So as day follows night, lows follow the highs, and not even highs.
After a good few days, today he’s back down again in a real pit. Okay until after lunch then it just went downhill very quickly.
But are we disheartened? Yes, a bit! And two good days out of (as he put it) ‘five months’ isn’t much of a result but there’s that strand of light, faintly visible to the optimistic eye.
Back home from work he’s ok, reads to the kids, just about keeping it together but as soon as they’re in bed he slides back under. And I can’t summon the energy to make conversation. So we sit in silence.
Missing the yoga – curses to the holidays messing with my life! Nice day with the kids though, it’s not all bad.
Yes, I’ve used it before, I apologise. But the last couple of days have been ok. And today was actually pretty good. We went out for a lovely (windy and a bit rainy if truth be told) walk, us five and the dog.
Last night I was concerned he was hypomanic, he was very chirpy. Weirdly so as his blood test showed that the lithium has reached toxic levels. Hence the rash. Grr. But there’s no chance of getting him to docs if he’s in a good mood, let alone when he’s low. Two days off lithium then back down to 800mg.
But seize the day is our new unofficial family motto. Well, it’s mine. So we had a good day. His mood started to slip this evening, very noticeably. Boo.
Well, it has been a long time. I’m not entirely sure I have ever rock and rolled when I think about it. But it has been a very long time since me and the DH (dear/deadly/depressed husband) have done anything as a couple.
And as the sun comes out today, so does a slightly stronger thread of optimism. This process of linking together the better bit is like stretching a thread. Sometimes that thread is almost invisible, but at other times it’s much thicker as the better bits are closer together.
After last week, I had doubts that things would ever get better, but inevitably they do. How long they last is anyone’s guess. I truly thought he was just going to walk out of his job and his business forever last week, but he’s found the strength from somewhere to keep at it.
Does this mean he still wants a complete career change to become a rugby coach (which is his aim)? Yes, probably. But the lifting of the depression means that he can at least make rational decisions. Because leaving his business is a HUGE decision. We really thought it was going to be his job for life, and at some point the business would become OUR family business.
The breakdowns he’s had have changed him and he no longer loves his job. You might say, ‘So what? Who does?’ but he has properly loved his job for the last 20 years and losing the joy has really hit him.
If he does leave his business and become a rugby coach, then I could go back to work. Now there’s a thing. It’s been 10 years since I went on maternity leave, give or take a few months. But actually I feel liberated at the thought of going back to work. It’ll be part time and I doubt it will be well paid, but being able to go back and not have to worry about childcare is a huge deal.
And what shall I do? I’m wondering whether I should be a roadie. There should be plenty of rock and roll to be had. And looking after three children should be excellent training for dealing with a band. I don’t have enough tattoos, but that could be sorted.
We’ve just had one of the most depressing discussions and I really don’t know what to do. My husband has said he’s worried about how he’s becoming with his conspiracy theories. This part is reassuring until he says he’s concerned that it’s the start of a new set of symptoms. Granted we are watching a Louis Theroux programme about people in the U.S. in a secure psych hospital who were considered NGRI (not guilty by reason of insanity). DH said it made him feel simultaneously worse and better. But he also said that he’s really starting to detach himself. He is considering a big career change and although I would completely support him, there are so many things to consider.
My head is humming. He is worried that he’s getting new symptoms that to my untrained eye seem erring towards psychosis. Now it’s my turn to feel numb.
OK, so this is in fact a Black Sabbath song but the words are so apt that I had to choose it. If you don’t know the song then it’s about a man with what I assume to be severe depression and the words hit home as I think this probably sums up how my husband feels.
I hope the first line isn’t prescient, although in fact it applies to the time many many years ago, way before marriage and kids, when we split up. DH felt that perhaps I was making him feel shit (Gee, thanks a fucking bunch) but it turns out I wasn’t (no kidding).
Joking aside, if I’d known then what I know now, perhaps I would have reconsidered our reconciliation.
And because it’s a great song (to my ears), I’ve included a link to it on Youtube here
‘Finished with my woman ’cause she couldn’t help me with my mind
people think I’m insane because I am frowning all the time
All day long I think of things but nothing seems to satisfy
Think I’ll lose my mind if I don’t find something to pacify
Can you help me occupy my brain?
I need someone to show me the things in life that I can’t find
I can’t see the things that make true happiness, I must be blind
Make a joke and I will sigh and you will laugh and I will cry
Happiness I cannot feel and love to me is so unreal
And so as you hear these words telling you now of my state
I tell you to enjoy life I wish I could but it’s too late’
Well, let’s hope it the battle doesn’t go on forever but sometimes it seems like it always will.
Dinner with friends (husbands too) on Friday night. Except not me, I went on my own as DH wasn’t able to face dinner with friends. He hasn’t been out socially since June. I have tried so hard not to be bothered by it and I’ve definitely stopped getting angry with him in some ways, mainly because I have zero expectations.
He missed an amazing evening though and although I enjoyed myself immensely, I feel sad that he missed it. I don’t actually feel bothered that he wasn’t there – is that bad?
Saturday – he was dreadful.
Sunday – Mothers’ Day, he managed to up his game and cooked dinner, his mother was here too, it was actually a very nice day.
Monday – he’s back to work, he’s grumpy.
Tuesday – he came home full of beans, we even had a few laughs in the evening. First time in months.
Wednesday – back to being low. Again.
Crunch point last night, big discussion, he again offered to move out as he can see that I’m at breaking point.
Long story, I’m sure you want the short version. We’re hoping that the flashes of feeling better will start to link up in to a frail chain of better moments. He’s not moving out. He accepts he might need anti-depressants in addition to the lithium.
He starts psychotherapy soon, surely that will help.
And as I suspected, he feels mostly desolate. He said ‘I wake up every morning and think, do I feel better and then realise that I don’t’. And if that isn’t going to make you feel hopeless, nothing will.
On the upside, I do think he’s not contemplating suicide. And I know that he knows that this is destroying me too. So there is some awareness inside him even if he feels, in his words, totally dead inside, detached from everyone and every thing. He’s making so much effort to keep a lid on it that he’s exhausted. We’re both just about keeping going.
How can you put a deadline on it though? I can’t say ‘If you don’t feel better in eight weeks you’ll have to move out temporarily’. And I also can’t say ‘It’s fine, we can cope with things staying like this’.
I’m not sure I feel any better after the conversation, less angry perhaps. And it’s not nice telling your husband that you are trying to avoid being around him as much as possible.
The feeling that I should be kinder and nicer won’t go away and I admitted to him how I feel that I’m failing in my caring duties. But he said that if it was the other way round, he’d be pretty much out of sympathy by now.
I’m exhausted today though – this emotional stuff is knackering.