To the Man Who Didn't Know I Would Have Depression and Anxiety

Dear Husband,

When we met nearly eight years ago, there were lots of things you didn’t know.

Groom looking at bride You didn’t know I was afraid of people touching my knees. You didn’t know when I laugh too much, I start to shiver. You didn’t know the same happens when I cry too much.

You didn’t know when I get annoyed, I growl. You didn’t know that my favorite “Fruit Pastille” is the purple one. You didn’t know I would choose to watch a Disney film over anything thought-provoking. You didn’t know I am ridiculously easily influenced by advertising. You didn’t know I am terrified of “Furbies.”

You didn’t know when we’d share a portion of chips, we’d fit perfectly, because I don’t like the crispy ones and you do. You didn’t know I would get a revolting kidney infection that would basically knock me out for a week and a half. You didn’t know after a while, we’d fall in love. You didn’t know we’d grow to adore each other. You didn’t know we’d marry.

You didn’t know on November 13, 2015 we would begin a journey together that would be the darkest we have ever taken.

You didn’t know I would get depressed. You didn’t know I would struggle with debilitating anxiety. You didn’t know I would stare at the walls, wondering why I even existed. You didn’t know I would refuse to leave the house for days or that you would have to coax me into the shortest of walks. You didn’t know I would lie awake all night and sleep all day. You didn’t know I would fall out of love – not with you, but with life. You didn’t know I would cry uncontrollably, so much so that I shivered. You didn’t know you’d have to comfort me from evils you couldn’t see and couldn’t understand. You didn’t know I would hate you for not understanding. You didn’t know I would battle my thoughts every day and that I would push you away.

Screen Shot 2016-12-02 at 10.07.50 AM

But when we got married in August, you did know. You knew it all. You knew where we had been and knew how far we still had to come. You knew everything and you stood beside me and promised to go through it all again.

It’s been a year today since we began our journey to hell and back. We’re not there yet. Sometimes, we take pit stops. Sometimes, we turn around. Sometimes, the only honest answer to “Are we there yet?” is “I don’t know.” But knowing I don’t have to face the road alone is the best comfort. And I know I don’t always show it, but I will do everything I can to show you how grateful I am. Life now is unrecognizable. So much has changed in the last year.

Thank you, husband, for not knowing, but still being. We’re not there yet, but we’ll get there. Thank you for holding my hand through it all. Thank you for walking through it with me.

Follow this journey on Upon My Desk.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

All photos courtesy of Peter Reynolds Photography.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Depression

woman standing against a brick wall

The Grief and Guilt a Person With Depression Feels During the Holidays

The holidays are approaching. Don’t let my picture fool you. I really am thinking: “Another holiday season of depression. Can I put my head in the sand like an ostrich? Le sigh.” Two of the most disheartening aspects about my mental illnesses are grief and guilt. I’m unsure if they go hand in hand, but they are definitely [...]
two faces of the same woman

When You're Afraid of the 'New' Version of Yourself in Mental Illness Recovery

Change is scary. Change is, in fact, downright terrifying. Wouldn’t you agree? I’ve been managing my depression and anxiety successfully for about two years now, and I’m so much different than I was before. I want to get really honest here about something. This new version of me sometimes frightens me — this version who [...]
Scott Ludlam

Why Scott Ludlam's Leave Is Important for the Mental Health Community

Scott Ludlam, an Australian senator, has become a mental health warrior by taking time out to treat his depression and anxiety. He joins the ranks of many people before him who have also challenged stigma and discrimination. Is there a responsibility for those with mental illness to share with others? I know I feared I’d [...]
Row of Legs Wearing Different Pants

What I Found When I Walked Into a Men’s Support Group

The evening before I went to my intake meeting at a partial hospitalization program, I walked into a support group for men with depression and anxiety. I knew before I entered a program to deal with my major depressive disorder, I wanted to build a support network for the future. I had continued to spiral [...]