The past two days have been significantly better than my last posting. For the first time in months, I had to juggle friends and schedules on Sunday. It’s like people were coming out of the woodwork to hang out with me. It was a really nice feeling. I’ve set small goals for myself. The most important thing I’m doing right now, though, is reframing how I think of this year. Rather than pressuring myself to find a stable job with benefits that will lead to a career, I decided to just take a gap year. I don’t want to settle down and start a life here, so why am I putting so much pressure on myself to start a career? In fact, I plan on moving to another state in a matter of months. I’m not the ideal employee right now. I’m not going to just sit on my couch for the next nine months, though. In all honesty, I just want to waitress or be a barista for now. When I think about what I want to be doing with my life right now, that’s what I imagine. I know I’m not going to do it forever, but I don’t even know what I want to do forever. I just don’t want to be so anxious and high-strung. I’ve just from a high-stress, daily crisis type of work environment. Now, I want the biggest problem I deal with to be that someone’s food was prepared wrong. I’ve handled that shit before. I know what I’m doing. Most days, I have such a tenuous grasp on calmness that something like that is all I can fathom at the moment.
Since coming to that conclusion, I’ve been significantly more zen about my life. My future is only as bleak as I perceive it. So, with this new attitude, I set out to spend time with friends. When I get really low, I tend to isolate myself. I surround myself with only those who I trust the most. So, once I start to feel better, I seek out more people. The people who I don’t reach out to during my low points all tend to ask the same thing, “Why didn’t you come to me?”
That can be such a loaded question. I hate answering it. Every person is different, so there’s never one set response. Here are some of the common reasons why.
I didn’t come to you because:
I don’t feel calm when I’m around you.
I feel like I always have to put on a happy face and I was too tired to do so.
I didn’t think you’d put up with me.
I thought you would just try to fix me and I’m not a problem to be fixed.
I thought you’d turn it around to all of your problems and I can’t deal with that right now.
I like you, but I’m just not on that level with you yet.
I didn’t think you would be patient and actually listen to me.
You just want to ask me what you should do to help me and I don’t fucking know.
I don’t feel comfortable being sad and depressed with you.
Your hugs don’t bring me comfort right now. They make me feel like I’m dying.
I think you’re only asking to make yourself feel better about being there for me. It doesn’t make me feel better.
I don’t want to endlessly talk about my feelings, but I know you want to.
I don’t want you to see how truly fucked up I am.
I don’t trust that you won’t gossip about me to all of our mutual friends.
I can’t clearly express what I’m feeling and you can’t handle the grey areas of my mind.
I might need your help later and I don’t want you to burn out on my neediness yet.
I didn’t think you cared.
Are these rational? Absolutely not. But when I’m depressed, I’m not a rational person. I don’t go through my contacts and see a list of people who love and care about me, even though I know that most of them do. I see a list of well-intentioned people who have no idea about the shitstorm of irrationality in my head. Lots of people tell me they want to help and they want to understand, but when I’m already depressed, I don’t know how to make that happen. I’m barely holding on as it is. When people ask what others do to make me feel better, I never know what to tell them. There’s no magic word or pattern of behaviors. With Caity and John and my mom, they just do make me feel better. That’s why I turn to them when things are shitty. That’s why I don’t call other people. Those three know how to make me feel better without any coaching from me. It’s easy to talk to them.
I guess the simple answer I should give people is that it’s just not as easy to talk to them.