Are you familiar with the Bernstein Bears stories? Each story has a little “proverb” at the beginning. If this were a Bernstein Bears story, the proverb would say this, “when life, depression, and hormones collide, mommy takes daddy on a rough ride”.

This post is a love letter to my husband. To help him understand. Because he doesn’t, and he feels frustrated. He wants me to speak words, to help him understand. But I can’t speak just now. Maybe you have a loved one who goes through periods of depression. Maybe my words can help you understand too.

Dearest husband,

You are a light in my life. I may not have survived previous episodes of such darkness if it were not for your strength and commitment to God and family. Right now my mind is in a dark place. You have a beautiful unclouded mind, seldom touched by waves of depression and you provide a solid foundation for our family. I am thankful that God gave you to me because, especially in times like this, I need your strength. I need it but I struggle to ask for it. You ask me to use words, to ask for help, to tell you what I need you to do, but words almost feel impossible right now. I don’t want to need help. I want to be strong. It is hard to admit weakness even when it blatantly obvious to anyone looking.

I am quiet and I hide because my mind is loud. With every request my mouth speaks and every task my inactivity leads you to do, my mind beats me down. I want to help, to do normal life stuff, but my whole body feels weighed down. It looks like laziness. It even feels like laziness. But I can’t get out. My mind is merciless in its accusations in regards to how I am letting you and our children down.

The children scream and bounce around and I feel unable to cope with it because it merges with the noise in my mind and overwhelms me. I love you all so much but I feel unable to be the wife and mother I want to be and this feeling only ads to the accusations in my head. You ask me to make simple decisions and to do simple things. The fact that I feel so incapable to do these things makes me feel like crumbling.

My mind it clutched by fear about how you perceive me. Do you find me lazy, selfish, infantile? Does this present state of being cause you to dislike me? To be angry with me? These are the questions that attack my brain and cause me to avoid your eyes. I feel ashamed of myself in your presence because I so love you and admire your strength. I don’t want to cause you trouble or inconvenience. I only want to love you and our family well and bring richness into your life, but right now I can’t be that person.

They say depression is an illness, so consider me sick right now. In need. I need you. I can’t speak the words. I don’t know how to ask for the help I need. I’m sorry my silence frustrates you. I do love you. This time will pass, please be patient. You will get your wife back soon.

Love, Your Heather

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