wordweaverlynn: (therapy)
[personal profile] wordweaverlynn
Captain Awkward tackles some very difficult situations. Trying to maintain a partnership with someone who is having mental health issues definitely counts. For me this advice is right on the nail. And I'm speaking from the standpoint of the depressed and ADHD partner.

I've suffered from near-lethal depression most of my life. This advice works for me. Yes, there are times I feel so profoundly incompetent at everything that I'd rather be dead. But for me, knowing someone else relies on me is actually helpful. What I wouldn't do for my own sake I will do for a partner or a friend. For me it's good to have obligations and even better to meet them.

I've already lost one friend over this, but truly, I think this advice is worth considering. I shared it with my partner, who was glad to see suggestions for handling the issue if I melt down when she tells me what she needs from me. It's useful to make the distinction between the depression and the person who has the depression.

I don't recommend this in all situations. Any advice needs to be tested, tried gently, modified to fit circumstance. But I am saying this is the wake of a memorably difficult year, in which I was suicidally depressed for a long stretch, then had to deal with a family member's attempted suicide, and then got slammed with hugely triggering news events that recalled the worst days of my own life while evoking idiocy and horror from the mass media.

I have been very far from well. But I have been doing my work in therapy, trying to take good care of myself, and trying to keep up my end of household chores. A week ago, we rejiggered the chore list; because everyone else is working and commuting, I now have more chores. But that feels fair to me. The change didn't come with accusations that I was lazy or with a lot of passive-aggressive repressed sighs. We discussed it like adults. We worked out what was fair. I am undoubtedly crippled by PTSD, ADHD, depression, allergies, asthma, and being short. None of those things are likely to change. But I still have responsibilities, and responsibilities are signs of my strength and my adulthood.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-01-05 09:18 pm (UTC)
noelfigart: (Default)
From: [personal profile] noelfigart
I agree with you. And I come from the standpoint of the person who has the problem with depression in the relationship.

FWIW, I admire how you're trying to pull this off. It really is, no kidding, really hard.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-01-05 09:27 pm (UTC)
recessional: an owl cup without a handle with tea inside (Default)
From: [personal profile] recessional
Mrr. There is nothing wrong with the advice (and I think one of the truly scary things about dealing with depression in any capacity is that sometimes there isn't a good answer), but I have to say that reading through it made me sad and tired.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-01-07 04:07 am (UTC)
metaphortunate: (Default)
From: [personal profile] metaphortunate
Yay being brave. Seriously. You are so awesome for being just the kind of person you are, who reacts to fear that way, who refuses to be helpless.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-01-05 10:40 pm (UTC)
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
From: [personal profile] firecat
That was an especially interesting Capn Awkward post/conversation; thanks for the pointer. And I hope you have a much better year coming up.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-01-06 12:50 am (UTC)
sara: S (Default)
From: [personal profile] sara
One of the things C. and I do for each other is kick each other's asses about when we need to get mental health help, because we have both struggled with depression for years. And it is unfun to hear from your partner that you don't have your shit together, but...sometimes, you don't have your shit together, and it's not like someone who doesn't care about you is going to invest the time to tell you that.

And one of our shared signs for "it is time for you to go to the doctor/therapist/whatever" is "can't take care of basic household stuff." Which is why, after C. failed in December to do some stuff, I told him to get his ass to the doctor.

Who determined that it wasn't recurrent major depression, it was a Vitamin D deficiency. We laughed our asses off, he's on prescription vitamins and doing much better, life goes on.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-01-06 03:54 am (UTC)
lavendertook: (wildkitten in snow)
From: [personal profile] lavendertook
As a depressive with GAD, it all sounds like good advice to me. I think your partners might really appreciate your posting this--it's about supporting them and owning the ways we are difficult to live with--it shows you own you have work to do and are on guard against the excuses we all make for ourselves. *hugs you*

(no subject)

Date: 2013-01-06 02:56 pm (UTC)
adrian_turtle: stubborn little quilted turtle (Default)
From: [personal profile] adrian_turtle
I've been on both sides of this, at different times. It's all different kinds of hard. You're very brave to talk about it in openly.

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