Two Steps Backwards, One Step Forward - Mental Health Sup...

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Two Steps Backwards, One Step Forward

Time4Grace profile image

When you feel like you're losing progress in your effort to be happy again, you may be in for a big surprise. Life is so unpredictable. We never know what's around the next corner. I learned that lesson for real today.

This morning, Christmas Day, I woke up to find my husband had left the house again without a word. I sent him a text just stating I noticed what he did. Again. He does that a lot. He replied he went out for breakfast. I felt truly let down. But, today wasn't the same. This time he came home with a little gift. I was speechless. That little gift helped to mend a broken heart. We haven't been speaking to each other for quite awhile. So, this was definitely one step forward.

Now, the rest of the day was a little better than what I have been accustomed to. Although, toward evening, I realized the little gift didn't heal everything, but it was definitely one step forward. I still feel alone when we're together, and still suffer with depression and anxiety. But, I believe God gives us that little glimmer of hope when we feel in total darkness and isolation. We just have to be prepared to look for it, accept it, and hold on until the darkness lifts.

I'm trying and hope you do to.

Blessings, Carol

20 Replies

Wow that is great to hear, Carol! Thank u for sharing your surprise today! I am so happy that today was different 😄😄😄! Yeay! You are right, let us anticipate each day! U never know!

Time4Grace profile image
Time4Grace in reply to sophgirl

It feels good to know you're out there Soph, and I appreciate your comment! 😊

Well, it was a flicker wasn't it. The fire's not completely out and he still cares. You have a history together and that counts for a lot. That little gift was actually pretty big. Pam

Sweetie, yes, I believe it was a flicker! 🕯 I still love him very much, and pray his heart softens. I need to talk about the whole picture, though.

I hope you're doing well.

Blessings, Carol

Your post actually gives me hope. I just wish I didnt have to deal with my brain most of the time. It gets very hard sometimes

Time4Grace profile image
Time4Grace in reply to

Hello Irma!

Hope is the best gift we can ever receive. It's what we don't know will happen that we can live for. Life is full of changes.

I understand what you mean. I went through a very difficult time five years ago. I wasn't able to even look my daughter in the eye when I spoke to her. I was in constant panick mode. I couldn't sit still. It was very strange. But, it passed. I no longer feel that way. I believe God saw me through that.

I'll be praying for you to feel better as well.

Blessings, Carol xx

That is wonderful! What a special gift that was! It tells me that he still has hope and he loves you! I certainly understand the 2 steps back. I skipped Christmas for this year but I did put a roast in the crock pot and all the fixings. My husband and I ran up to the gas station store after I got it all going. No arguing or anything. Then his brother came by with his mom and said some hurtful things to me that let me know how frustrated my husband is with me and our life together. It was obvious it had been said to him. It made me feel bad to know how he was talking about me. Although I recognized that it’s his brother. I talk to my mom about my frustrations. He wasn’t here long. My husband helped me get the dinner on the table and we ate and watched tv together which we rarely do. He didn’t even drink a lot today. I think that was the main thing that made it enjoyable. I even mentioned to him how nice it was. He didn’t expect his brother to say those things. It was a private conversation between brothers. Anyway other than his military rude brother we had a nice day.

It sounds like your husband is suffering a lot like you are after the loss. Men have a harder time expressing themselves and asking for help. I can feel his pain in how you talk but I mostly feel yours. I understand and empathize. I truly hope he can find a way to open back up and go to counseling with you. It sounds like you still have a lot of life left together if so. I’m so happy you had a nice gift.

God bless you both! I hope you find your way back.

Hello Tink!

It's so nice to hear your day was mostly pleasant! Every once in awhile the sun does shine! 😊

I understand the tension between siblings and in-laws. I try to remember they don't really know every detail that goes on behind the scenes in one's marriage, so I ignore the rude comments and move on. That's awesome your husband helped a bit with the dinner! Mine can barely find the peanut butter in the cupboard if It's not right in front. 🤔😂

Now, to clarify my situation for you, we were married only six years ago, December 18. So, he's not the one grieving for my son. He new him, and admired him, but wasn't close to him. My husband and I met in 2001 and didn't marry right away. That's another story I should share that would make my situation more understandable.

Like I've said before, life is sooo complicated. It's hard to create the big picture in a few comments. But, I'd like to try. It's so nice to be able to share our lives with someone when we're so alone or troubled.

