21 March 2013


Oh my goodness, I am finally over it. After months of suffering through short-term depression every time my husband left, today officially marks the day that I have finally experienced the light.

Paul and I started dating in 2002. At the time we were attending universities three hours apart and each three hours from our shared hometown. Aside from our first month together at the end of the summer, we saw each other an average of one weekend a month unless we both happened to be on break at the same time, which was rare.

Just after we announced our engagement, I flew to New Jersey to interview for a career change. We lived in two different states for 16 months before we were married, again seeing each other one weekend month. We finally got to hang out once we were married.

At that time, Paul was a commercial pilot based in North Carolina so I got to see him a few days a week instead of a few days a month – it was awesome.

We moved here and Paul suddenly stopped flying so much. We thought we would have problems seeing each other almost all day almost every day but, surprisingly, our relationship only got stronger. We started napping together – that’s Paul’s favorite together-time activity.

Sometime last fall I began slipping into depressive states that only occurred when Paul had a trip. It didn’t matter whether he was gone for four days or 12 hours – within two minutes of Paul walking out the door, my mood dropped, I became lazy, I slept a lot and found myself not wanting to clean, not wanting to exercise, not wanting to go outside or to the grocery or do anything that required getting off the couch. This week, however, I am completely cured!

Once I admitted that I was having issues, and I told my friends, I started finding ways to get out of that depression because I truly didn’t like the way I made myself feel. Before Paul even left, I started scheduling things to do during the time when he would be gone. If he left Wednesday morning, I would make a lunch date. If he would be gone for dinner, I would call a friend and invite myself over for dinner.

I wouldn’t even lie about my reasoning or hint my way into an invitation. I simply phoned a friend and said, “Paul is leaving tomorrow and I don’t want to be depressed so can I come over for dinner tomorrow? We can call it Taco Thursday.” I would call Nic and say things like, “Hi, I know you’re working now and you don’t really get to hang out with your husband and you are probably going to bed earlier but Paul is away tonight and I really don’t want to be alone, so can I come over?” Thankfully, I have amazing friends who said yes every time.

Paul left Monday night. He left at 9:30 p.m. and I was already on the phone with his mom. I watched some television, planned a best-friend staycation, read a book and fell right to sleep. Tuesday I had a best-friend chat, an hour reading by the pool (yeah, Nic, I stole yours while I dropped off your computer – evil, cheater motive, I know), a chilled bus ride into the city and a super-relaxed, healthy lunch with a great friend.

I got home in time to shower again and make myself pretty for an amazing Journey concert near my neighborhood. I came home, read a little in bed and called it a night. This morning I was up early and on the work train from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. – being the second day like that this week, it’s almost like I have a real job again.

I came home starving and exhausted and I have spent my evening eating one of my favorite dinners (leftover spaghetti with meat sauce). I had my fourth shower in two days, got excited to turn on the air con and jump into my pink, flannel pjs and chill out with a tiny bit of chocolate and a crazy, girly reality TV show about 30-somethings on the dating scene who give everyone else advice and don’t take their own. It’s my new guilty pleasure.

In a moment during my TV time, I realized that I was smiling and that I was truly happy. I am now successfully and completely over my Paul-less depression. It's about time!

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