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Forums / Relationship and family issues / How do I help my partner and myself?

Topic: How do I help my partner and myself?

  1. CattleMan88
    CattleMan88 avatar
    22 posts
    24 May 2016
    My partner has decided to leave me due to her battle with depression. I still cant believe that it has come to this, as we have had a plutonic relationship. She has said that she cannot put love into me if she can't do it to herself. I understand that you need to love yourself before loving another, but even though I've said ill be here for her and do whatever I have to do for her, she still believes that this is the right answer.Honestly, I feel like a part of me has been ripped out and yes, I would do anything for her so she can get the help in which she needs however at the same time i want her to be here with me. Is this selfish?One day she loves me and the next she decides this is the best decision for her so she can seek help.She has made plans to see her doctor and I'm glad she told me this. The decision wasn't made overnight, but she never mentioned anything about it to me over the past few weeks. Yes, i noticed her change and she had previously said to me thats the needed her space. I went from seeing her everyday and enjoying the things that we both love and brought us together, to seeing her once a week and now none.I honestly don't know what to do. She means the world to me and it hurts so much not only for me with how I'm feeling right now, but to see her suffer like this and for it to make her push me away.Do I seek help? My whole world changed for the good because of her, and for that I'm grateful. But now I sit at home alone and wish she was there to walk up behind me and give me that kiss and say she loves me.We had big plans for the future, as a couple and dreams like all of us have. I just feel helpless.I've never felt this way about anyone in my life, and like a flash she’s gone.Yeah I want her to get the help she needs and for her to feel like a normal person again. Yes one day i’d love to hear the doorbell ring and she’s standing at the door, i would greet her with open arms.I don’t care how long have to wait, i will be waiting for her and i hope she knows that.
  2. blondguy
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    25 May 2016 in reply to CattleMan88

    Hello CM

    Im sorry for what has happened to you. I have been left by someone too even though it was 2 years ago I remember the pain you have described.Its heart wrenching.

    If I may ask you....How long has your partner had depression for? Also was she on anti depressants? This will help me understand her frame of mind.

    You said: "She has made plans to see her doctor and I'm glad she told me this" This is a massive step towards recovery as some people wont see their doc and try to 'fight' or 'battle' their way through it which is noble but non productive if one wishes to heal.

    It is not selfish for you to feel this way CM as you love her..your thinking is fine. I know you mentioned the relationship was a platonic one. Just asking if either of you wanted to take your relationship to the next stage where a strong commitment was concerned?

    I have had depression for many years and understand where you are coming from. Have you offered to be with her (even later) at her doctors visits as a support person'?

    I have had a girl also tell me that because she cant love herself she cant love me and left too. I just have trouble with this explanation as when anyone has depression they really appreciate a support person.

    If you need a greater understanding of her depression scroll down below and click on the header 'Supporting someone' It will give you a greater understanding of what she is going through.

    I do hope you can find a way. You are more than welcome to post as many times as you like.

    Kind Thoughts

    Paul

  3. geoff
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    25 May 2016 in reply to CattleMan88
    hi CM, again I'm sorry that this has happened as I know it would be devastating, although I was on the other side being depressed myself but my wife left me, so in a reverse situation.
    You can't call yourself 'selfish' because you want her to be with you so that you can help her, but when someone is depressed all they want to do is be by themselves, but with me, I wanted my wife to be there but leave me alone, but I didn't want her to actually leave our house and move into a flat.
    It is very hard for someone who is depressed to talk about what they are thinking or planning what they want to do, or going to do, because they don't their partner/spouse to start questioning that they could do something else which would be better and go against their own thoughts although this may not happen, it's very difficult for them to talk about it, and that's not your fault so please don't believe that it is.
    You to have to realise that just because she has left doesn't mean that she won't come back to you, it's just that she is going through the terrible stages of getting help, understanding what and how she is feeling and certainly why should she feel this way, it's very confusing being there for her at the moment.
    It is very possible for her to come back to you at different stages of her treatment, and as much as this will please you, she maybe very delicate which I know you will realise, and if this does happen just try and let her to start the conversation rather than asking her question after question, although I know you will want to see what has been going on, but your love and support will always do wonders for her.
    I hope that you will keep talking to us. Geoff.
  4. CattleMan88
    CattleMan88 avatar
    22 posts
    25 May 2016 in reply to blondguy

    Blondguy,

    She has been suffering for a while. She is diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes which lead into the depression and other things life deaths have contributed. She was on anti-depressants and had been on them for majority of our relationship. She once said to me 'You don't know me not being on meds, it will be hard'. Yet then at that time I accepted to be there for her and learn all about this condition and do what i have to do for her behalf.

