If I’m completely honest with you all, this post was something I was trying to keep away from the blog until we both had a better grip on it. It’s not really something that I wanted to share at this stage but as I have been taking part in The Blog Tag and this week is Mental Health Week my fiancé and I have had a discussion and we’ve decided that it would be a good thing to write about.
In January 2016 my fiancé was diagnosed with depression and anxiety.
At the time, my fiancé was very closed off about what had happened throughout 2015. He was in a pretty unpleasant state of mind; in quite a dark place. Events that took place at work in January 2016 finally tipped him over the edge. Suffice it to say that things that were said and done just completely messed around with his mind and he couldn’t focus on anything but those words and actions. They caused him to think extremely negatively about himself. Things finally took their toll on this one particular day, and the events that took place finally encouraged him to visit our GP to get the help that he needed.
My fiancé used to call me after every shift and we used to chat while he walked home from work, and on this day I am so extremely glad that he did. He was talking to me about the things that had happened and all the things that were said when he came to crossing the road. While waiting for the traffic to pass he saw a large lorry coming along the road. He saw the lorry and was about to step in front of it; he thought that stepping in front of the lorry would take the pain away and he wouldn’t hurt anymore. Just as he was about to step off the pavement, I spoke. My words stopped him from stepping in front of the lorry; my words brought him away from the dark place that was taking over him.
I didn’t know what had happened until afterwards; to be fair, it was quite a while afterwards as he didn’t tell me about this until March 2016. He felt ashamed to have been in that situation, he felt scared that the dark place in his mind could overtake him to convince him to do something like that, he didn’t want to upset me and he felt selfish for thinking those things when he has people around him who do love and care for him even though he couldn’t see it. These events led him to make the decision to visit the GP, where he was diagnosed with depression and anxiety.
He is now having counselling sessions and has started an online course through his counsellor. His counsellor has advised him to do more of the activities that he enjoyed but that he had seemed to stop since feeling this way; which has led him back to his drawing.
Depression and Anxiety From My Perspective
I have never had any experience with depression and anxiety until now. I had no idea what to expect, what to do or what to say but I am slowly getting to grips with the whole situation. I can see the changes that this has made to my fiance. In all honesty, 11 and a half years of knowing each other and 10 and a half years of being in a relationship with this man and I have NEVER seen anything knock him down like depression and anxiety have.
He has panic attacks for no reason, without warning. He hasn’t been able to get back into work yet either because of the depression and panic attacks. This is totally unlike my fiancé, as usually nothing gets to him and he has even worked 6-8 hour shifts in pain. As I mentioned, he stopped doing things that he enjoyed doing. He stopped drawing, he stopped weight training. He seemed a shadow of himself.
I give him all the support that I can but sometimes I feel useless that I can’t help him more. I just want to take the whole thing away from him. I know he will read this post, so as a message to my mister… I just want you to know that no matter what happens or where this road takes us, I will always be here for you. You have all my love and support though everything and I will always listen to anything you have to say, even if I do get upset sometimes.
Tips On Keeping Positive
- Try not to feel ashamed or embarrassed to admit that you have felt certain ways but try to take pride in the fact that you have had this problem and you are fighting it off.
- Reading other peoples experiences has helped my fiancé.
- Do things you enjoy and be proud of yourself for.
A Final Statement From My Fiancé
I’m touching 6 foot 4 inches tall, I’m a stocky kind of build and I like to think that I am rather strong but these things in my mind are the only things that have been able to bring me down and make me feel weak. I was always under the impression that these thoughts and feelings were just me being me. Since I was a kid I could stand a smack if I had done something wrong but I could never stand being shouted at, so because of that I just always thought it was me being me. I think I started to get into a self destructive routine of thinking like that, it started to get to the point whereas I started to look at people like Nikki and my parents and just kept seeing their hate for me in their face. I felt that I had let them all down and they were ashamed of me. I was constantly convincing myself these things, which always resulted in a vicious circle of events and thoughts. I’m very close to me dad; he’s always been my best friend and my idol; but it got the stage where even he didn’t know how to talk to me. He said he started to not recognise who I was because of the drastic changes in me and in my attitude; changes that I hadn’t even realised were happening. He said to me “I just want my son back”. This was one of the kickstarts I needed to force myself to do something about it. I started to realise there could have been something wrong.
When I first went to see the doctor, I was only going to get proof that there was nothing wrong with me and that it was normal but I was proved wrong. That was when it really hit home that I had essentially been torturing myself for years because what I thought was just my personality, was actually depression and anxiety. As difficult as it was to hear it, as I’m sure it is for everyone in this situation, I’m definitely glad that I went to see about it. If there is anybody that has any negative thoughts or feelings more frequently than just a one-off every now and again I would definitely advise to go and see your doctor before it gets out of hand.
Just remember that it is nothing to be ashamed of. It does continue to make you feel that way, like with me it is still one of the only things that make me feel weak. Any help or advice that medical professionals do give you, follow it even if it does seem small and pointless to you. It is surprising how something so simple can make feel a fair bit better.
Take my artwork for example. Art is something that I have always loved doing since I was very young but it got to the stage where I felt like I couldn’t be bothered to do it anymore. The thought of picking up my pens, pencils and sketchbooks just made me feel miserable because I felt like I was a failure at art just like I was a failure at everything else. I have gotten back into art after some advice from my counsellor. It has made me realise that the feelings I had towards it were also just a state of mind. It has helped boost my confidence and my self respect. It has helped me feel more positive about other things too. If negative thoughts have gone through my mind the positive thoughts have helped me fight off the negative, even if it doesn’t go away completely.
I know it is only the early stages of the help I am getting but it is helping me a lot. I’d encourage anyone who has had similar feelings to seek help from their doctor, to put you back on track and back into the saddle of your life.
I hope that anyone reading this who thinks they might be affected seeks the help that they need. It helped my fiancé a lot. Do you suffer with depression and anxiety? How do you deal with it?