One of my friends is having a tough time, he recently broke up with his boyfriend and he was having an awful day. I tried to help him feel better (or at least distract him) by telling him about my recent depression. Here’s the story.
I’m going to tell you a story. A few months ago everything in my world all came crashing down at once. I had broken up with Nathan about a month before and I think I was leaving the initial shock phase and making my way full force into the “oh my god what have I done, what has my life become, where am I?” rug-pulled-out-from-under-my-feet phase
At this same time, a lot of things happened. I got into a terrible, terrible argument with my mother. This happens periodically, by the way, which is why working for her is so unhealthy. But anyway, I got into a horrible argument with her, I can’t actually remember which one, but you can believe I was told I’d burn in hell, that I was a sinner, all sorts of lovely fire-and-brimstone things, as well as being told that I’m a toxic influence on my sister and that I’m filling her head with homosexual lies.
Also that I’m possessed by demons and satan and other such things. So, she fired me from working for her, and I had absolutely no work. I drove home, sure of myself that I’d figure something out. I didn’t need her anyway. I was happy that she’d be out of my life for good now.
However, things didn’t really work that way. I had just overdrawn my bank account by 300 dollars to pay my rent that month, and then my phone died, and I managed to somehow overdraw it again to get my phone turned back on but now I owed something closer to 500 dollars to my bank and they’d start sending my debt off to collecting agencies soon
My car insurance was due and I had no money, so I was going to be driving without insurance very soon. I was out of gas with no way to drive anywhere to try and get a job. My tags were dead and needed to be replaced but I couldn’t replace them because I had no money.
I was also nearly out of food. There was bread, peanut butter and jelly, and a few things left in my cabinet, but on the whole the food was running out quickly.
My roommate, who is very patient, got rude and told me she wasn’t a pushover, and that essentially I wasn’t going to just live here for free, which was an implication that if I didn’t get some money, I’d be thrown out. And at the same time as all of this was happening, I stumbled headfirst into a full-blown depression that was brought on by these events as well as the fact that for the first time in nearly three years, there was no Nathan
No Nathan in my bed at night. No Nathan to hold me when I freaked out and started ranting and shush me and say “It’s gonna be okay, sweetie. We’re going to figure it out.” No Nathan to get on my nerves and make me angry, no Nathan to cook dinner out of the sparse ingredients we had in our cabinets, no Nathan to wake me up in the middle of the night with his awkward, clunky sex that he wasn’t very good at but that I loved because I knew he was doing it out of love for me, and that he wanted me. No Nathan to sit in bed next to me and play Pokémon while I was falling asleep. No Nathan.
And even harder was the fact that every time I tried to clean my room, I would stop in my tracks because I would run across something of his: his shirt, one of his books or games, a letter that he wrote me, our notebook filled with little notes we used to leave each other, which in the beginning of our relationship were little “I love you, I’m going to sleep baby” notes, and by the end of our relationship had become “This is why I’m mad at you,” “You don’t care about me,” and “I’m sorry for yelling at you,” and “No I’m not going to break up with you, yes I still love you,” notes.
I would run across something that would remind me of him while I was cleaning my room and immediately have to drop everything. I’d stand up and walk over to my bed which had been stripped of it’s sheets, grab the nearest blanket-like apparatus and pillow and just lay down and cry, and try to sleep, because I slept I would forget about everything for a while.
I also stopped eating. I actually didn’t notice this. I would eat a sandwich or something one day and then eat almost nothing for two or three days after, when I’d realize I was hungry and spend some of my sparse money on McDonalds, and then forget to eat again for another two days. It was about two weeks into not-eating that I realized I was doing it. It was a product of depression I’d never dealt with before.
