MARCH 23, 2009 3:18PM

I Watch As He Drowns

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He drowns, as I watch.

I endeavor to extricate, to deliver, to rescue, to save .

But I fail.  I disappoint.

I am his light, his dawn.  Inside his dead, unfathomable eyes, the man he was breathes at my advent.  For a moment, I see him, the one I loved more than life; my joy, my world.  And I remember what it was, and I am crushed beneath the memories of The Way It Used To Be and The Way It Is and the agony consumes. I stand strong as I struggle; tears only further wound.

He says, "Hey Doll!" and welcomes me with embrace and buss.  We sit and chat about silly things; what have you been up to and how have you been.  Later he tells me of the Bad Week.  Little things, moderate things; minor irritants to the healthy.  He is not; repeated blows threaten to vanquish him.  I soothe and reassure; I will take care of things, I will fix it, don't think about it, stop thinking about it, don't worry.  Please don't worry.  Everything Will Be Okay.  I gently scold.  Why didn't you call me, you know I'm here, you know I will help, you know I want to know, you know I will make it go away, you're not alone, I am here, I Will Always Be Here.  He says, "I know Doll.  I don't know."

The Way It Used To Be evokes torment; there is suffering enough.  The Way It Is evokes despondency; we have it to spare.  What Makes You Happy brings confusion and despair.  I don't know, Doll.  I don't know.  He cries.  I hold his head as anguished sobs wrack his tortured body, finally shedding my silent tears of love and pity and grief and anger and desperation.  Why?  Why can't he be happy?  Why doesn't he know what makes him happy?  How can you not know what makes you happy?  But I know that he doesn't know.  I know that he doesn't know how to make it better, and it kills him.  It is killing him.  It is killing me.

It is killing me because I don't know how to make it better.  It kills me because I don't know how to make it go away.  I can't make it go away.  I can't fix it, I don't know how to fix it.  We face something that cannot be changed through concentration and intelligence and focus and persistence and compliance.  It cannot be changed with love, no matter how fierce, no matter how enduring.  I am helpless.  I am drained.

In sickness or in health; for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; to love and to cherish from this day forward as long as we both shall live.  Sick, worse, poor; I honor my vow and love and cherish, though some would say my obligation has ended.  I cannot bring myself to feel it has.  I wonder if ever I will feel it has.  As long as we both shall live.  Ever after.  He lives, and yet is lifeless.  But he lives.  He lives, and I despair.

I will endure.  I must.  Love binds me; unconditional love, unconditional love tested and tested and tested and tested again.  Still I love, and still I am bound, and I endure.  I will throw everything that medical science has to offer at this monstrous diabolical grotesque malevolent Thing attacking him, this malicious Thing that preyed upon his joy, his geniality, his contentment, that fed upon his well-being, his laughter, and vomited misery and woe in their stead. This Thing that aims to destroy him, that will not capitulate until even the ephemeral glimpse of the man I once loved beyond reason is extinguished; drowned in the pain of memories, the inability to recapture past emotions, the helplessness, the wretched aching void, the horror of It's merciless grasp, the relentless battering in pursuit of every last shred of hope.

I will not passively acquiesce to the temptation; will not submit to the seductive siren song of blessed freedom drawing me away, calling me to surrender, to meekly accept the obliteration of his soul.  Love holds me; it tethers me.  Indelibly inscribed at my nape by his once strong, capable hands, the symbols burn, a permanent reminder.  Endure Forever.  Love binds me, and I will endure.


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I don't know what to say. This is so very sad. I can feel your frustration at not being able to "fix" it. Am I reading correctly that he is still alive but not getting better? Tragic in so many ways...
Trying to pull myself back together after that. God, I can barely answer a comment without breaking down all over again.
Melodramatic, so sorry. It will pass.
He is alive, but in a major depression. That phrase doesn't come close to describing what it's like.
He thinks he would be better off if he wasn't alive. The saddest part is that if he truly wished for it to end, he lacks even the ambition to do it. I know that sounds strange, but I can't think of any other way to say it.
Depression is a killer of many things, hope being one of them.

Thanks for reading, and for your comments and concern.

He is on several medications; we've been trying to figure out the "right" combination since 2001. Occasionally, it will appear that he's improving somewhat, but it takes just a single (small) negative event to send him deeper into the depression than he was before. He's also being treated for chronic pain--which worsens the depression, which worsens the pain--and for an attention disorder.

No meds leads to frightening loss of control over sad emotions, so I guess they are working at least somewhat, just not enough. He sees a counselor once a month, and a psychiatric nurse practitioner for a medication visit monthly.

Thanks to everyone for reading. Our particular experience with depression with probably be outlined in future posts, as I still appear to have more to say (though not in the style of this post).
I'm sorry. Endure.
Thanks for sharing.
I read twice. I sighed.
Thank you, Arthur.
I do, and I will.
I know this is an "older" post, but I found it today and it hits home. Unlike you, I did not stay. I wish you survival, peace, and blessings.