Posted 1/9/2007 9:58 AM (GMT -6)
Pasara, I can really relate to depression coming in waves of intensity and to being dependent on another person. My depression would have waves of intensity, and like you, when my mind was idle it was a breeding ground for depressive thoughts and, hence, depression. I find distractions helped; doing things I enjoyed and being around other. When I was alone I at least played music.
As for dependency, such a sticky issue. I do not know your husband and I do not know the extent of what you call your dependency. I do know that when I was seriously depressed, I was very, very dependent upon my mother and it drained her badly. Not only that but her death thus traumatized me. When I got married and felt dependent upon my husband, I tried to develop a circle of friends and resources so it wouldn't all fall on him, and I found that helpful. I think there is a fine line between needing support and being dependent, and I can't judge whether you are just using your husband for support or fit the definition for dependency. Either way I think it is very useful to have other resources so you are not always drawing upon one. I think it will make you feel better as well. My husband went back to work and I was so glad I had made some connections because now he is not here for me to rely on all day. Also, I found some things I could do for myself that helped me so I would feel like I was my own resource. Whether it was to read a book, call a friend, post in a group, take a walk, listen to some music, or play with the pets, there were many things I could do on my own to make myself feel better. Sometimes I just wrote down what I was feeling and found that very cathartic. I realize you are limited with some physical challenges, but I know here there are many community agencies that would have a lot to offer someone in your position. It would expand your collection of resources and I'm sure it would be just as good for you as for hubby to have a larger pool of resources to draw from.
Please do not think I am saying you are dependent for I am not. I am just talking about support here. It is good to have as big a support system as you can get rather than have just one person. It is good for you and good for your supports. I know it is easy to feel guilty when drawing upon supports. It is hard not to fall into that trap. I think if you had a pool of resources, you wouldn't feel as if you were draining just one. A little variety is good for the soul too. When you are relying on a support, remember to allow them their graces. Allow them to support you for we all like to be of help to others. Try hard to allow them to support you without feeling guilty or burdensome. When my daughters give me a gift or I give them a gift, we always reprimand the other for spending money on us. My husband always says for us to allow each other our graces; to accept the gift rather than reprimand for spending money on us. To just say thank you and not say you shouldn't have done that. We all want to be allowed to give in our own way. So when your husband gives, try just saying thank you instead of saying I feel guilty or I am a burden. It's no easy task though it sounds it. Just be gracious and go easy on yourself.
I know it can be tough for supports too. It can get draining sometimes, so it is good that our supports get rejuvenated with recreational activities, and it is good if they have others contributing to the support system. Sometimes our supports need their own supports as well. I often think that though I have suffered awfully since my surgery, my husband has suffered in his own way and gets depleted with all he has had to do for me. That is when I insist he does something for himself and I try to get my daughters or a friend to assist me with whatever I need that day. Do not confuse this with me saying caregivers feel burdened or suffer terribly. It's just they need fuel too if they are to have anything to give us. That to me is what is important to keep in mind.
I think depression coming in waves is pretty normal because typically we are not depressed 24/7/365. There are times it abates, thankfully, and times it washes over us. It sounds as if you differentiate it from bipolar disorder so I think you seem to understand your own depression and can read it well. I just try to prepare for the waves and know how I will deal with them when they come.
The best of luck to you as you face your many challenges.
And there came a time when the risk it took
to stay tight inside the bud
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom