One major thought has been in my head this week, which I discussed in therapy today. It might make more sense if I explain the background first. The thought stemmed from two different conversations I had. One was with Gauri in person and the other was with a friend on Facebook. Which to choose??? Oh, the dilemmas of blogging. Just for the sheer hell of it, let’s go with the Facebook conversation first.
I was chatting to a friend who has known me for about five years. We were talking about how we have both changed in that time. I basically said how embarrassed or ashamed I felt about the ways I used to be or acted, but I hope she has seen that I have changed as a person since then. She replied ‘We both commented a while ago about how much you’ve changed. Please take that as a compliment. I can’t explain it, but you’ve changed somehow in a positive way.’
I have a rueful smile on my face as I write this, mostly because I can’t be help but read the subtext (and yes, I have been doing a lot of playwriting this week) of ‘You used to be a dick, but you are nicer now.’ In her utter defence, I was a complete dick at times and she didn’t use the term ‘dick’. It is simply how I feel about myself and the ways I have acted in the past. I know now it was based on depression and bad reactions to medication, but it doesn’t detract from the fact dickishness was was in evidence from me.
It got me thinking about how people see me now and how I see myself. I think I have changed enough to make people notice ‘Hey, David’s not down and angry all the time anymore.’, yet perhaps not. I do wonder if people who have not seen me for years and knew me when I was not at my best, still have that mental remembrance of me? As if It was the last image they saw when a film is paused and having not been able to press the play button by seeing me now, do not think of me as any different to the person they knew.
Or that maybe me being paranoid.
The other conversation I had was with my good lady. I am not going to share the private deets of my life for a blog, so I will skip past the chat we had to the bit I want to talk about. There was a moment when I asked ‘Why did you keep that bottled up for so long?’ She replied that she didn’t want to bring me down or depress me with her troubles (which is something I have said to her countless times, so no judgement from me).
I asked her to look at me and say if I looked angry or depressed about our talk? Whether it seemed I was repressing anything or it was bothering me in the slightest? This was the moment that an internal movie player in my mind has not let go off all week. She looked at me and it was like she was looking at me for the first time in ages. She actually cocked her head to one side. That’s how intently she was looking at me. It was a look of almost surprise. She said ‘No, you don’t look depressed or angry.’ I said ‘Then it is ok to lean on me if you need rather than bottle up things I don’t need protection from anymore.’
Let me point out, this is in no way an attack on what she said and felt. The sad thing is that I understand it completely. She has seen me down and depressed far more often that I would have liked. I can’t blame her for worrying about me more than she should. I have done some crazy shit. I doubt myself on occasions, so it is understandable for her to do the same. It was just the moment when I knew she had realised that I have moved on from being depressed and was handling life in a completely different way.
A bright point from this is that I feel the best equipped I have ever done to be a good boyfriend. I can be the one supporting her for a change. It’s not that I have never supported her. After seven years, that would be douche-bag level of bad boyfriending. Of course I have supported her and she might even say I do support her equally, but I will always feel I am the one that needed more help. I suppose it doesn’t matter. We are here to support each other and I believe that’s what good relationships do.
I think overall, it is understandable for someone who has lived with someone who has/had depression to be cautious of recovery. It is a life of walking on eggshells and it must be terrible not knowing what the right thing to do or say is. Even I am a bit lost at present. I am changing from week to week and I don’t know how I am going to react to problems. I know how I used to react, but I am constantly surprising myself by finding new and better ways to react.
I need to keep on making those cha cha changes and turn and face my own strange new existence. Oh, and sweep up those eggshells so people do not have to walk on them around me.
Take care buddies,