    Id love to be there for her at her appointment, but thats unlikely as she is pretty private with all of this.

    There was no strain in this relationship to worsen her condition, it was simply put - 'I feel so bad that I've had to hurt someone in order to help myself. That itself is extremely hard. I cannot explain what goes on in my head, all I know is I need some time and space to focus on myself and not have anything else weighing in the back of my head.'

    She believes that this is the road she must go down, but for me, I would want my partner there.

    Thankyou for your reply.

  5. CattleMan88
    CattleMan88 avatar
    22 posts
    25 May 2016 in reply to geoff

    Geoff,

    Thats pretty much the whole thing summed up. Ive never had to experience this before, so its all new to me. Im doing the best I can, but what little I have left I would give to her so she could be better.

    This is a relapse. I failed to mention that but it is. She thought it was time to get off her meds because she didn't feel normal, and more zombie like. So the doctor agreed that it had been sometime but a month or so after the fact, things started declining. I had mentioned that maybe its wise to start them back up again, however she said that I'm not going back on them and i will deal with it in the ways i have to.

    Unfortunately for me, i was the one that had to be cut off. Not anything else she does, me. I do get that she needs to be right with herself before being able to love for me too. Its just hard and there has been no contact. Iodinate want to push her away any further then she is now.

    Thankyou for your reply.

  6. blondguy
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    25 May 2016 in reply to CattleMan88

    Hi CM

    I do feel the same way you do....'if you were a sufferer you would want your partner there'

    I wish I had someone here for me as a sufferer of this mongrel illness.

    Geoff said: "just because she has left doesn't mean that she won't come back to you,
    it's just that she is going through the terrible stages of getting help"

    Geoff is spot on here CM ..I just read his post.

    you are very welcome to post back as many times as you wish CM

    Paul

  7. CattleMan88
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    22 posts
    25 May 2016 in reply to blondguy

    Blondguy,

    Yeah your right, i'd love nothing more than to be there with her to help in whatever way I could!

    What Geoff said is true, but the hard yards are just beginning and I hope I can get through them.

    I will be posting everytime I need to.

    Thanks.

  8. pipsy
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    2255 posts
    25 May 2016 in reply to CattleMan88

    Hi CM. All I can do is reiterate everyone else's replies here. Perhaps once your gf has dealt with her demons she may feel stronger. I get the impression she may feel guilty because she can't give you what she feels you deserve. Not because of anything you portrayed, but because of her inability to let go of whatever demons are there within her. Actually she is to be congratulated for being upfront enough to tell you how she feels about the way she thinks she's treated you. Note I said, the way she THINKS she's treated you. She's obviously terribly confused about herself, you, everything in her life at the moment. I would let her know you're there if and when she wants to resume the relationship (I feel she will resume). Also let her know anytime she wants to talk about her progress, you're there. I think she just doesn't want to hurt you anymore than she thinks she has. Do you know who her Dr is. If you do, perhaps a letter to him letting him know you're there for her, might help him, help her. I get where you're coming from, how confused and hurt you are. This is about her. Her battles, her uncertainty, her feelings of not being able to love herself. She needs to understand love too. Love is lots to understand, it means different things to different people. It's the hardest four letter word every written. Harder than work.

    Lynda.

  9. CattleMan88
    CattleMan88 avatar
    22 posts
    25 May 2016 in reply to pipsy

    Hi Lynda,

    You are right in saying that she thinks she can't give me what I deserve. She has said that her emotions for everything have gone and she hated that I had to feel unloved all the time, so to speak. She does think that letting me go will ease up the pressure on her, knowing that she can concentrate on herself 100%. I stand by this.

