Once I was prescribed pills for severe stomach pains. The doctor told me to eat “a bland diet”. I thought milk and cream soups qualified as bland. The pain, despite the pills, got worse. Later, another doctor told me to avoid food high in fats, like milk and cream soups. Then the pills worked fine.
I think Steve too is caught in conflicting “remedies”. He’s got pills to counteract his depression. But he’s also got Michelle. Oh, she wants to help him. Poor man. Much more of her help and he’ll be teetering on the upstairs window ledge.
After she finished with her own indulgence about “should have seen the signs” (yes, Michelle, you should have), she started watching him like a hawk and quizzing him. Have you taken your tablets, how do you expect to get better, and on and on until I wanted to jump out a window myself.
Then it got worse. She defended him. Norris was picking at him to others at the bar, about his driving, about sitting like a zombie while injured people needed help, about Sinead maybe paralyzed. His audience, Eileen, Nick and Leanne, were actually sticking up for Steve. But Michelle couldn’t let it go. She got right in Norris’ face: Steve’s got problems too you know, he is clinically depressed. Oh great, exactly what he had asked her to keep to herself.
Maybe the others ought to know and it is not something he need feel shame about. But he should have a chance to come to terms with his diagnosis, and the accident, a little bit by himself so he can handle the questions and opinions of others. It is not her story to tell. Tracy made that point abundantly clear when she barged in the back room, asking Steve if what she’d heard was true, that he had gone “radio gaga”.
Steve is starting therapy in addition to the anti-depressants. That’s good. But Michelle will be there, hovering. What I think would help the most would be if Michelle went away, with poor Hamish or whatever. And, of course, for Liz and all to stop telling him how lucky he is to have someone as great as Michelle. It’s little wonder he’s depressed. She’s like a great vampire sucking out his lifeblood of self-esteem.