My Story

About Christine McRae.

I know what it feels like to support a partner who suffers with depression.

Support, understanding, solutions, energy and freedom for women supporting a partner with depression is why the Trail Blazing Woman was created.

Relationships and families can be managed effectively while living in the midst of this relationship challenge.

Driving Passion is what I feel to connect to as many women as possible so that they too can begin to laugh again, experience fulfilment in their lives and enjoy their families with a new found sense of freedom.

Christine McRae’s story:

Unprepared for the world of depression:

My parents created a loving and stable environment for my brother and I. It was an environment that shielded me from the world of depression and the devastating impact it has on the lives of individuals and their families. I grew up in a very healthy family that valued the simple things of life. I now realise I was very privileged to have had such freedom. I imagined most families were like my own and expected to marry and carry on the fine tradition of a loving, healthy, happy family.

Depression in relationshipMarriage introduces me to the world of depression:

At age 27 I married Malcolm. A young man who was in peak physical condition, a Queensland State Decathlon Champion, who held and still holds records in weight lifting at the University of Queensland. As a successful high school teacher he completed a Masters degree part-time while also working as a youth leader in a large organisation. My partner had a high public profile and was pretty much the man of my dreams. The first twelve months of our married life seemed normal then the cold chill of the winter of my husband’s depression set in and changed our lives forever.

This followed a very traumatic event for both of us in which our lives were physically threatened by an intruder in our home. This seemed to be the catalyst that opened the flood gates to depression for my husband. I was totally unaware of the very painful and frustrating emotional journey that was before me.

I had no understanding of how depression affected a person or how to live with a partner suffering from depression.

Anxiety, frustration and heartache were a permanent part of my world:

This was a very confronting and frightening situation for me. I watched a strong, successful, confident man become anxious, depressed and unable to sleep. My husband could not work, he lost kilos of weight and he lost a sense of direction in his life. I became the breadwinner of the family for almost 2 years while my husband began to regain some equilibrium.

After 2 years my husband took the courageous step to try to “normalise” his life and return to work. This appeared to be working out okay, however after about 6 months the symptoms of depression reappeared. Frustratingly, this became the pattern or our lives for almost 20 years and each time a depressive cycle occurred my heart would ache with my husband’s pain because I had no control over the situation.

It was not long before I experienced my own season of anxiety and depression as the emotional resilience was drained from my life in my endeavours to support my husband.

Loneliness and emotional exhaustion were my constant companions:

For 20 years I suffered in silence due to the social stigma associated with depression and in an effort to conserve my husband’s integrity. I walked an extremely lonely road as I sought to grapple with the ongoing cycle of depression, the emptiness this created in my life and the constant concern for my partner’s well being.

I totally understand what it feels like to wake up in the morning and say “Oh no – here we go again”! I understand what it feels like to be so emotionally exhausted that you can not continue on. The depression was tearing our relationship apart.

I reached a point that was so low that I was ready to leave the relationship. In my heart I knew this was not the answer for me so I reached out and asked for professional help.

In the asking for help I was breaking the silence on my suffering and admitting I had no more answers. This was the most empowering and the wisest decision I had made in my life up to that point.

A time of personal transformation:

I was fortunate to have the professional care of an amazingly sensitive, gifted psychologist who began to work within my life a process of total transformation. You see, I had lost all sense of personal identity. I did not know what it was to set boundaries within my relationship when depression sought to rob me of my love of life and the beauty within my soul.

I just did what I thought a good, loving wife should do in the situation. I just keep giving and giving of myself, being a counsellor, confidant and friend until the well was so dry all you could see was a desert.

Through this transformation process I learnt afresh the value of being my individual self and to put the care of myself on my list of priorities. I lost my fear of this “giant” in our lives and was able to face it head on.

Through skilful communication, laughter and understanding I was able to begin to turn the tide on the toll this “giant” had taken on my life and our relationship and slowly yet surely beauty and wholeness began to emerge from the ashes.

Postive Impact:

My own journey of facing my fears and exhaustion and coming through into a place of transformation has had a very marked postive impact on my husband. It has been heartening to notice that my transformation and development has been influencing my husband by bringing to him a greater understanding of how to manage himself and the depression and how to not let the depression interfere with the quality of our relationship.

Ups and Downs:

Life is not perfect for us. There are still the ups and down. However life is totally different now. I am no longer my partner’s counsellor – he has a specialist to take care of that.

I have the tools I need to manoeuvre myself through any depressive tunnel my partner may experience.

I have learnt how to protect my own emotions in the midst of this, to love, dance, laugh and be myself no matter what is going on around me.

A vision is birthed:

The transformation in my life, my partner’s life and our relationship has been so profound that a deep passion is burning within me to share with other women the powerful keys of this transformation process.

In doing this I am very aware that I am blazing a new trail for women to enable them to speak freely of their emotional journey and pain which they have kept silenced for so long due to the social stigma attached to depression.

Thus The Trail Blazing Woman was created.

No longer does this pain need to be carried alone or in silence. In breaking the silence you will find strength, freshness and beauty returned to your inner life.

You will gain a whole new perspective on life. You will learn how to live lovingly within a relationship where your partner suffers from depression and live a fulfilling live of your own. You will learn to laugh and be happy again!

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