband loved me.  Of course I knew this during the month and a half that I was feeling down, but after attempting to get through this difficult time without involving him, I know now that I cannot ever do that again.  I think it is perfect that we can choose people to spend our lives with and incrementally learn to love, forgive, support, and be kind to each other, even when it is extremely difficult.  Because, I think, if we can build a strong marriage relationship, the strength, the happiness, the goodness that fills our lives... all possibilities are endless... and wonderful.


Jamie Lamb said...

I'm sorry you've had such a hard time! But i'm glad things are looking up again--everything you said in that last paragraph is very true.

And thanks for your comment on my blog--i'm a little nervous about the new demands in my new stage coming up, so any encouragement helps! :)

Miss Liabilities said...

Great post, thanks for sharing with us how you felt - that takes courage in itself. I have been struggling with depression for past 8 years and you described it spot on. Difficulty getting out of bed in the morning, feeling overall blah about everything in your life. At least now you and your husband can help try to tackle the issue together - and you feel safe enough to confide in him without being judged.

Hope everything gets more positive for you!

From A Doctors Wife said...

I admire your approach and am so glad the outcome was positive. I love reading about your relationship - it makes me want to find ways to improve mine!

I am calling you out! You should link this post up with us at Medical Mondays. It's a blog hop for ladies just like us, and I know there are others who could benefit from reading your wisdom.