Are you a self care guru or a master of your own disaster? Do you have boundaries, or do you have a hard time telling people “no”? What’s your self care score? I created this fun, new quiz just for you! Take it today! And if you’re really brave, leave your results in the comments. Just […]
The world is full of people who feel hopeless. While the holidays may be a favorite time of year for many people, for others, the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day only compounds the pain. For many people, the cold and cloudy days of winter triggers seasonal depression. For other folks, the thought of gathering with family and friends spikes anxiety, anger, and sadness.
It seems that sucky days are a universal experience. We can’t survive on an island. Isolation is miserable, especially for someone who struggles with depression or anxiety or self-esteem issues. Finding the guts to say, “Today sucks. Can we talk?” sometimes changes everything.
I hate when I feel this way. I hate the semi-permanent knot in the back of my throat, the avoiding eye contact with co-workers and the constant urge to go home. But the feelings persist. I hate the shame that comes along with it, whispering, “What a loser. Get your shit together. What’s wrong with you?” I hate the shame that comes from years of being raised as a religious kid, the lies that tell me I’m not a real Christian or I wouldn’t have these struggles.
But then I remember the words our pastor spoke Sunday…
Mental illness is no respecter of persons. Anxiety and depression are equal opportunity employers and they do not care what kind of day or week or year you’re having. And along with mental illness comes shame. Shame whispers things like “You can’t get your own shit together, so stop writing.” It tells lies like, “You are crazy and this will never get better.”
My wife spent a week on a psych ward following the birth of our first son. She had a miserable fight with postpartum depression and sleep deprivation. One year later, nearly to the day, I landed in ICU and then a psych ward following a suicide attempt.
After living through it, here’s my take on what to do when you decide to stay married to someone with mental illness.