    I want her to get the help she needs and want her to be in a good place, not having to end a relationship because she feels that its the only way.

    Im hoping that this relationship will resume once she can figure her head out. We always said that we were a team and right now thats not so much.

    Thankyou for your words.

  10. blondguy
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    25 May 2016 in reply to CattleMan88

    Hey CM,

    I just read a few words off Lynda's post that really made solid sense..

    Lynda Said: "Do you know who her Dr is. If you do, perhaps a letter to him letting him know you're there for her, might help him, help her"

    I still have 'realistic' hope for both of you CM...

    Paul

  11. CattleMan88
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    22 posts
    25 May 2016 in reply to blondguy

    Hi Paul,

    Yes that is a fairly good idea, I have said to her when she said that she was going that i would come, sit out the front or in the car, whatever. I think I may contact her mother, which i get along well with, arrange a coffee and have a chat to let her know I'm still here and still wanting to check in with everything.

    I have the 'realistic' hope as well, its just at the end of a very long and dark tunnel. Ill be at the end if she chooses.

    Thankyou.

  12. blondguy
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    25 May 2016 in reply to CattleMan88

    Thanks CM

    I actually am caring for an ex girlfriend that lives in central vic by phone...she has been developing some serious depression over the last 2 years....she is also pushing me away....It does hurt....big time...I am in southern vic and its difficult to help her

    Thanks for listening CM

    Paul

  13. CattleMan88
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    22 posts
    25 May 2016 in reply to CattleMan88

    Spoke to my best matetonight. He raised some valid points, like she is doing what she believes is right for her and whats right to save this relationship. Save it now while she can and keep it safe while she deals with her mind. She doesn’t want to drag me and the relationship down whilst she is in this state of mind.I understand that, i also said to her that i would support and respect her decision.I suppose its hard for me as this was sprung onto me. I knew she wasn’t well, yes it showed. I did everything she asked and everything i thought was best. I just never thought it would have come to this.
    Over the last few weeks, I did notice her change towards a lot of things. Her emotions and feelings towards me had dwindled, but not intentionally i believe.It was hard for me, as there was times i wanted to feel her emotions and she did say that the emotions had gone away. I felt as though i needed to step up and help the situation, but not to make it worse.We never argued about anything, always supported each others decisions and pushed each other for the things we most desired. Whether that be me looking for a car or getting into the team sorting, or for me wanting to taker her away on a nice vacation she always wanted or attending all her horse events. For those that i could attend i would offer my support and love. She new this, she would thank me and tell me she loves me and all of that. So to go from that too not receiving much love, is hard. I can see the love in her eyes, but at the same time she is fighting with herself.
    I was selfless today as well, I keep thinking if I'm feeling this way, how is she feeling? I can't bare to think how and what is going through her mind. Knowing that I'm not there to help, thats painful.

  14. blondguy
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    25 May 2016 in reply to CattleMan88

    You have a great best mate CM...he is a legend...

    "I can't bare to think how and what is going through her mind. Knowing that I'm not there to help, thats painful"

    I feel your pain CattleMan88...

    Paul

  15. geoff
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    26 May 2016 in reply to CattleMan88
    hi CM, it's tough I know, but don't be upset if you feel as though her emotions have dwindled away, and on the surface this could be so, but really deep down the love may still be there, it's just that she can't find a way to show it, but that's what depression does to us.
    There will always be thoughts from you about how she is going, that's only natural, and it's impossible to stop although you can distract yourself, but then you start thinking of her once again.
    Obviously there is great love between the both of you, but unfortunately this has just taken a break at the moment as she is suffering, but being with her is what you would love to do, but it may not be the best situation right now, and this hurts you so much.
    You don't know how long this is going to go on, nor does she, and the longer it does means that you want to step in and help her but just be there for your support and when you do see her say that you are there for her and that your love still remains.
    Keep in contact with your mother in law and perhaps say to her that if your partner wants to 'attend any of her horse events' that you will be there for her, it may or it may not happen. Geoff.
  16. CattleMan88
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    22 posts
    26 May 2016 in reply to geoff

    I was told that she has to leave because she can't love me when she can't love or be happy with herself.
    This was very hard for to take in, as I'm still dealing with it now.

