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Join the online community Community rules Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak

Topic: Isolated FIFO partner is very depressed

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. Sheraz50
    Sheraz50 avatar
    3 posts
    4 January 2022

    Hi, my partner is FIFO in another state.
    We met at beginning of covid crisis, then he had to work away for 3 months. He cries a lot and gets drunk every night. He says he’s a high functioning alcoholic but wants to change.
    He had proposed to me and we were considering eloping end of last year. But in September his best mate died from drug overdose. He’s been very lost and lonely since then, but he promised he would NEVER do anything like that.
    He’s away atm on 6 month contract. I was with him for some time but had to come home for my elderly mum. Sadly borders closed and I couldn’t fly back to him. He was alone for a week over Christmas. His 2 teenagers couldn’t fly over there to be with him either.
    Then he got very sick the day before he was due back at work. He had to have another 5 days off. All alone. In meantime, I’m home with family.
    I tried to include him for NYE, but he just got mad at me. I wanted to break up with him. I gave him a day of space then I text to ask he was Ok. He told me he’s really depressed and been bawling every day. He’s always very soft and emotional. And I’m sure he has abandonment issues. Unfortunately, I am still unable to fly back to him and he can’t come home til Feb because of his contract. His communication is only a fraction of what we used to. I was convinced he wants me to break up with me but avoiding the confrontation. Maybe he’s chatting to other female friends and hoping I will just go away. Then I wondered if he feels inadequate / shame for being so depressed. He’s ordinarily the life of the party.
    After speaking to a counsellor and reading a few threads on this site, I’m starting to understand the impact of depression on men. The pain. How they withdraw, hide. And I realise depression sucks life right out of a person, making Texting & chatting very hard work.
    I asked him to let me help. That’s what he would say to me. I suggested he see a counsellor. I told him he’s not the only one hurting. I struggle with him being FIFO when he’s on normal roster, but being away for months is excruciating.
    As much as it’s very painful and confusing, I am giving him space. Today we sent few short texts to each other, He said he felt good in the morning but then started to go downhill. My last message was just 3 hearts.
    Is there anything else I can do to help him? I understand I can’t control him or fix him. And I know I need to take care of myself first and foremost.

  2. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    16441 posts
    4 January 2022 in reply to Sheraz50

    Hello Sheraz, it's terrific you have joined the site and feel sorry for what's happening because there are people who work in FIFO who also are having problems, although the finances may be good, it can be very awkward when a situation can't be resolved when you are so far apart.

    I am very sorry his friend passed away and with being away from you makes it difficult to get the comfort and soothing he's looking for, and may increase his alcohol intake as a result as he's a high functioning alcoholic and certainly increase how he is feeling.

    I don't think he wants to break up with you, that could just be a reaction from how he is feeling and feeling OK in the morning is not unusual, although I'm not a doctor,but know from myself, it's only as the day progresses your mood changes, because you start to think of what's actually happening.

    FIFO isn't a convenient occupation, yes the money is good, but personally, it makes the person left behind to carry the majority of the weight which the person away doesn't comprehend, especially if you have children.

    You do need to look after yourself, that's very important and believing he is in contact with other women is what this illness is creating and besides, he may still have similar problems as now but talk about this with a counsellor.

    Is there any chance he has had a thought about his drinking, just asking.

    Take care.

    Geoff.

  3. Sheraz50
    Sheraz50 avatar
    3 posts
    4 January 2022 in reply to geoff

    Thank you for your response.
    FIFO money is amazing, but it definitely comes at a great cost. He works in WA. He’s been applying for jobs here in Qld but gets stuck on the massive pay drop. I am not interested in the big money at all. I’d rather stability and peace of mind.
    We came back to Qld for his mate’s farewell. He blamed himself for his death.
    Yes, he wants to reduce his drinking big time! He talks about it a lot. His mother was an alcoholic and his group of friends are mostly as well. He used to smoke drugs A LOT but doesn’t anymore because of work.
    He rang an alcohol /drug helpline last year, they said they’d call him back. They did weeks later, but he was driving.
    He hadn’t called them back though he was happy for me to give him some advice from my brother (who is a counsellor). Trying to take a shortcut lol.
    He is an ahhhhhhmazing man, but I am learning more and more that he is co-dependant, absolutely hates confrontation and has no boundaries.
    If I push him he gets very defensive. His emotions override my feelings, so I’m learning to sail a little bit this way, then a little bit that way.
    When we’ve had to quarantine individually, he absolutely struggled. Whereas I loved it! We’ve done it together twice, totally different for him.
    He just told me he‘s still at hotel. No flights back to camp today, has to wait til tmrw. That’ll be 2 weeks mostly by himself.
    I say Hi and ask what’s he’s doing. He said he eats, sleeps, repeats. He said he hasn’t been drinking every night, says he feels like he’s half detoxing and wants to continue.
    I’m feeling really inadequate. I told him I’ve been reading info on here to understand more about depression.
    I just sent him Beyond Blue contact info.
    Trying to throw him a lifeline, even it’s it’s just a thread.
    Since we’ve been together, I’ve challenged him for his own good.
    However, I don’t want to be obsessed ‘worrying’ about what he’s doing, when he’s going to respond, who he might be chatting to. I’m trying to discipline myself to do what makes me happy, and stay busy doing it.

  4. Petal22
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Petal22 avatar
    2124 posts
    4 January 2022 in reply to Sheraz50

    Hi Sheraz50,

    Wellcome to our forums!

    Im really sorry that your partner is going through this, I understand FIFO is very isolating.

    I understand that your partner is on site……… does he have any work mates on site?
    Is there a gym on site? Or a swimming pool?

    Some sites have these facilities.

    Let him know your there and want to support him…… maybe encourage him to go to the gym with a workmate ( if there is one) instead of going to the wet mess.

    Im sorry to hear of your partner’s best friend…

    Do you know if the company he works for has counselling available on site? Maybe this is a question you can ask……

    Some times people who seem to be the life of the party are sometimes the ones who are trying to mask what they really feel inside…..

    Encourage him to seek professional help……. That’s great you gave him Beyond Blues phone number….. encourage him to talk about the way he is feeling even if it’s with a close work mate or your self…… let him know there is help available and he will see better days…..he doesn’t have to go through this alone.

    Maybe he could try applying for jobs with a roster more suited that allows him to fly home on a regular bases….. some sites do 1 week on 1 week off or even 2 weeks on 1 week home.

    The days on site are very long and tiring……. And usually hot…… they really work for their money…. But money isn’t everything maybe he needs to weight up what he’s losing aswell by doing such long stints…..

    I hope things improve…..

    You sound like a very caring partner

  5. Sheraz50
    Sheraz50 avatar
    3 posts
    4 January 2022 in reply to Petal22

    Thank you so much!

    I appreciate your great advice. He’s not on site atm. Still stuck at hotel by himself. He was sick then had to wait til after weekend for flights, which didn’t happen. Hopefully flying back to camp tmrw.

    He said he’s keen to try bag work at gym instead of drinking so much. He was very sporty / athletic.

    I’ll follow up re on-site counselling. I’m not one for sweeping things under carpet, but obvs I need to go gently atm.

    He had started doing few small things like mediation and essential oils. Baby steps are still steps.

    He has been a little more communicative today. I’m feeling bit relieved and more positive.

    When he’s tired or on nightshift I don’t expect much from him. Tbh I couldn’t do FIFO at remote location, especially being away from kids. I often tell him that and he is thankful for my understanding. He has teenagers, mine are adults. I’m happy to escape mine now.

    1 person found this helpful

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