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To My Husband, From Your Wife With Depression

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My sweet husband,

When we met so long ago, I didn’t know depression and anxiety would be part of our relationship. I didn’t know I was depressed and anxious because I was too busy trying to survive my childhood. By the time we met, just before my 18th birthday, I had mastered the ability to tuck different parts of myself into little compartments that didn’t touch each other. You didn’t see the evidence of my trauma because I controlled what you saw for as long as I could. Had I emptied all that I hid away into a giant heap for you to see, would you have still asked me out?

I shared the broken pieces of myself with you a little at a time. I didn’t really talk a lot about my home life before you came along. I was following the unspoken rules: don’t talk, don’t trust, don’t feel. When you got too close to me, I tried to push you away. You wouldn’t budge. You saw the real me and loved all the little pieces. You believed in our future together and fought for us. I will be forever grateful to you. You saved me, my love.

I’m sure it must bother you every time I tell you it’s not too late to leave and find a “normal” girl — one who isn’t a moody handful who requires a lot of attention and maintenance. It must be exhausting always having to pick me up, hold me up, lift me up and cheer me up when I fall down, feel down, tear myself down and try to bring you down. Your strength and patience are inspiring. You are steadfast and resolute in the way you love me and our life together.

You are completely honest with me and tell me the truth when I believe the lies depression and anxiety tell me. You don’t let me get away with giving you the silent treatment; you call me out when my negativity reaches critical mass. You hold up a mirror when I’m unreasonable, petty and unkind. What you do the best is hold me when I spin out of control, kiss me to let me know everything will be alright and stand by me for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. You love and cherish me always.

There are many days I don’t love myself and question my purpose in this world. There are days I’m full of doubt, fear and darkness. But this is what I absolutely know — what doubt, fear and darkness could never touch — every part of me loves every part of you. You’ve filled in all my broken pieces with gold and made them beautiful. I never question how deeply and madly we love each other. I wish everyone could feel this loved and complete. Just writing these words makes me feel guilty for having so much, but it’s a guilt for which I’m so thankful.

I love you, my dear, sweet husband — always and forever.

Getty image by OJO_Images

Originally published: February 19, 2020
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