I recently read an open letter a husband had written to his wife, who had depression. It felt like he was describing my life, and the fears that I know Chris has. He talked about how inexperienced he had been being with someone with serious depression, how paralyzed and helpless he felt, and frustrated that he couldn’t fix anything. He also wrote how his wife told him that the main reason she didn’t go through with suicide was because she knew how much it would hurt him.
I’ve definitely been there.
Our relationship has never been easy. Chris has had to see me have multiple breakdowns, including at least two where I lost the ability to speak or move. I literally traced words on his arm when he asked if he should take me to the hospital. I had a self-harm relapse. And that was just in the first year of knowing each other.
Like the woman in that letter, I’m in a good place now. I haven’t had suicidal thoughts in a long time. Still, mental illness is always there, its shadow always peeking into our life. There will be days when it comes closer. Loving Chris motivates me to do more to keep it at bay, to anticipate it better. But the thing that gives me the most confidence is that I know I’m not fighting alone.