I have been dating a guy for the last couple of months who has multiple mental health issues, which I wasn't aware of when we started dating. I know he's had some bad experiences, one of which I know about, but I'm fairly sure there's a lot more I don't know. We got on really well, and he was really into me and things were going really well.
He has pulled away the last couple of weeks, and that's how long it has been since we last properly saw each other, apart from at work. This last week he has been really distant, which culminated in him cancelling our plans. He intimated he wasn't feeling great, and last night messaged me with a very, very long explanation of how he feels severely depressed at the moment, and his way of coping is to shut himself away, which is what he always has done. That how he is acting is no reflection on me, or 'us', and he doesn't know how I feel about how he's been acting, but that how he feels right now *will* pass. The gist I got was that he feels bad, but he won't feel like that forever and he still likes me and I can wait for him.
My response was that I have no issue with his mental health, but that I feel sidelined, and in no man's land and it's not a place I want to be. I really like him, and I told him this, and that it's really hard to properly talk over messaging, and if he wanted to spend some time with me and talk to me about how he's feeling, I could do that, and left it at that. I haven't heard from him since last night.
The issue I have is that I have no idea how to handle this. I can tread carefully, but what I really need is to hear FROM HIM what he wants, but I don't think he's going to see me while he feels like he does.
I have my own experiences in the past with different kinds of depression, and anxiety/panic disorder, so I am trying really hard to be compassionate. The thing is, I feel terribly out of my depth. I am also finding the uncertainty has instigated anxiety again in me, which is hard. My experiences made me want to draw people closer, so the way he is is completely different.
What's the best way to handle this?