When I was newly married at 25 years of age my wife, Sallie and I had not lived together prior to our wedding. It was a time when parents of the ’60s were not quite ready for this new living arrangement. Had we done so, it is exceedingly unlikely we would have married, given my mannerisms/behavior under this cloud of depression.
Sallie saw first hand my moodiness, snappiness, anger, directed at myself , as well as my low self-esteem. If she chose to stay in our marriage, she knew that she needed to take care of herself first..she needed support too. Therefore, her discussions with her primary care Doctor was the first step. The Doctor indicated that I certainly could get help. Depression makes others around them walk around on egg shells waiting for another outburst. Now she had to convince me that the inability to make decisions, finding it hard at times to get out of bed coupled with flu-like symptoms was NOT the daily NORM of people. Needless to say it took weeks as she was able to finally help me look back at a series of events that led to seeing and understanding a pattern of life that did seem flawed.
Could I have ever gone to counseling on my own? Not likely. But I had a wife that was willing to support me. Did I feel our marriage might be doomed unless I went to counseling, I don’t recall but subconsciously I probably knew that might be the case. So I feel extremely fortunate to have a soul mate to steer me towards getting help.
Sallie’s notes: It is very important for any partner/spouse who is in a relationship with someone with depression find support for themselves as well. We were newly married and I wondered about my future. Did I want to raise children in this environment? Was this behavior normal? There had been a pattern through his family. And speaking with family sometimes is not helpful, as they too need to be educated. So, was I to just accept this at face value and do nothing? IT AGAIN WAS A CHOICE I HAD TO MAKE. I continued to read and educate myself on the subject of depression. I would continue to share this information with Conway and slowly we began to talk about it. It was because of the support and communication that made a difference for him. He was willing to go seek counseling and begin the process. More to come.