Blessings to you and your husband! 😊xx

I have a “miracle” son that I was blessed with. I lost my first child while pregnant in a severe motor vehicle accident. I had so much grief, guilt, sadness. I was not supposed to get pregnant much less carry him 9 months to a normal delivery. That is why I call him my miracle child. I went overboard protecting him and sheltering him. I think too much so that he isn’t as good as taking care of himself. I can’t imagine something happening to him. My biggest fear in life. My husband is not his father and does not understand which is causing difficulty. Perhaps your husband knows how sad you are and just doesn’t know how to help you. I certainly wish that wasn’t the case. Baby steps though. His gift. It’s a step however small it may be. I’m here if you ever need an ear. I can only imagine to my horror how difficult this must be. God bless you! We don’t need to know everything. We can still just support with compassion and caring. I’m sorry I assumed things. I honestly don’t know. I know when my depression is bad my husband ends up freaking out on me because he thinks he needs to fix me if I’m broke but doesn’t know how. It starts with him caring I believe. I tried to explain that just because something is broke doesn’t mean I need you to fix it. Just support me while I fix myself. If he fixes me then he can break me. I think if not for the alcohol he may be able to grasp that concept better. When we enjoy our time together I make sure I tell him how much I enjoyed and appreciate our time. I think most people react better with positive affirmations. My son did as well as my step son and grandson. I hope he can find a way to communicate with you so you can feel the support you need. We are here for you though. Take care!

Oh My! How awful to have to have gone through that ordeal! I can totally understand why your son is your miracle baby. Such a sweet miracle. I'm sure It's very normal to want to protect him from harm in the ways you do. I feel that way about my other two children. And My grandson as well. I can't imagine losing another one. Our family is so small as it is. That's where my faith and trust in God has to be tested. I need to find peace with that or fear would take over.

I think you're right about my husband not understanding or knowing how to help. I don't really expect him to. I just wish he had the same connection to my son as I did. But I must say, I'm doing alright in regard to that. I thought I would never smile or laugh again. I was wrong. I do. 😊 The sadness comes in waves. A picture, a thought, words, events, songs, etc. are the triggers. Then I collect myself and move on.

With your deression and your husband wanting to fix you I think that's sweet. It may not be the best thing for you, but it shows he cares about you. My husband doesn't show he cares any more when I'm suffering. If I would cry at night when we were first together, he use to wake up and ask me if I was alright. Now, we have separate bedrooms.

I agree with you on using positive affirmations. Speaking negatively never helped anyone.

I hope you're having a lovely day.


My husband and I nowlive as roommates at best. He’s basically told me he hates it here. I don’t have an extra bedroom so I sleep from the time he’s getting up or around 4 until noon. I can’t rest with his negative energy. Now the only time he speaks to me is when he is drunk and goes off on me. Christmas was so very rare. He just wants me to stop being anxious or depressed definitely without meds and “get over it” Life’s not perfect. He told me I need to suffer. I usually don’t speak during his mean rants but when he said that I told him trust me, I do every single day. I love him but don’t like him. I wish I did. It was nice 18 years ago. He drank but things were different. Now I’m just completely shut down. Some days I wish he would leave me or vice verse but I’m scared I think. I’m disabled. I did get a very part time job one night a week and extra when someone is sick or something as able. Which isn’t often. I work from 6pm to midnight typically and my one night a week so I don’t have to be home. I have this dream of a tiny place with a pink couch I just haven’t figured out the financial part yet. Plus my 23 year old son has no where to go and I would rather be miserable with him then miserable without him. If I knew he was okay and happy I would be happy but not unless I knew.

Anyway now I’m ranting. I’m so sorry.

Don't apalogize! That's usually how I feel! Neither one of us drink so I'm thankful for that. That could be what's driving the wedge between you. His words could be the result of the depressing effects of alcohol.

My husband goes to work 5:30 am until 3:30 pm, but he never comes straight home anymore. He has also started eating out a lot. I feel bad about that because making dinner makes me feel needed.

Now the job part of your reply hit home with me. I took an online course for Medical Administrative Assistant about a year ago and never found a job. Hubby is VERY bitter about that. I wanted to work, but with my fear of driving and social anxiety and resulting migraines I just couldn't. I didn't mind taking the course because it was at home. But going out to get a job is another story. I feel terrible about that. I believe that is a major factor in his attitude toward me. I spent all that money on school, and still no job.

