The Weekends are the Worst (Living with Someone Living with Depression)
Or at least they can be.
My husband’s black dog (myhusbandsblackdog.wordpress.com) sometimes follows us around at the weekend. It’s there when we meet friends, it’s there when we go shopping. It’s there when we’re deciding what to do.
So what’s best? Force him to come with us to social gatherings? Drag him along to the supermarket? I’ve learned from experience that springing things on him last minute can make his anxiety levels peak, and that pre-planning our weekend can help him feel more secure, and perhaps allow him time to build himself up to be able to face social gatherings. The problem is we never know when that black dog is going to show it’s face.
Two weeks ago I said “lets have some friends round for Sunday lunch next week”, “If you must” he replied. So I agonised internally, was this the right thing to do, organise a social occasion where he might just sit there and not talk, leaving me to do all the hosting, making our guests feel awkward. I must admit that at times I would like to do things and am held back by his reluctance or sheer conviction that he doesn’t want to go out. Then I worry am I being selfish, should we just stay in and get a DVD and cuddle on the sofa. Then the guilt kicks in, I feel like I’m forcing him to do things that I want to do, even though they may make him feel a bit better. His guilt kicks in too, feeling that he’s stopping me doing things I want to do.
The hardest part of loving and living with someone living with depression is knowing what’s best to do. We’ve come to an arrangement. Talking it through is the only way forward. I have to stop trying to make decisions for him (difficult as that is). I also have to accept that sometimes he doesn’t want to talk about arranging our diaries. It’s sometimes difficult being honest though, he’s trying to think about me, I’m trying to think about him, when what we actually need to do is think about ourselves first, then discuss, then come to a compromise. It’s a logical and pragmatic solution to an emotional and sensitive problem. The ultimate point is that I will keep on loving him no matter what we do, and I’ll learn to love his black dog too, given time.
Kim is @mrskimbunny on Twitter