Can't keep trying to rescue someone who doesn't wanna be saved
posted January 10th, 2019 at 6:29 PM
My partner has been suffering from depression, or some type of (yet undiagnosed) mental illness, for as long as I've known him. I thought it was something I could help him through. I care about him and wanted to be there to support him.
For almost 2 years, I've tried to offer my support as he continues to be unable to hold down jobs, impulsively spends the little money he has on drugs to cope, and completely disregards his health. I've basically been his free therapist the entire time we've been dating. 90% of our conversations are just me listening to his problems. I realize he's in pain and I feel for him, but at the same time, I can't keep pushing my own needs aside in order to attend to his. I’ve told him to go to therapy, which he’s tried, but never seems to take seriously, like he doesn’t trust them or their advice.
It's emotionally exhausting, and there never seems to be any real progress. I don’t think there will be until he realizes that he is the only one who can make the changes necessary to improve his mental health, and until he’s willing to put in the work to do that.
I want to leave the relationship, but I feel extremely guilty. He’s mentioned countless times that I’m one of the only things that keeps him going, and I’m worried about what it will do to him if I leave. But I also think it’s necessary because if I stick around I don’t see anything changing and I’m going to fall into depression myself. Plus, it is not my responsibility to fix someone else.
It might be the push he needs to take responsibility for himself, but on the other hand it might make things even worse. So, how do I go about this? What do I do? How can I continue to offer support as a friend? I really don’t know how to approach this.
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