To add insult to all this injury, I was talking to guys online, and one by one they kept standing me up or disappointing me. First there was Travis, who I had known for a while, but who had been there when I’d broken up with Nathan. Travis had a boyfriend and, even though he and I never had full-on sex, he was essentially cheating on him with me. He told me that he was fed up with his boyfriend essentially, and made it sound like he wanted to be with me, and told me he was going to come into a lot of money soon and when that happened we’d go on cruises and see the world and stuff. Travis disappeared one day and didn’t want to talk at all anymore. His boyfriend was also mad at me for one reason or another, though he had every right to be and presumably at that time didn’t know that Travis had been cheating on him with me.
Then there was this guy who worked at Starbucks named Tyler. Tyler was bisexual and had hardly ever done anything with a guy, so I offered to take him out to dinner and have a nice date, but he said he’d rather just come to my house. So when he did, we watched DVDs and started making out, which led to us having full on, outright sex. It was so exciting. He wasn’t really my type, but I was happy just to have a shot with a nice-looking guy and I’d not had sex with anyone other than Nathan for three years. Then Tyler made plans with me the next day and disappeared, never responding.
After he ignored me for another few days he apologized and said he had just been scared, and said let’s hang out tonight. So I drove to his town at the designated time, he texted and said he was getting in the shower, then texted and said he was held up talking to his dead, and then I arrived. I waited… and waited….
I waited for two hours. He had stopped texting. I had no idea where he lived exactly, I was just waiting in a meeting spot. I couldn’t exactly go to his house and say “Um, is something wrong?” I kept waiting, texting, calling…. nothing. Two hours of nothing, and then I finally got fed up and slammed my phone down into the floorboard and drove home, cussing at him the whole way there, and sending him very nasty messages when I got back.
Then I met Garrett online, and we hung out. He told me up front “not to think of this as a date,” though since we met on a dating site and we were both single and going out to get coffee together, I couldn’t help feeling it was a date. He read tarot cards and he gave me a reading. He talked to me about himself and his life, I talked about mine. he was very domineering in personality, but I still liked him, and I thought he was very cute. We got home and he tried this silly new agey “energy healing” on me. It did nothing, but I did open up to him about how I was feeling and break down cry. He also had told me by this point he was interested in someone already.
Then he gave me a hug and held me close, and it felt so good. And we ended up hugging on the bed. I liked it. I felt safe. Then he showed me his cock, and I showed him mine, and we started kissing and sucking and next thing I knew he was topping me like I’d never been topped before, and I loved it, it was possibly the best sex I’ve ever had, so passionate.
He came inside me, which I know isn’t very safe and by the way I’ve been tested since then, and when he went home, I know this part is really gross but it just happens to be the truth, I had his cum inside my ass, and I didn’t want to go to the bathroom to, well, get rid of it, because it was so warm, there was so much of it, and not in a sexual way but in an emotional way I kept thinking to myself “He’s inside me. His most secret, special thing, his seed, his essence, is inside of me right now. I want to keep it.” And I waited a while before I finally went and, how to say, emptied my contents. I know that’s disgusting but it’s what happened.
Several more things happened. Two different guys made plans and cancelled. I was still running out food, gas and money and finding no job alternatives. I finally got an interview at Dominos and I got the job. Unfortunately, though the Dominos was in my area, I had to go train for two weeks at a Dominos that was too far to drive to, but I figured it’s a job and I’ll do it, so I went. Two days in I was dying from the anxiety of it, this place was awful, I hated it, they didn’t train me worth a crap, and a manager threw a pizza box in my face on the first day.
I would crawl into bed and only ever get on my computer. I didn’t read or play video games or play music like normal, I didn’t feel worthy of doing anything fun. I was a failure. I was in my bed, a fat, miserable failure. I’d lost the love of my life, even if he was the incredibly dysfunctional and abusive love of my life, and the closest thing I’d ever had to a long-term boyfriend. I had been stood up by something like five guys, and another two or three had fucked me and then never called again. They had used me, in my time of need.
