There are different kinds of depression and the kind that I have shows up every few months. I mostly have it handled thanks to nine months of CBT, but it’s never really going to be gone. Coping mechanisms are a bit like a comprehensive tool kit. I can pull out whichever gadget I need and use it to repair my squeaky mental and emotional furniture. It makes life a lot easier, especially for control freaks like me.
You would assume that love can fix depression. After all, those chemicals and pheromones and endorphins release feelings that are the exact opposite of depression, no? Well, yes … sometimes. But the chemistry of being in love doesn’t last very long, and the tamer cushion of companionate love isn’t nearly as exciting.
Another downside of companionate love … i.e. the chill, relaxed, comfortable affection between friends, siblings, room-mates, or even long-term couples … is that it often – subconsciously – works against depression. Your companion is around you all the time, and so you end up hiding the depression from them – or trying to – because you don’t want to be a burden to them.
And even if they’re willing to listen, you worry that they will get tired of dragging you out of the depths. And some of them eventually do. Until then though, it can be helpful to have someone sharing the path with you.
The thing about finding a safe partner is you don’t know you’ve found one until you find one. And even then, you don’t know how long they’ll stay. As long as they are in your life, they are a resource and they can enrich your experience and help you become a better you. If you are lucky enough to find someone like this, don’t shut them out. Depression is a demon you can’t really destroy on your own, and if there’s someone in your life that wants to help, the least you can do is let them 🙂