    Today I made contact and with the help of a close friend, small talk was the key. No questions, just a simple - Hope all is well.
    I did receive a reply and it was simple, not what I wanted to hear because I do have alot of questions, but now is not the time.
    Ive decided to write down what I want to say to her and go over it a few times and when the time comes, I will send it her way. She may not like it, but more my sake, it's a peace of mind letter. Im able to write down how I'm feeling, the way in which I was affected and my side of the matter.

    At the end of the day I understand she needs help and she has started that process. If by being distant and being just a mate is what's needed then so be it. As much as I want to know what her feelings are toward me and wanting to know if we will ever be together again, I have to respect that she needs time.

    Im doing the best I can, talking to close friends and telling them exactly how I feel. Im not one to open up about this sort of stuff, but the weight got too heavy on my shoulders. Yeah I've cried, yelled and gotten angry. As I keep being reminded, it's not my fault. It's not her fault, it's just a disgusting condition that needs to be healed.

  17. geoff
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    27 May 2016 in reply to CattleMan88
    hi CM, I can feel your pain, it's so very clear and it's hurting you so much, and I wish I could give you the reason why this has happened, but depression is so complicated, has so many awkward issues, problems which those who have a loved one who has fallen to this illness are left with complications in that their questions can not be answered either now or in the future, but as you really love her then that will always remain.
    I wish that perhaps I or those who have replied to you could be there with you to help you struggle through this devastation, but we can be by using this site.
    Your own worries are still going to be there, and I would love to keep hearing from you, now or when ever. Geoff.
  18. CattleMan88
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    27 May 2016 in reply to geoff

    Thankyou Geoff,

    This site is helping me, by obviously talking about it. It is very hard seeing her go on to do the things I once helped her with and for me not to be there to enjoy them with her does hurt.

    I do want what's best for her, but at the moment I feel did she even feel the way I felt about her? Did we actually share the same emotions or was it her depression covering up her opinion or thoughts. She once said to me - 'You've only known me on medication, you don't know what I'm like when I'm not on them'. This I still think about right now and it's not a good feeling. I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle and I don't want to be feeling like this.

  19. pipsy
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    2255 posts
    27 May 2016 in reply to CattleMan88

    Hi Cattleman. The fact that your gf has told you she's 'one' person when she's medicated, she's maybe someone who is not so nice when she isn't taking her medication as prescribed also gives me the impression she's saying, let me get to know who I really am so I can be with you as 'me'. It's almost a dual personality problem. Perhaps when she's at home alone, she questions whether she's been totally honest with herself and you. If she's not happy with who she is, she needs to get in touch with the real person. It could be medication, coupled with inner questions re: who she thinks she is, giving her these doubts. I would consider sending her a letter, telling her you're there when she's ready. Don't pressure her by telling her you love her or miss her. Perhaps, by all means have a talk with her mum, let mum know if she wants to talk, you're there for her too. For now, just be content to be a friend.

    Lynda.

  20. blondguy
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    27 May 2016 in reply to CattleMan88

    Hey CM

    I just read something you said "Today I made contact and with the help of a close friend, small talk was
    the key. No questions, just a simple - Hope all is well."

    You have really well with 'small talk' being the key. Very cool and very non desperate too.

    It is a mongrel of a condition CM. I will probably be on AD's for ever. I hope she can see you as the pillar of strength that you are.

    Paul

  21. CattleMan88
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    22 posts
    27 May 2016 in reply to pipsy

    Lynda, I believe thats exactly whats going on. She's right, I didn't know her like I do now before she first was diagnosed with her depression so to see the change when she got off her medication was a shock and hard for me. I'm not applying anymore pressure than I have to. Like what Paul said, the small talk I had with her yesterday, I had to refrain from asking questions which would of resulted in her being angry because I haven't respected her decision.

    Today I decided to write a letter, which I won't be sending straight away, that entails my thoughts and how I feel I need some clarity. I've written in how I feel so proud that she's seeking the help she needs and is taking it head-on. The next week or so I'm going to send, yes I may not receive an answer to a number of things, but the letter does explain my FULL support for her in this battle.

