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Re: Any advice on relationships during depression?

Posted by Mark H. on March 13, 2000, at 16:54:04

In reply to Any advice on relationships during depression?, posted by Robyn on March 13, 2000, at 12:13:42

Robyn, I'm going to venture a contrary opinion just for balance. When I was young, I fell desperately in love with a beautiful, brilliant woman who really only found me interesting and attractive at my most manic and articulate. When I was dull and somewhat befuddled, she always had reasons to do something else. Without knowing at the time that I was cyclothymic and on my way to being what is now called bipolar II, I fought to hold on to my highs, to be my most stellar and bright, and I hid out a lot when I was depressed.

Well, punkin', it doesn't work. My beloved wife Sue, whom I've been married to now for almost 16 years, loves me when I'm down and slurring my speech, loves me when I'm normal and steady, and loves me when I'm a little wild-eyed and up all night because I got into some chocolate mousse. She doesn't expect me to add long columns of figures in my head, to recite the names of several hundred classical composers, or to be the life of the party. She understands when I can't return phone calls and haven't written to my parents in 6 months. She has NO ambition for me whatsoever, except to be happy and to accept who I am at any given time.

I'm not saying there is a strong parallel between your situation and mine. I'm only suggesting that if this man and you are only comfortable and happy with each other when you are "well," and if your depression is cyclic and recurring -- and therefore probably a long-term experience -- then it might be best not to put yourself in a position where you feel like you are "OK" only when you are well, or socialable, or free of depression.

The right person will always love you for who you are, and hopefully that love will nurture you even in those times when you feel most unlovable and unattractive. We need to be able to come home to complete acceptance, where we don't have to think about our worthiness.

I hope things work out for the best for both of you.




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