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Author: NotMaggie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 15005  
Subject: Re: Why tonight? Date: 3/19/2001 3:38 PM
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Jumping into this late, but I've been there, done that too. I am currently single and living alone by choice and preference. My own circumstances might not be the same as yours at all, and my first thoughts are that if things are getting too strained during emotionally difficult times, each of you need some space... I'm not saying to split up, just some space and help. Having therapy separately/together might help tremendously to deal with somebody who is depressed (for the afflicted, and he/she who loves the afflicted). Depression is a very difficult thing to handle and it takes more than 'common sense' to handle the roughest tides.

I have been in past relationships in which my SO either could not deal with my depression (manic depression), and/or blamed me for his problems, etc. My own history is rather complicated, but I finally realized that if I could not be in a relationship with a person who can help themselves (gender neutral for him/herself), nor can they give me support when I needed it, I was out of there. It took me a very long time to realize that I was a dysfunctional person in dysfunctional relationships. The relationships often added (or precipitated) my various depressive episodes, not the least of which was one near-suicidal time in my life some years ago. None of them would start or continue (only one made an effort to start counseling WITH me) therapy as they each thought I was the only one with 'the problem.' A lot of the mental anguish I suffered were because of the dysfunctional relationships I entered. I was with men who did not want to help themselves and were incapable of emotionally supporting me. Admittedly, I had a bad habit of latching on to selfish "needy" men who were incapable or unwilling to reciprocate when I was hurt or in need.

Ultimately, it took me a long time to see myself and my dysfunctional relationships clear enough, which I could only do with the help of therapy as I had lost the ability to objectively see and understand my own circumstances.

This is speaking for myself only, but this little metaphor best describes me, my depression, and my dysfunctional relationships. I was a woman who fell off the ship and as I treaded water, I screamed for help and begged for a life preserver, somebody threw an anchor to me, instead.

In this metaphor, falling off the ship was my descent into depression. Screaming for help and treading water was my own efforts to try not to sink further/too deep. Being thrown an anchor (instead of a life preserver) was my dysfunctional relationships (instead of a good, nurturing relationship).

For myself, I'm now treading water; still alive, but struggling to stay afloat. My therapist is currently my life preserver, making it easier for me to float and sharing mental strain and effort of surviving. When I have the strength and ability to grab a rope or small boat to get me back ashore (or the ship of life), I will.

Meg
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