I must be completely honest.
When I took my vows nearly six years ago, my mind barely grappled with the idea of “…for worse”.
Well yes, of course I thought about the brevity of a situation that could leave Derrick, my husband, physically incapable of caring for himself, putting myself in the position of a care giver and all of the highs and low lows that that would come with, but oddly enough, my anxious mind never once thought about a severe mental ailment. At 25 years old, fresh out of the comfort of my parents care, with a new career and a new marriage, all was well all around us and there was no reason to even think about the possibility of either one of our mental health being on unsettle soil.
We’ve had our share of marital growing pains, of which continue (I believe you are always learning and getting to know your spouse as you evolve over time; at least for me, thinking this way helps me to be more forgiving in our union), but up until the birth of our second child, I was for sure that he and I could weather any storm; would there be scars, yes, but never have I been so scared to think that my “…for worse” would be the thing that might do us in.
Having a mental illness is tough for me, but feeling so isolated and alone, as depression will offen times make you feel inspite of how much support you get, sometimes I have been blinded to the effects this illness has on my family, namely my Derrick.
I’ve always admired my husband. He’s taught me so much about what it means to be confident.
Someone doesn’t like you? He would say who cares, I know who I am and who’s I am, so I can walk with my head held high, “cause nothing can stop me, I’m all the way up!”- those are lyrics from a song, but my husband often breaks into song or rap to prove a point at times, so it’s only right that I keep with the authenticity that is Derrick.
So, Derrick is uber strong to say the least. He rarely gets down about anything and he loves to laugh, as well as stay in a happy state no matter what. With that being said, I think it goes without saying that having to be around a living and breathing body of uncontrollable sadness, irritability, and everything else that comes with depression (don’t forget the inability to function, to care for my basics needs- Yes, he’s had to bathe me, sad to admit).
Derrick has been my rock, but even rocks start to weather during prolonged severe storms such as we have had, with me being in and out of the hospital three times, on top of caring for our now toddlers, enduring the loss of both of my grandparents in the past two years, and now my complete inability to work, as well having to unfortunately pause my time in my PhD program; It’s been rough on him.
Depression makes you selfish, you go into a survival mode of sorts, at its worse, to where thinking about how to feed yourself is a daunting task, making everyone else’s needs become nonexistent to you; not on purpose or to be mean or spiteful, you just don’t have much energy and that energy has to be conserved.
He’s understandably overwhelmed. In times past he would need to vent, to talk to me about how he has been feeling with everything, and I couldn’t handle it; I couldn’t handle hearing about how I have ruined everything and how him feeling bad was my fault, because I was depressed every day for almost three years now (depression makes you feel this way, but I think it’s fair to say that someone without depression would feel bad if your actions affected someone else negatively).
I’ve grown medically (thank God for therapy and medication) and mentally (no where near 80% of myself, but better) since those times of not being able to support my husband’s mental health, but scars are scars. I can’t reverse anything that has happened and it is no fault of my own for falling into the deepest depression after my first child was born, and never recovering, but it sucks.
Although, despite the pitfalls of being married in this situation, to where both of us now are gasping for happy air, me more than him, this trial in our union, has only brought us closer together; like a newborn baby to its mother, we have realized more than ever our dependency on each other, which can only be found in the deepest of love, devotion, and in God, most of all.
Ironically, it’s hard for me to now box in this trial in our life together as “…for worse”; the lines between “for better and for worse” are blurred, because there has been some good in all of this (we are still fighting together, and this sh** storm hasn’t done us in; till death do we part).
The bible says that there is a season for everything under the sun; I’m just grateful and happy to be on this life raft with him.
Thank you Derrick for being the epitome of a Man of God ❤️