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Which Is Witch?

As a caregiver or a spouse or a partner – anyone – who has to live with a depressed person, do you ever feel like you have a huge trunk inside you and as you approach your loved one you go into the trunk and don the appropriate persona to meet them? It might be a cheerleader, or a clown, or a doctor or a friend or a pharmacist or a car salesman – the right outfit with which to interact with the depressed one.

Some days I feel like a cheerleader who urges my husband to try something that he has been toying with for some time.  Others I am the friend he needs to just sit and listen to him.  On still others, I am the doctor, answering his concerns about his body as the depression screws with his thinking.  Sadly, though, on too many days, I pull out the witch’s persona.

If something doesn’t get done that I asked to have done, I make sure he knows about it.  If he doesn’t follow through on making an appointment or calling about his medicine, I roll my eyes and walk out of the room.  Other days I am the bitchy office manager and I let him know everything he has done wrong not only that day but all the days past.

I need to get rid of the witch.  Not that I’m not entitled to take time for myself, or to state my needs or address poor follow through.  I need to do all that, but I need to do it with a respect for my loved one.  I have to do it in a way that will not only keep his dignity in tact, but my own.  I find that when I am able to do that, the whole situation is better.  I don’t beat up on him and I don’t beat up on myself.

The poet Rumi wrote, “Keep the love of holy laughing in you.”  If I concentrate on the fact that both he and I are good people, I am able to deal with whatever situation comes up and I am able to laugh and cry and grow along with him….even growing into a good witch.

– Bernadette


3 Responses

  1. thank you for your humility
    It is endearing to me.

  2. Bernadette, you are in a sacred and burdensome position in your husband’s life. I would often feel guilty that my husband had to deal with a depressed, PTSD wife. I thought he deserved better and I carried tremendous guilt. As I entered new levels of recovery and healing, I realized that God gave my husband a special position in my life to help bridge His love for me.

    You sound like an incredibly capable and compassionate person. I pray many blessings of strength and grace for you.

    You’re a true warrior in the battle of depression, and that’s a title that’s present no matter what your husband needs.

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