This is a story about depression. My story about depression. Funny thing is, I don’t suffer from depression, my husband does. This is my story about living with, loving, and surviving with a person who has depression. Let me start the story off by telling you about Matt, my husband. He is a funny, gregarious, strong-willed, loving, opinionated, passionate and all-around incredible human. He’s also challenging, he pushes me to push myself, and he always gives everything he does his all. We have an incredible life that we’ve built together full of laughter, love, friends, fun, and our incredible son, Sammy.
And then, sometimes, the darkness creeps in. There are times that I can see it coming and then there are times that it completely blindsides me and I find myself staring at my husband wondering where he’s gone off to. Who took him? Who pulled him away from me and left this listless hull here? Sometimes the darkness doesn’t claim him completely, it just sort of seeps in to his edges and makes him not quite himself. I see it. Not the darkness itself, but the emptiness and despair that it leaves behind.
It could have been anything from bad news to a somewhat unproductive day, but if there’s a chink in his armor, the darkness will find it. It knows because it’s been waiting. It’s been listening and watching and waiting for an opportunity to take my husband, my best friend, my son’s father and slowly drag him away from me…into the darkness.
I used to blame myself, thinking I had done something wrong, said the wrong thing, missed some small detail that I should have noticed, or not loved him just quite right. I used to wonder why my love wasn’t enough to save him from the darkness. I searched every corner of the internet and called on all of my life skills and experiences trying to ‘fix’ whatever it was that I was doing wrong in our relationship that would send him away. Then. Then, I finally realized after much searching and many discussions with Matt and other that this wasn’t about me. This wasn’t my fault or my doing. This is his battle and all I can do is stand by him, support him, listen to him, and hold him up.
Speaking of battles…can I share how I feel about the darkness? It makes me angry. VERY angry. And I’m not an angry person. I want to grab the darkness by it’s cold, lifeless throat and strangle it until it screams and begs for my mercy. I want to make the darkness suffer so much pain that it can no longer lurk in the shadows, waiting to rob the light from people like my husband. But I can’t do that. The darkness that is depression is an elusive disease that claims many victims.
Seeing what depression has done to my husband, to my friends, to friends of friends makes me livid. And the only thing I know to do is fight back. If I can’t beat it with physical force, I will shine my light on it. I will expose it for the sneaky, cowardly bastard that it is. You see, depression makes people feel isolated and alone, even in the presence of the people that love them the most. Depression won’t let its victims reach out or talk about it. But you know what? I don’t have depression, so I’m going to scream out loud about it until everybody hears me and the light drowns out the darkness. Will you join me?