dating with depression

2022 was a rollercoaster ride. my partner and I learned hit a new milestone as partners and as parents when we added our third — and final — child to our family. finding time for ourselves and one another was difficult with two kids, and now our entire dynamic has shifted. from the time we found out I was pregnant, my SO jumped into dad mode and supported me wholly through it all. he picked up the slack for me when I was too tired to get out of bed, he worked two jobs so I could be as stress free as possible while carrying our child, and — above all else — he never lost his attraction or desire for me. none of it mattered though; I know that sounds cruel to say but that’s what depression does, it made me blind to all his efforts and kept me in a state of low self esteem. I was so disgusted with myself that it was unfathomable to me that he still wanted me intimately. I cringed at his hugs, denied his kisses, and gave impartial smirks when he told me how much he loved me, how beautiful I was, and how much that beauty was enhanced because of the miracle work my body was doing.

depression really is a bitch, because my heart knew that this was a man who would do any and everything to see me happy, but it was impossible to kick the feelings of self doubt and allow myself to be loved the way he wanted to love me. if you’ve read my previous dating with depression posts, than I know you’ve seen me say that I got lucky when he came into my life. he is a man who goes above and beyond for the people he loves, and does not give up on them easily. so naturally, he stood by me every step of the way, continuing to show me affection and adoration despite me rarely reciprocating. as my hair got shorter and my belly grew bigger, he loved me just the same. he held my hand during a life saving procedure and stood beside me when our little one decided to come early and I had to be cut open in order to bring him into this world.

things really hit a head when postpartum kicked in; our baby was in the NICU and our car was in the shop. I longed for my baby boy, to have him home and in my arms, but he was confined to his isolette in order to grow stronger. I hid under the covers and cried at the possibility of his health declining, and experienced spikes of anxiety every time the phone rang and it was the doctors on the other line. my SO held me through the tears and reassured me our son would be okay. the worst of it was when I couldn’t produce any milk no matter how many times a day I pumped, there was this one thing I should have been able to do for my child and I couldn’t even do that. my SO saw me discouraged and offered to give me back rubs and massages to relax me while I pumped, he never stopped being my rock.

it took a few weeks after our son’s birth for me to feel the weight of my depression start to lessen, and I owe a lot of that to my partner. depression is a relentless monster and to add post-partum into the mix makes it that much harder to overcome, but it is never impossible. seeing his strength and perserverance each day made me stronger little by little. he reminded me of the things that made our life amazing, and gave me renewed hope for all the wonderful things that would come to our family. dating with depression will always have it challenges, but with love as strong as ours, it can always be overcome.

for those of you struggling to see the light through the darkness that depression tends to swallow us in, remember that nothing lasts forever. even in the moments when all seems lost, you will find a way out and come out stronger than before. it’s okay to linger in the darkness, just don’t let it consume you. & if you feel like there is no one who understands, I will be that person for you — shoot me an email if you ever feel like you need someone.

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