This is a first-ever – June’s first guest blog coming to you from Dave, the husband referenced in quite a few of her blogs. June’s the writer in the family so please forgive me for the rambling. And, the fact that this guest blog exists will hopefully teach me to keep my mouth shut. I got myself into this by mentioning to June a few days after she pulled out of the spiral how it feels for the family/spouse to read a blog like the 12/31/2017 blog – and how it feels to see the person you love in so much pain and how incredibly helpless you feel. I suggested she could write a blog from the spouse’s perspective. Unfortunately, she thought it would be much better to have a guest blog!!! J Where did I go wrong?
Anyway, the hardest part for me when June falls into a deep ravine of despair and pain is just how incredibly helpless I feel. You know how in some movies they try to create the most horrific scene possible – like they tie the husband up and make him watch his wife being raped or tortured? It’s kinda like that – you would literally do ANYTHING to help and save the person you love. But, you can’t – you just can’t. You just have to sit and watch. It’s a lot like that.
When she plummets really hard, I try every tool in my kit – just like June is trying every tool in her kit. The problem is, only her tools seem to work – at least eventually – and the 12/31 bout was really long & hard. My tools often seem to throw gasoline on the fire. In fact, when I try something in desperation (like trying to force her into a conversation or hugging her), I’ll get a negative response and a simple question (and very accurate) of “why did you do that? You know it’s not going to help at that moment.” She’s right – I do know it. But, I have to try something. I can’t just sit there and watch my best friend and the person I love with all my heart in agony for hours or sometimes days.
The other thing that struck me while reading “that” blog was how the reality she is trapped in at that time is so different from the world I see around her (which I clearly view as “reality”) – but the pain she is feeling is just as much her reality at that time. She feels so alone and isolated – but nothing physically could be further from the truth. No one to talk to? I asked her dozens of times ‘how she is feeling?’ Is there anything I can do to help? Did anything happen to cause the crash? Does she want to do anything (distractions are the one tool in my kit that very occasionally seem to help – at least for a bit)? Does she want to talk about it? And, mostly: I love you. You are so loved. This will pass. You will feel better. I don’t know if they actually help at the time, but I have to feel like they do. I have to do something. And, they usually get a better response than questions or certainly “pushing the subject”. I’m not sure if I say them to help me or her more – I know they help me. I hope they help her to begin the climb and invalidate all the bad thoughts she convinces herself of in these times. She mentioned in the blog how bad she feels about herself as a wife, mother, friend, whatever – I hope these simple statements help affirm that she is wrong – she is not bad. She is good and very worthy – and very loved. Even when she doesn’t feel like it.
I mentioned one of the statements I make to her is “it will pass”. And, it’s true. It will pass – and she will feel better. Then, it will feel awesome for my wife to know she is loved – and it will feel awesome for her to love me back. To do normal stuff – to talk, to joke around, to laugh, to bitch about what moronic thing our Idiot-In-Chief tweeted today, to enjoy meals together, to plan, to dream. It just feels that when she is in the depths, that journey to feel better is in slow-motion and last so much longer than it is. The journey “out” is often a day – many times, she’ll crash and will “sleep it off” and feel better the next day. But, even those seem to last much longer – because seeing someone in pain is tough and time moves so slowly. But, it’s so worth it on the other side. That’s why you can’t EVER give up – and keep up the good fight. Because you are worth it and we are worth it. And we can’t live without you. And, sure as hell don’t want to. I love you.
Post-blog note: I never quite wrapped this up and it’s now July and we’re watching a Netflix series called Fauda (highly recommend). Anyway, it struck me as I was reading my sentence above where I say “….because seeing someone in pain is tough and time moves so slowly.” The thought that time moves so slowly struck me as I’ve been quite impacted by Fauda. Fauda shows the struggles of the Israeli and Palestine people in the Gaza strip and it focuses on a team of Israeli special ops personnel and several Palestine resistance fighters and their families. In my view, it does a great job of humanizing both sides and you see them as just regular people (trying to exist in absurdly difficult circumstances) – which of course they are. But, the physical and emotional horrors they subject one another to is so real – very difficult to watch at times, but very humanizing and impactful. Anyway, the connection to this blog is this: Fauda sometimes has some quite graphic torture scenes. The pain they are experiencing must be so incredibly tense and difficult – just 5 seconds would be horrible. What I’ve learned as a spouse of someone with occasionally severe depression is this: The deep pain of depression seems to me to be very tangible and real – I can walk in a room and literally see it on June’s face without her saying a word. I don’t want to compare it to physical torture, but the pain I see my loved one go through seems just that real to me. And even though June’s “only” lasts for a few hours or a couple days, Fauda makes me wonder how horrific those few hours or days really are for the person living in that bubble?
In April 2012 I had a mental breakdown. The real thing. I have about 36 hours that I don’t remember....