Imagine hearing someone with a bad cold coughing ,and telling them to stop it because you are annoyed by their cough. Now let’s change the bad cold to depression, wouldn’t it be the same if you tell them to stop being grumpy, or irritable or moody or dramatic or whatever it is that they are doing simply because they are depressed?
So that is what I keep telling myself so I can remain present, remain supportive and remain empathic towards my wife as she goes through her depression.
I am not a saint either. If someone has a bad cold and coughing but they keep wearing light clothing in the middle of winter, they are not increasing their fluid intake and getting a good dose of vitamin C I’d be annoyed at them. I mean I get it, you have a cold but do something about it so you can get better.
So I am at that very delicate spot of wanting to be there for my wife and at the same time I really need her to do something about it because I refuse to accept the symptoms of depression as the new norm. I am happy to put up with them for until she recovers from the illness but for God’s sake, do something that helps you recover. Now, how do you say that to someone who is depressed without making it worse? Man it is so not easy. But today I managed to do some of that. I have been praying and sharing with other addicts to keep my motives and actions in check.
I don’t just want her to start popping anti-depressants but I also don’t just want this to be life for the foreseeable future. Either ways, I am powerless over her choices. I can’t make them for her nor can I force her in any direction. I have to practice acceptance.