AN OPEN LETTER TO MY HUSBAND ABOUT MY POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
Updated: Apr 4, 2020
I know you didn’t sign up to marry someone with depression. When we first met, my depression was hiding. I didn’t even know about it. It wasn’t until the birth of our beautiful baby boy that it finally hit me. But you were still there. You didn’t leave. You didn’t get mad. You didn’t tell me to snap out of it. Instead, you listened and you encouraged me to do what I thought might help me. Sure, I’ve gotten help since then, but I still fall short some times. We’ve come to realize that I have depression, not just postpartum depression. All these years it was lying dormant, but it was still there. It took the birth of a child to trigger it back into action, and it seems to be in it for the long haul. But still, you stay. You didn’t have to marry me. Not even because we have a baby together. You knew that life with me would have its ups and downs, but you still thought I was worth it. Thank you for that.
I know my depression makes you sad sometimes. You’re happy when I’m happy and you’re sad when I’m sad. When I share those dark thoughts with you, it saddens you to know I’m sad. But you still stay and try to be happy for the both of us. I know my depression can seem selfish. I have everything I could need: a beautiful baby and a wonderful husband. But, I’m still sad. I know you probably think to yourself, is this my fault? What more could I do to help this? But I want you to never blame yourself for my mental illness. There is nothing you did to cause it and there is nothing you can do to make it go away. The only thing I need from you is to be here and to be supportive. I will get through this with the help of a little medication and some therapy. But please, don’t ever get down on yourself.
I know I talk about life being hard to live. I know sometimes I say I wish I didn’t exist. But please don’t ever think that it’s because I don’t think you and our son are worth living for. You are, and that’s why I’m here. Sometimes I just feel like if I had never been born at all, maybe I could have avoided feeling this pain. I would have never met you or had our child, but I also wouldn’t have known what I was missing. Now that I know what I’ll miss, I’m here to stay.
Thank you for the times you let me make those big decisions for my mental health. Thank you for funding my therapy, doctor’s appointments, and medications. I know it can add up quickly. Thank you for understanding when I can’t put a meal on the table and getting us takeout. Thank you for fulfilling my random cravings because you know it will make me feel better. And thank you for the late night talks when you know something isn’t right.
Just like you have always been there for me, I will always be there for you. I know you went through your season of anxiety, and hear me out, I was happy when you did. Not to see you suffer or walk through my shoes, but to have a chance to show you that I will always be there for you, too. I hope I did a good job of supporting you and loving you through it. But now, you’re better. And if it ever comes back, I want you to know I’ll be here again and again.
There will be times when life gets hard. You may lose a job, we will lose loved ones, or we might get sick, but through it all, I will always be by your side. And it’s not just because you’ve been there for me, but because I love you and want to be with you at any cost. You make me so happy even though it’s sometimes overshadowed by the darkness of my depression. Underneath the dark clouds of depression, I promise there is a gleaming smile. When the clouds clear you see it, but when it’s cloudy you don’t. But it’s just like the sun, always existing but not always seen.
I think about it a lot. How you might be better off with someone else. How you deserve better. But I have to believe we’re together for a reason. If it were anyone else, I still would have gotten my postpartum depression, but I definitely wouldn’t have had the support you provided me with. And when you got your anxiety, I’d like to think no one would have supported you the way I did. We’re stronger together and understand everything about each other. We know when one of us needs space, and we know when one of us needs that extra loving. You get me and I get you. There isn’t anyone else I’d want to spend this life with.
So for as long as I’m living and far after that, I will keep loving you and staying by your side. You are the most caring husband and father and I love you for all of eternity. I wish every wife received the same amount of love you give me, because it truly is unfair to all the other women out there. But I will take it gratefully and I will love you even more!
Your Eternally Grateful Wife
To read this story as published on Scary Mommy, click here.