This is what Mr Xmas’ gradual retreating from life has been down to. We’ve had big conversations over the last few days, and have been friends long enough for me to know that he occasionally suffers from bouts of depression. But the thing is that neither of us thought it would return… Not now that he had gotten his life to where he wanted, and bagged the girl he’d been in love with for years, surely ?
However, there’s no denying that after a gradual slow-down over the last couple of months, Mr Xmas is now stalled. Unable to make plans, withdrawing from existing ones… for crying out loud, even the idea of booking a train ticket currently sends him into a tail-spin!
On the one hand, it’s an immense relief to know that none of this is to do with me, that his love for me is intact and that leaving me is the very last thing on his mind.
On the other hand, fuuuuuuuck!!!
What am I supposed to do?
I am currently living with someone who essentially wants to be left alone, retreat inside a cave and stay there until he feels able to cope with life again. Err…, fair enough, but what about me, and the kids who have come to rely on him to be their rock too?… Am I supposed to just grin and bear it, wait until he emerges again? Is this what love and accepting someone wholly is all about?
Don’t get me wrong, I do feel for Mr Xmas, because what he’s going through is just awful, and I know he is crushed with the disappointment that despite all the work he’s been doing in therapy over the last few years, his depression has returned.
Now, having seeked medical advice, my opinion is that anti-depressants are the lifebuoy he needs… But he just wants to wait it out, as he has more or less always done and resents the pressure I am putting on him to resort to chemistry. After all, it’s his lfe, and why should I dictate what he should and shouldn’t do? When can you make someone take a lifebuoy they don’t want?
Meanwhile, Spring lavishes its usual flowery splendour, I have been given a promotion after six weeks on the job, and feel like celebrating, making plans, whooping… But can’t do it with the man I have undoubtedly grown to love. I could cry with frustration.
So, internet friends, have you ever lived with someone affected by depression, and if so do you have any coping tips? How did you limit the damage on your relationship? Where did you draw the lines?