I've told him either he comes to terms with that on his own, or we need to seek counseling. I'm afraid of being without him for the financial reasons. I was a stay at home mom for my three children so I've never had a job to collect any sort of disability. I'm in a real pickle now. I wish I could contribute to our marriage, but I'm afraid I can't. If I had someone to take me by the hand and encourage me I might feel more confident.

What about something like in Home daycare? My sis in law charged over hundred dollars a kid and had over 12. Then she hired a lady to come in and clean, watch kids, cook etc for a room in her basement and 200.00 a week when she was making close to 2,000 a week. The lady needed room and board. Maybe you could study medical transcription. You can do that from Home. Once you feel confident in your abilities to do the job it would give you the confidence to consider working out of the home. However if your doctor agrees you are unable to work due to your condition which is common you can still qualify for SSI. It’s supplemental social security income. Not earned. My sisters friend had a rare disease and couldn’t work but since she had never worked she got SSI instead of SSDI that you have paid into. You can even go to social security website once your doctor agrees to back you up and apply. It’s usually less than if you paid into it but at least it will give you a sense of contributing. I worked for years until I became disabled by my doctor. So I get disability. It’s not a lot but with him we get by for the most part. I

Loved working. I worked in cardiac, surgical and trauma ICU. Anything medical fascinates me. I wanted to be a teacher growing up and when I had my wreck I decided to go to nursing. Also the rescue squad to volunteer since I was broke and could give that way I gave my time instead. It’s very rewarding. Then when I quit I started substitute teaching and I loved it! If I was feeling okay when they called I said yes and if not I said no. Elementary was fun because I taught a lot more. Just tiring physically but more rewarding. I moved up with my son though so he could just ride to and school with me. High school to me was easiest. I had to sub for 4th year French. I took Spanish in school. I had to sun for a small engine class, drafting etc. Things I know nothing about and some I do. Teachers will leave a huge worksheet packet of busy work. All you do is take attendance, have someone hand out the packets and watch and wait. If someone is confused there is always someone who isn’t to help. Maybe very occasionally if you make up good you could do it. I can’t get up that early. I stay up at night when he’s asleep. There are so many options. A counselor could help you with that as well as everything else including applying for SSI. Good luck.

Thank you so much for the great suggestions. The one for daycare is one I would have to pass on. That is one venture I did do for awhile when my kids were little. I enjoyed it at first, but got burnt out with that. The other ideas are worth looking into though. Thank you. I'm tired tonight so it's off to bed for me. Good night my friend. 😊

Hello Carol,

I think it C.S. Lewis who wrote the book, 'Surprised by Joy' ( about his personal journey and joy of rediscovering his faith. I do think it's good to be open to being surprised by joy from the most unexpected sources. It gives us hope when things seem most bleak. My favourite carol is 'In the Bleak Midwinter', so many sentiments in it especially the last verse which resonates with me.

I have been surprised by joy this past week with unexpected gifts from people who didn't know that we were struggling financially, enabling us to pay some bills, and buy food and gifts for family and friends for the festivities. But unexpected gifts can come in going for a winter walk and the sun popping out, or by a smile from a stranger, or like the other day when two swans suddenly came flying close by me. I hope that I can be an unexpected gift to folks in small and big ways.

So for us all here in this community, as we begin to look forward to the new year, try to find some hope for the future, and be a catalyst for positive change in ours and other peoples lives. Be open to new possibilities. I know it's not easy struggling with mental and physical health problems, but be open to even the smallest being surprised by joy. I find instead of making a 'To do list', make a list of achievements and positive things you've done or received from others such as meeting someone for coffee, enjoying a walk, phoning a friend.

Take care, stay strong.

Best wishes.

Time4Grace profile image
Time4Grace in reply to MAS_Nurse


Thank you so much for your reply and all you do here. I want to check that book out now. It's so good to be reminded to look for even the smallest things that are the little blessings in life, because they do add up. Before you know it you realize you actually do have a lot to be thankful for. When one has to suffer with debilitating illnesses it makes it hard to see these little things. We often times need help to do that. I appreciate your thoughts.

Blessings, Carolxx

You wrote a great comment there. Good and bad things happen on a daily basis. We cannot control things. We can only control small parts of our lives. People treat others badly and it is so hard to figure out why they enjoy hurting others. We cannot fix them. We can only walk away, and keep walking.

Thanks K&R! You're right. It is hard to understand. 🙄

Every day may not be a good but but every day has good things in it. For sure!

I hope that spark grows to the flame you need. good luck

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