Tomorrow is Rich’s birthday.

The last seven birthdays he has celebrated have been spent loving someone battling with Depression. One such birthday several years ago he even had to go so far as to ask my Doctor for special permission in order to sign me out of the hospital for a couple of hours so that we could go for a quick dinner nearby to celebrate. 

Loving someone with Depression is NOT easy. Being a caregiver to someone with Depression is NOT fun. You want so desperately to try and fix them, but you can’t. You feel helpless in everything you do and just pray that your words, your kind gestures or maybe even your hugs will be enough to make everything better, but it won’t. 

Nothing they do seems to make a difference. Their words, their kind gestures and even their warm hugs only go so far when someone is battling a debilitating illness such as Depression. 

Depression changes everything, including relationships. It builds walls around people and between them too. Rich has probably heard it all by now from outsiders looking in over the past seven years. Everything from “Man, I don’t know how you do it!”, to “You must be a real Saint!”, to my most favourite one of all, “Are you gonna leave her?” 

Yup I’ve been a burden for the last seven plus years and that’s my honest truth. I am continually apologizing to Rich for being such a burden to him and our family and I probably tell him at least ten times a week how much better off he would be if I was “gone”. 

He doesn’t see it that way though and just tries his best to always listen to me.

It’s not easy, nor fun. 

Loving someone with Depression takes great strength. It means constantly having to listen or bare witness to many shocking and very upsetting things that they may say or do.  

But still, Rich lets me talk. 

He’s not perfect, but who is? He’s made mistakes along the way, he feels rejected at times and he gets frustrated and angry at other times but he acknowledges my pain, he validates it and although he may not always understand it, it’s what loving someone unconditionally means. It’s often a very thankless job!

If you are loving someone with Depression don’t be afraid to ask them what they need most from you right now. I can assure you it’s probably just knowing that you are there, sitting beside them in that darkened tunnel, silently listening to them, allowing them to speak their truth without feeling judged or pushed and letting them know that no matter how long it takes, you will still be there waiting for them when they do find their way out of that darkened tunnel. 

I am beyond grateful knowing that I have that someone in my life. He definitely deserves to be celebrated tomorrow and every day in between. 

#lovingsomeonewithdepression #birthdayweekend #familymatters #summerofrich #mentalhealth #mentalillness #depression #anxiety #suicideawareness #yourmentalhealthmatters #youareenough #youarenotalone #itsoktonotbeok #speakyourtruth

Author: Kim Fluxgold

Wife, mom of 3 beautiful children, dog lover, creative sole and children's book Author. Sharing my journey with depression and anxiety through blogging in hopes of educating and ending the stigma.


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