I’m never alone. While many times I say this as a bad thing: like when I just want 45 seconds to pee in peace but 2 dogs, 2 kids and a fly follow me to the toilet. This time, I mean it in terms of support. During this time of depression I didn’t want to hear “you’re not alone” or “so many women experience this too.” Their hurt, your hurt, and my hurt are all different and not something I want to compare. I also didn’t particularly want to hear “I’m here for you” from anyone because again, it was my hurt and they weren’t feeling it. However, as much as I didn’t want help, I needed it. Fortunately, I realized this and turned to those I knew would give it to me.
The days following the official diagnosis I swallowed my pride and told the people I knew would support me most. I told my closest friends, a few fellow moms and my family. Everyone responded with the most encouraging support. There were words of compassion, a response that I inspired someone else to admit they needed help too, and a whole lot of love.
One person in particular stepped up the most: my husband. He hugged me and said he was here to help in any way he could. The moral support would have been enough, but he recognized I needed more. He encouraged me to take time to myself: watching the kids for me to take a quiet bath, taking the kids on errand runs to be alone, letting me be the one to go to the grocery store, cooking dinner or no longer expecting it. The most beneficial thing he did for me was let me sleep. There were a solid two months that the combination of not traveling and flying late allowed him to get up with the kids nearly every single morning so I could get even half an hour extra sleep. I didn’t ask him for this. He recognized an area of need and supplied it for me.
It was a small thing. It was a huge thing. It made the biggest difference. It also pointed out how much exhaustion played a role in my depression.
What it did most, however, was show me how much I’m loved. It’s one thing to know he loves me. I mean, we are married. It’s another thing to feel that love in a time when I need it most and I’m likely pushing him away. The vows “in sickness and in health” take on a meaning I’m not sure he fully realized was going to be a thing. The sickness of depression, callus and run down mom called for a dose of patient, extra-loving husband and that’s what I got!