I don’t have the perspective of either of my partners on what it’s like to love someone with a mental illness. I am always questioning why in the hell they still stay with me when I feel emotionally paralyzed, but I am so grateful they do.
Jim is a phenomenal writer and he shared this on facebook this morning:
Cassie finished up her 6 ketamine infusions yesterday. When she came home from that, I sat on the couch with her and we chatted about mundane stuff. I made silly jokes, she laughed. This was maybe 10 minutes of seemingly normal end-of-day conversation between longterm partners. It may not seem significant, but it was the most relaxed and easy banter we’ve had in about a year. That short conversation quenched a thirst I forgot I had. Longterm depression has a way of creating a new reality – what came before becomes a hazy memory. My reality was being married to a person who looked outwardly fine, but was mostly unable to connect with me in any of the familiar ways. There have been many, many times in the past year when I wondered “does she even like me?” And probably many more times when she questioned whether life was worth living, or why Woody and me would want to be with her.
While I realize that depression comes and goes, and no medical treatment can totally erase it, the ketamine infusions have had incredible results over the past 2 weeks. I’m very grateful to Woody for researching it and setting it up and convincing me that an off-label treatment, not offered by the usual medical providers and not covered by insurance, was safe enough and worth a shot. I’m also grateful to the dozens of people who chipped in to help us pay for this. It has been a financially challenging year for medical expenses already, so not having to burn through more savings or put this on a credit card has allowed us to enjoy this experience without the underlying stress of figuring out how to pay for it. Aside from the financial aspect, it was truly touching to see so many old friends come out of the woodwork with a sincere desire to help us .