Since there are no solid statistics on wives of gays, I can’t assert that all of us battle depression or anxiety disorder, but I bet that very nearly all of us do. The question in my mind is whether we would have done, in other circumstances.
No matter. The action must be the same: first, get professional help. Talk to your M.D. and see whether you need to be on medications for a while to help you get out of the emotional dungeon. Get some professional counseling to help you find your balance and you way back to “normal.”
You might even need help learning to know what “normal” looks like.
No, that advice is not 100% foolproof. You might have a doctor who’s eager to write up prescriptions whether they’re really needed, even when non-prescription therapy might be as effective or more so. You might have to go through several different meds to find the one that balances you out better than the others – a disheartening and costly process. And finding a good counselor can be like pulling hen’s teeth. I’ve been blessed to have found two very good ones over the years, each of whom I saw on a short-term basis to help me over specific difficulties, but they are exceptional men and women.
You can do it all on your own, as I’ve done most of the time. But a good counselor can help speed up the process. Streamline it. I’ve done a lot of wheel-spinning and self-sabotage over the past 20 years, between my most excellent counselors, going it strictly on my own – but I’m stubborn, that way.
But even with professional help, the onus of responsibility falls on us to take care of ourselves. If you have meds, you have to take them regularly. If you have a counselor, you have to explain and too often defend your values systems. You have to pay attention and work with the counselor – he/she can’t do your work of getting well for you.
We really do have to take care of ourselves, that’s the whole point.
I’ll be sharing in some additional posts some of the helps I’ve found that kept my head above water during the bleak times.