    Adapting to my life at the moment without her is extremely hard and I'm hoping this letter can ease some pain that I have inside.

  22. blondguy
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    27 May 2016 in reply to CattleMan88

    Hey CM

    Sorry about my typo above....I am glad you understood where I was coming from.

    You wrote: "I may not receive an answer to a number of things, but the letter does explain my FULL support for her in this battle"

    I think you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving her your heartfelt letter. I am a romantic at heart and I would do the same. Seriously. Lynda may have more wisdom than I do but considering your feelings I think there is no harm to send your letter.

    As a sufferer of this mongrel illness......please scroll down the page and have a look at the Header 'Supporting Someone'....Please click on it and have look before sending your letter...thats all.

    I'm alone here as you are CM...I still feel the same pain you are going through.....

    Paul

  23. pipsy
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    2255 posts
    28 May 2016 in reply to CattleMan88

    Hi CattleMan. I totally appreciate where you're coming from in regards to wanting clarification. However, your gf also needs self clarification, which is why she's asked you to 'give her space'. By all means send her a letter letting her know you're there if and when she wants you. I would refrain, at this point, asking for anything in regards to anything. It's great that you acknowledge you may not get a reply, that shows great will-power. If you do manage to talk to her mum, see if you can ask her to keep that part of gf's recovery between you two. If gf discovers you're talking to mum, she may feel violated. She needs to know you're respecting her feelings on this. Paul's suggestion re: Supporting Someone is fantastic. We all need support in some way. Once we know how, when to be there, when to back off, it makes it easier on everyone. Plus we're here for both of you to help, support, guide. If you just need to 'vent', 'unload', don't hesitate.

    Best wishes.

    Lynda.

  24. geoff
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    28 May 2016 in reply to CattleMan88
    hi CM, remember when you wrote an essay back in school at exam time, and you come out saying 'oh I forgot to say that', so when you want to write to your partner it's going to continually change, you'll add things and then you'll cross out words and sentences always thinking should I say that and is it appropriate, well it's exactly how you feel, what you are frightened of, and what could be a perfect relationship, so this is where you have to consider the both of you in all aspects.
    By not knowing her without any medication actually doesn't matter, so can I give you an example probably just as what Paul has said or would say, if you need to take medication for diabetes before or after you meet, does it matter, no because I would want that person to be taking the right medication for what they are suffering from.
    Whether you want to give her the note is up to how you feel, so what would you tell a mate to do if he was in the same situation. Geoff.
  25. CattleMan88
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    28 May 2016 in reply to geoff

    Im not doing good today. I don't understand if she felt the way she did about me, why doesn't she see that this is affecting me. I can't stop shaking, I'm not eating right, I can hardly sleep. Im in a world of pain, I thought that I would receive some sort of word from her, asking how I'm doing. Why doesn't she see that this was sprung on me and I would have questions? Why didn't she tell me that this relationship was too much for her? She would still tell me she loved me. If she didn't want to be with me then why not say something? We never had any problems with our relationship. I don't understand and its killing me. I feel alone in a place I don't know what to do or where to go. I need help. I feel like I'm losing my mind.

    I needed to write something.

  26. Lightbeam
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    33 posts
    28 May 2016 in reply to CattleMan88

    Hi Cattleman

    There are always so many unanswered questions aren't there? I feel your pain & frustration as I too have been in a similar situation to you.

    Loving someone with a mental illness is not easy & can be very difficult to understand. Best thing to do is vent here, write your feelings down or talk to family/friends. Overwhelming your girlfriend right now with so many questions will only compound the problem. It is a delicate balance of knowing when to give space & when to offer support. Make sure that you have the support you need too, we cannot pour from an empty cup.

    Learn about mental illness,understanding will help you to differentiate the behaviour from the person & try not to take it personally. It has helped me a great deal along my rocky path. I know how much it hurts right now for you, please feel that you are not alone with this, many of us here are travelling along with you. Support is here!

