Not every relationship with a depressed partner is like this, but mine was. Some people can handle that without getting sucked under. I’m not saying that our love wasn't real, because it was, and sometimes it was great. Buy a leather jacket that you don’t need, but which makes you look rakish and daring.
Though he may have never sent me a letter in Spain, he did send me a copy of one of his favorite books: Terry Pratchett’s Small Gods. I didn't even know who I was after the relationship ended. Realize that it is OK to take some time to feel shitty, cry, and binge-watch Orange is the New Black, because you have lots of years left to live and you are going to meet some amazing people. You got along fine before that person, and you will get along fine without him — and he will eventually get along fine without you too.
He drove all the way to JFK Airport from Virginia to pick me up, and kissed me even though I was a sweaty, crumpled wreck. But he had become a Hamlet, not a spontaneous and loving Lysander. And that is the ultimate challenge of loving someone with depression: not losing yourself in the vacuum of that person’s emotions. Ford your own sea of troubles on a slipshod raft made of wineglasses and new shoes, poetry books and pizza boxes.
Hunching over a cup of cold tea, waiting for him to call and tell you he’s OK, and knowing that he’s not capable of that kind of communication.
Sometimes, sharp memories of the phone calls we’d had would bubble up in my mind, but I’d push them back down. This didn't last for very long.* * *While I was in Spain, Thomas rarely told me what was wrong, but he would sometimes blurt out snippets of what was really going through his mind when we talked on the phone. His medication made him sick, so he would go off it for weeks. Although I tried to get him to see a counselor at UVa’s psychological services, he skipped the appointments I did get him to make.
He wasn't learning his lines for a student production of Macbeth — not because he wasn't trying, but because he couldn't. I wrote him letters every week, each one exhorting him to get help. I found myself standing in vineyards in southern France, ignoring the fragrant smell of the dirt, worrying about whether Thomas was taking his medication.
This would not, I know, be hard-hitting news for most people.
As I scrolled through news sites to find pitches for my Bustle articles — Israel Resumes Strike on Gaza as Ceasefire Fails, read one, while another was titled Issa Stands by Subpoena of Top White House Aide — I imagined this article next to them.