In my previous posts I spoke about experiencing the onset of depression. I wrote about sharing my fears with my Indian partner who I am in a long distance relationship with and how it didn’t go so great.
The thing with depression and anxiety disorders is that they work in a downward spiral. I felt guilty that my illness had affected my partner in a negative way, which in turn made me worry about our relationship, which in turn made my depression worse, which in turn…. You get the picture. This highlighted all my insecurities and I constantly looked for reassurance. One place I looked was social media – the worst decision I could have made (see the articles below on social media and depression).
When you are in a long distance relationship a lot, if not all of your communication is online, through facebook, whatsapp and skype. Much has been written about the addictive nature of social media – the dopamine rush you get when someone ‘likes’ your selfie (I hate that word so much!) or you hear the ping of a private message arriving in your inbox. Now, couple that with feeling insecure in a relationship and the very public nature of fb and it can become a one-way ticket to disaster.
As much as I tried not to, I questioned all the girls who appeared on his page with flirty comments and ‘likes’ and became obsessed with the fact he would not change his status to ‘in a relationship’ (with me specifically) to the point where I nearly ended the relationship. If I could see him online messaging someone late at night I immediately assumed it was one of these girls. If he changed his profile pic I jumped to the conclusion that he was doing it to get attention from girls. I felt like I needed to put some claim on my man in the digital space to protect myself from having him stolen by someone, younger, more beautiful and richer than me, who didn’t have depression and who was in India and available for sex.
I couldn’t sleep. I cried all the time. I found the depression worsening and began having anxiety attacks – very physical things where your heart beats very fast and your vision goes blurry and you feel like you will pass out. I was scared to talk to my partner but knew I couldn’t go on, so I decided to follow the advice of the top article below and confront my fears by telling him about them.
He took it rather well and reassured me that nothing was going on, that he loved me and was with me in this. I didn’t listen – I was too far-gone to control the anxiety attacks any more. I pushed him away saying I could not trust him, which made him angry and hurt. Reality had gone out the window and I honestly thought nothing other than a nonsense social media relationship status update would be able to drag me back.
Then something big happened which changed everything.