    My kindest thoughts xx

  27. CattleMan88
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    28 May 2016 in reply to Lightbeam

    I don't want to bombard her with my questions. I feel for me I need some sort of clarity or closure. Ive been talking to many people, at night is my hardest. Im by myself and I just wish I wasn't. I wish she knew that this could have had bad affects not only on her, but me. I feel like I'm here to pick up the pieces when I'm finding it hard to do anything. Im having worrying dreams, I feel like being sick and theres nothing I can do.

    Im trying to respect her wish for time and space, but what if in that time i fall into the same circle? I see her enjoying her weekend and I'm here with no motivation, no energy to do anything.

  28. pipsy
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    29 May 2016 in reply to CattleMan88

    Hi CattleMan. I hear and feel the pain you're in. Part of you probably feels like grabbing her, begging her to come home, make up. You say you want clarity, closure, unfortunately, till she is able to face and fight those inner demons she can't give you what you want. This is part of what she tried to explain to you. The commitment you want, is something she is unable to give. It's actually better that she's not lying to you anymore. The way she was, with you, meant that, to her, she was lying. She tried to tell you she didn't want to lie to you anymore. That's her clarity, the honesty. I realize you don't want to hear that. If she returns to you feeling the same as she did when she left, she will be lying to both of you. If she returns and she can commit, that means she's not only faced her demons, she's sent them packing and she's strong enough to fully commit. She may on the outside make it look as though she's enjoying life, everyone who walks away from a relationship, either 'caves' in, or tries to get on with their life. It could be she's decided rather than completely cave in, she's going to see if she wants to commit. When you say you see her enjoying her weekend, what is she doing to make you believe that?

    Lynda

  29. geoff
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    29 May 2016 in reply to CattleMan88
    hi CM, I wouldn't think that she is enjoying the w/end, this doesn't happen when you are depressed and unfortunately a depressed person isn't particularly concerned about the effect it has on the person they loved when in this relationship, this doesn't mean that she doesn't love you, it just makes the situation for both of you to be difficult, at for you who has been cut off.
    I agree with Lightbeam, it's a good idea for you to understand what depression is all about, I know that you can definitely feel what it's like to be on the receiving end, however if you can get the booklet from BB by going to 'Get Support' and scroll down to 'information resourses', this is free but it will help you try and understand what she is going through as well as what you are struggling with.
    All the things that you both enjoyed won't be happening, especially by her and now for you, but I'm worried about as well as I believe that you should go and see your doctor for a diagnosis, and I say this because it's affecting you to a great amount of anxiety, and this anxiety will only breed to a greater extent, such as not eating nor sleeping.
    Can I just say that at the moment she doesn't know or unsure of where she is and won't know why this has suddenly come upon her, and remember it's not your fault why she feels like this, and not to take it personally, because sometimes depression just knocks on our door for no valid reason at all.
    You are going to have days which will change so much, one day you could cope, but then the next day you will be a mess, and although you won't feel like doing anything, then try and go for a walk, it's going to be hard, but I know exactly how you feel, just as those who have replied as well. Geoff.
  30. CattleMan88
    CattleMan88 avatar
    22 posts
    29 May 2016 in reply to geoff

    Lynda and Geoff, you both make valid responses. You are both right, I have to allow her to do what she believes is right and face her demons, she probably doesn't see the affect its having on me. I don't want to anticipate her depression, I want to support her. She's away at a horse show, this is an escape for her so that why I'm thinking she looks like she's having fun. But when she goes home, this may not be the case. I wish she could of confided in me to tell me that this relationship was hard for her, while she's dealing with this and not spring it on me one day saying she's leaving.

    This is the hardest part, never having answers, not being there with her, not knowing if she is unsure of herself in the relationship or if I have caused any of this. Yesterday was the worst day I've had, I spent all night talking to people, help line etc. I am not coping with this at all and I can see this. Im trying my best to deal with it, but nights I break down and want everything to go away.

    I doubt what isn't helping is I'm also currently taking medication for my smoking, benefit of her of course. Could this be a bad time to be taking this medication? Im not sure.

    Im lost, I haven't had much sleep all week, I've had 2 days off work, I can't eat. I argue with myself, my dreams are all the same. Im just feel so lonely here.

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