Thursday, May 13, 2010

We're Not Moving: When You Relocate You Take Your Problems with You

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A few weeks ago I made a big announcement on this blog that my husband and I were moving to my hometown. I recently came to my senses that it was a bad idea. I had an epiphany last week when I realized we were doing exactly what I've seen other people do when one partner has mental health issues: uproot our lives thinking that changing location will fix the problems. It won't.

When I told my husband and parents I wanted to move I was just about as low into my depression as I have ever been. I was scared and tired of fighting my feelings and desperate for something to be different. They were willing to do whatever I thought I needed because they, too, are desperate for me to feel better. It never even occurred to me that things would be much different when my husband left his second job.

The truth is my husband didn't like the idea of moving at all. He was only doing it for me. He loves the town we live in, his customers and our house. He was willing to do it if it's what I need, but it's not. Things have been much better and more manageable since he left his second job. We spend almost every evening together. We talk, make dinner, go for walks with Maisy and watch TV. We're able to keep the house in better shape and maintain a closer connection.

The good news is we haven't done anything that took us past the point of no return. My parents let their renters out of their lease early to make way for us to move in, but the renters wanted to buy a house of their own anyway and were able to. Plus, my parents were going to let us more or less live there for free so they'll be getting rent money from regular tenants as soon as they find new renters. It worked out well for everyone involved.

The real issue remains that my anxiety has kept me from going out and engaging in the groups and activities that would help me better manage my depression. To work on this issue I'm going to start seeing my therapist again. We'll be using the techniques of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) to help me manage better and do the things I need and want to do. I'll be sharing more information about ACT and how I'm putting it to work in my life as I learn more. For now I'm reading The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living by Russ Harris in preparation for our next appointment.

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DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.