Dear Kyle… Communicating through the hard times

I have spoken a lot about my mental health in this blog. After all, it is one of the main reasons that I wanted to have a blog in the first place. But what I haven’t talked about yet is how my mental health has affected my marriage.
When I first had my breakdown, I couldn’t be left alone. I was depressed, catatonic, and confused. Essentially it amounted to the fact that I couldn’t be left alone. Enter the superstar that is my husband.
He leaped into action. He was there by my side at every opportunity. He drove me to my therapy and doctor’s appointments. He cooked, cleaned, and parented like a champ. I can’t say enough how grateful I am for him and all he has done for me in the past year.
When I started therapy, it became obvious that I was holding too much in and not talking enough. It was true. I had held so much in over the years that it had started to stew and simmer, eventually boiling over and burning me. But Kyle was there with oven mitts to pull me out of the fire.
Talking was hard, but I started with my therapist and moved to Kyle. At first, it was really hard to open up. To say the things that I had shoved so far down and tried to bury. I had to start slow. I remember the first time I really opened up was with a drawing. I drew a shape and then coloured it to represent how I was feeling. It was simple, but it was so powerful. It was the first time I could show how I was feeling. I called him over to the table, and through sobs that racked my body, I described how I felt on the inside with colours. It felt like a weight had been lifted from my chest.
Now we talk about everything under the sun. Once the lid was off my emotional pot, I found it easier and easier to tell him the things that used to percolate in my head, causing nothing but damage. Now we talk almost every day about how we feel and where we are emotionally and mentally. It has strengthened our relationship beyond words. Now we talk with feeling.
So how has my breakdown impacted our marriage? It made us stronger than ever before. It made us treasure each other, and the time we have together. We were faced with so many challenges that neither of us could have overcome without the other. We are balanced. What I give, he gives back (and then some). We are partners, now more than ever.
So to Kyle, I say thank you. You are my rock. You let me be me, and you celebrate every one of my milestones. You don’t judge me or make me feel shame for my struggles. You are my equal. You are my person.

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