Say What You Need

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One of the few positive things I can say I have learned from depression would be the importance of good communication with my partner. Those that suffer from depression know that it can be a crazy, unstable, shitty state of mind. It rarely makes sense and just when you think you’ve found a way to alleviate the symptoms you find that not every episode responds the same as the next. So what worked last time may not be as effective, if at all. Knowing that I turn into this unpredictable vortex of self loathing and sadness I can hardly stand to be around myself, how on earth can I expect anyone else to want to be. A solution that seems to be working so far is that I never expect my boyfriend to know what I’m feeling nor what I need to help me through it. When my emotions are tweaking out on me I will out right tell him what I need, for example, “I need you to sit with me, hold me and say nothing.”

Before I even begin to tell him about something that is bothering me I may start by saying, “I want you to totally back me up on this so agree with me even if you don’t. Right now I just need you on my side.” If I don’t know what I need or what is wrong with me, that is when it is critical I let him know that I’m in that frame of mind. This way he knows my snapping and moodiness is not because of him but because I’m feeling unstable.

Being this transparent with my emotions and needs helps distinguish the justified, ‘we need to work on this’ emotions, the ‘I’m justifiably upset about something’ emotions and the ‘I’m a crazy depressed person and nothing you say will be right’ emotions. Sure this doesn’t always work without a hitch, but it helps in the long run. I hear so often people getting angry and frustrated with their partner for not knowing or understanding their needs. Since I know there is no way for my BF to know my needs on any given day if I don’t tell him that’s not his fault it’s mine.

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4 comments

  1. gentlekindness · January 22, 2015

    This is excellent . I have also started to learn how to say what I need. When we have mental illness, our brain is like a roller coaster. It is not reasonable to expect our partner , or friends, to know what we need. It is especially hard for them to guess because , what we need one day in the same situation, may be very different from what we would need in that same situation on another day.
    In order to tell the what we need , we first have to know ourselves.So the more we practice doing this, the more we are able to identify what we do want.

    My friend has told me that when he is experiencing a bad mental state, he wants me to ask him “what would be helpful for you. for me to do?” Sometimes he will say right away and other times he will say “thank you for asking. I will have to think about it for a few minutes and let you know” That is good for both partners.

    Thank you for the great post.
    Blessings ,
    Annie

    Like

    • Jinx · January 23, 2015

      Thank you! I appreciate you commenting. Yes, a roller coaster is exactly what the brain is like (minus the fun). Good for your friend for seeing that as well. It really does make relationships of every kind easier to navigate.

      Like

  2. DiyDaisy · January 22, 2015

    Stay strong💋

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Shannon · January 22, 2015

    Liked by 1 person

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