I would try and talk to Nathan, but all I did was cry and tell him how much I missed him. I begged him to move back down, that we could just be friends and live together, and help each other like we did before. He toyed with idea but said he wouldn’t do it. I couldn’t go try and get food stamps or anything because I had no gas left to drive anywhere. I had no money at all. I was starting to get hungry again even though my appetite had been dead for weeks.
I couldn’t write songs or do anything productive. I just talked to my friends online about how empty I felt. And I did. I felt so completely alone. I had been abandoned by everyone I loved, and my own mother hated me and treated me like shit. I had no way of finding money, and now I had this awful job that I had to keep because I had no alternative.
So I went to my mother’s house on Thanksgiving and asked for my job with her back. I had to listen to her go on a diatribe about how she’s just trying to help me by telling me I’m a sinner because she doesn’t want me to go burn in hell blar blar blar, and nod and pretend like it wasn’t eating me alive that this awful bitch tried to exact any control over me. I was an adult, but I had no choice. I had to be a part of her insanity to make money.
Slowly, things started to resolve themselves. She helped me pay for my insurance and tags, Kitty lowered my rent and charged me by the week, and I was able to take food from my mother’s house when I needed it. I went back to the doctor (by the way another part of this whole dilemma was that I needed to see the doctor for an important shot of testosterone I have to have each month due to low testosterone but I knew I couldn’t because I didn’t think my mother would pay for it, in addition to needing prescriptions filled that I had no money for) and I got what I needed from the doctor.
I started to calm down. I started to see some hope again. there were some more disappointments from the online boys, but things started to return o something like normal. They haven’t all the way. Some nights I still curl up and have to imagine fantasy boyfriends, sometimes it’s characters from my stories, sometimes it’s whoever I’m talking to, but I pretend someone is holding me close and making me smile and laugh and kissing my eyelashes and making me feel butterflies in my stomach.
But sometimes, I run across Nathan’s breakup letter, or something that reminds me of him, or I hear a song, or my mother does something awful to ruin my day, and that’s it: done. There is no recovery for me. The only cure is to crawl into bed and hope tomorrow will be less painful, less horrible, that my spirit won’t be crushed so much by the world around me.
But as time went on, I started to feel hope again. I am hopeful that I will find a new job, and that I’ll be able to do it. I am hopeful that I’ll start college when I can, and do well. I am hopeful that I will figure out where my novel needs to go, and write it.
I am hopeful because I’ve decided that I don’t need a boyfriend to make myself happy, and I’m happy having friends and friends with benefits. If someone comes along and changes my mind on that, fine, but I refuse to wait for some guy to come rescue me. I have to rescue myself. But it was five months before I came to that realization, and it’s a feeling, not just a thought. You can’t make yourself feel it if you don’t.
What do I mean here? It will get better. Take it one day at a time. I don’t generally like the Bible, but there is some beautiful poetry in it, and there’s a line somewhere that says “Today’s troubles are enough, and tomorrow will worry about itself. Can you add an hour to your life by worrying about what tomorrow holds?”
So focus on today, and if that’s too hard, focus on what you’re doing this hour, and if that’s too hard, focus on this minute, and if even that’s too hard, focus on breathing. On drinking water. On doing the bare essentials required to keep this body that you have running. Clear your head if you can, and if you can’t, then sit and wallow in your misery for a while if that’s what you have to do. I think feeling sorry for yourself is a necessary thing, you just have to be able to do it within the right limitations: you don’t hurt yourself, you don’t get suicidal. If you start to feel that way, get a friend online or on the phone immediately and hand yourself over to them, don’t let them leave you alone until you know you aren’t going to hurt yourself.
Focus on right now. Focus on what you’re feeling. Think about positive things. Think about the things you want. Don’t think about how unattainable they seem, just focus on whatever one little thing will make this moment more bearable, make this second easier to survive, make the possibility of a smile come back to you.
The thing that no one tells you in movies and TV and inspirational things is that there will be times when all hope is lost. The point of life is to keep trying. Even (and especially when) you fail.