And so, to follow up on the above.
Yesterday, Davis calls me just to chat. Asks what I've been up to. I tell him I've been doing a lot of reading. About what? About depression, mainly. Ah. Yeah, I've found some interesting articles but I was thinking I'd hold off on sending then to you, I don't want to overload you, I know you're still thinking about and looking over the relationship agreements thing. Yeah, I might well be interested but you're right that I need a little space from all that for a while, I'm trying to just clear my head and not focus on serious stuff.
Aaaand that was when I started crying. In my defense, I'd just started my period. The rational side of me was thinking "ok, he needs space, that's totally fair" and the irrational part was thinking "I'm freaking out over this and he's not available to work with me on it, I can't handle this alone, I am not ok right now." He came right over and we laid on my bed together and talked. I felt bad for utterly failing at giving him even a centimeter of the space he was saying he needed, but I felt like my need was the greater in that moment.
We talked, again, about communication, our relationship, patterns in our lives and, of course, depression. It felt like a more positive talk overall than the last one, which we'd had exactly a week before. He joked-but-seriously that I had to keep these mega-talks to a maximum of once per week.
I told him about one particular literature review that I'd read, which said that certain "therapeutic lifestyle changes", such as exercise, meditation, and volunteering, can be as effective as traditional treatment in reducing depression. I said that I thought I could accept him working on things alone rather than in therapy IF he would commit to doing one of those therapeutic lifestyle thingies with me, his choice as to which. He registered his annoyance at feeling pushed on such a personal topic, but agreed to join a gym with me.
I was glad he picked that one, I've been meaning to start working out but haven't been motivated enough on my own. Mainly, I was just glad he picked *anything*, because of course he could have just said no.
The funny thing is, I'm nearly positive that if I'd brought up the idea of joining a gym together outside of this context he would have said yes anyway. I could have avoided the big talk and the feeling on his part of being pushed and gotten the same result. But I think that setting it up in the way I did was something I needed. By explicitly framing the commitment to go the gym as a commitment to work on his mental health at my request, I was able to feel that he was addressing this issue, honoring my concerns, and working with me instead of like I'd "tricked" him into working on it.
I know that his mental health is a personal issue and that it's up to him to work on it at his own pace, but it will affect me greatly if we remain very intertwined and so it's my issue too. And to feel like I have no control or even influence over it is just too scary for me at this point. Is that presumptuous or unrealistic of me?
Anyways, I'm so looking forward to checking out the gym that we identified as our first choice!