Here’s the thing with depression: people don’t understand it. If you have a broken leg with a cast, they get that you need help. Cancer, diabetes, MS: horrible diseases that I wouldn’t wish on anyone but (I think) people understand that those with those diseases need physical help sometimes, need rides places, need food brought to them. No one is going to tell them it’s in their head, they’re not trying hard enough, or they’re not trusting God enough. Well, maybe so, but it’s easier to see that those comments are horrible and untrue. Not so with depression.
Two weekends ago, my ex-boyfriend got married. It is a good thing we’re not still together and hi wife is probably in for some tough years unless he’s dealt with more than I think he has. But it still hurts. It’s the dying of a dream; it’s the feeling that I wasn’t good enough, that he’s able to find someone who wants to spend the rest of their life with him and I can’t find that. It’s the fear that I’ll be alone for the rest of my life. This was coupled with helping get ready for a very dear friend’s wedding. I wanted to badly to be happy and excited for her but I was in a lot of pain. Plus the summer of med-adjusting has definitely taken its toll on my confidence and mood.
I tried to take care of myself. I knew it would be hard, so I asked for prayer and I asked for help. In retrospect, maybe I didn’t ask for help as specifically as I should have but I know I did tell people I’d really like having people to hang out with and that I really thought I needed it. Everyone kind of said they were really busy. Which they are! Someone had parents in town. Someone else was out of town. A lot of people were helping get ready for the wedding. Someone had family birthdays. Someone else was moving. There was legitimate busy-ness. But I know that if I had broken my leg and needed to go to the hospital, all of those people would have been there for me. If someone had died, same thing. If I had been throwing up, many of them would have come even if it meant dealing with vomit.
I texted people during the weekend too. I was crying too much to call. Many people asked me if I was going to be safe. I answered that if I meant was I going to kill myself, I wasn’t. I wasn’t going to self-harm. But that I wasn’t by any means OK. Some people said they were glad I wasn’t going to do anything stupid. Some people told me to look on the bright side, I didn’t want to be married to him anyway. Some people told me to stop being self-defeating. Some people told me to go back to counseling. Some people said if I could get to their house I could hang out (I couldn’t get out of bed or talk on the phone, driving was out of the question). When I pointed this out, they said well sorry, they couldn’t get there.
I don’t feel like I do this very often. In fact, it’s been years. I guess I used to need people a lot more but it hasn’t been true for the last few years so I don’t feel like I’m asking that much. So I’m going back and forth between I am so angry and hurt that no one could be bothered and oh my goodness, I ask too much, I’ll never ask again. But again, had I needed a ride to the ER, all of these people would have been here in a second. Had I been sick from chemo, they probably would have scheduled an around-the-clock watch. These are people who love me but do not understand. I stayed in bed all weekend and cried more than I have in years. Not only was the weekend bad, but I felt abandoned.
I did have two people come by – and they were the two people who really shouldn’t have. The bride-to-be, who had 10 million things to do, came by to get me out of bed and take me to the grocery store, with no judgement or resentment, even though she REALLY didn’t have time. My friend who is still post-op and needs to be careful with over-exerting herself AND had a family birthday AND was practicing music for the wedding came by with food. So I’m incredibly grateful for those two people who really really didn’t have time. But I’m so resentful and hurt at the others and I don’t know how to let it go or address it or even know if it should be addressed.
Again, if it had been something else, I feel like the reaction would have been very different. But I also don’t feel like I should have to say I’m worried about being suicidal in order to have support.