wordweaverlynn: (therapy)
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.

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wordweaverlynn

September 2014

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