Let me describe
Let me try to explain
What this feels like
What’s happening to my brain
Let me say the words
Try to make them clean
So you’re able to understand
Exactly what I mean
There is this balloon
In the center of me
And it’s puffing it’s chest
Making it hard to breathe
It’s filled to the brim
Widening my ribs
I can’t seem to get
Use to it
It’s pushing my my veins
So far out of it’s way
I can feel it effecting
My arms and legs
So, please, grab a scapel
And split my skin
Puncture that damn balloon
Let something good back in
Because I feel it, I feel it
Like I’ll explode
I grit my teeth, bear it
No one has to know
You know, a little while ago, I was severely depressed and the thing I couldn’t handle was that I was surrounded by people who should’ve cared. And they didn’t.
I’m sure, on some level, they did. I get that.
But now, I’m not drowning. I’ve just breathed in a couple mouthfuls of water and I’m gagging a bit. And now these people, these people here in this place, they care. Now, they don’t always care the way I want them too. These people actually notice when I’m not okay and they don’t just ignore me. They want me to participate in the conversation. They do nice things. They take note when I’m not mentally with them.
And maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m more open here. Maybe here I feel less constraint. Maybe there I hid more often. Maybe there I made myself inaccessible. Maybe it was me.
All I know is there I felt like no one cared. All I know is here they care enough to ignore me and care for me anyway.
I don’t deserve the care. I can’t figure out why these people are nice to me. I don’t know why they notice when I’m not okay or why they bother trying to make me laugh. I don’t know what the hell I’m supposed to do with the kindness. I really really really just want to stay in bed all day but somewhere along the way, I became this person with a job that takes up too much time and I have to get out of bed every morning and for goodness sake I know that’s a good thing but I really just want to get lost in pillows and blankets and warmth and I don’t want to leave it and I don’t want to face these people who are so kind to me when I know I can’t give a damn thing back to them and I’m so tired and sad and how the fuck do you still feel alone when you know the people around you actually like you and want you to be here???
I’m sorry I got scared and a little mad. My emotional brain was a little stunned and a little confused and a little hurt. My logical brain quickly tried to wrap a blanket around my emotional brain and soothe her. My logical brain knew, and knows, that nothing was wrong, that nothing was meant by it, and that it wasn’t supposed to hurt.
I’m sorry I acted the way I did. And I’m sorry it affected you. Because I could tell it affected you.
I felt rejected and I reacted. I stood as tall as I could, bit back a little, and stayed stubborn as ever, proving to myself and those watching that the only person I will ever need is myself.
And you don’t deserve a friend like me. You deserve someone better. Much better.
So if you want to leave, I understand. I will, with all the grace and dignity I have, watch you go. I will watch your form walking away from me and I will wish you well.
I’m sorry if I made you angry. I’m sorry I took it too personally. I understand if you want to leave. There’s no reason you shouldn’t.
My birthday is coming up.
I hate that.
I’m nervous about it. Last year, I was miserable. I tried – hard – to not be. I went out for lunch, I explored a bookstore, I tried to treat myself. I ended up going into work just so that I could sit with someone and not be alone. I bought cake that I didn’t even eat because I felt too horrible to do so.
I’m just nervous. I don’t want to be alone on my birthday again. And I won’t be. I have to work on my birthday this year. And I like most of the people that I work with. I don’t want to remind anyone because I don’t want to make a big deal about it. I don’t like being the center of attention. I don’t really want anything from it. I just… I just don’t want it to be like last year. I feel like Jess in New Girl – how she goes to the movies by herself just so that no one else has to deal with her. Maybe I should just call in sick and not leave my room all day and wait for the day to just get over with. Honestly, I’ve got plenty of sick time – it’s no where near out of the question.
I really don’t like not being with my family on my birthday. I don’t know why. I haven’t been with them for it in years. So I don’t know why I care. Last year I was feeling so down that I didn’t even call them because I didn’t want them to know.
I wish I could explain the feeling better. But it doesn’t matter.
I want you to know I was walking with a friend tonight and you came up. I’ve never talked to him about you.
I want you to know that when he asked, I couldn’t say your name. No one here in this place has ever heard your name come from my lips.
I want you to know that what you did still hurts. I know it’s been six years.
I want you to know that the loyalty I have toward you is still very real. Sometimes that’s why I don’t like telling people about you. Because when I do, other people get mad at you. When I tell them what happened, no matter how bright a light I paint you in, they don’t like you. And I hate that.
He told me that, when it comes to friendship, once I’m friends with someone, I’m friends with them forever. I didn’t know people could read that about me. I wonder if he could feel it because he’s one of those people.
You were too.
The difference is I tell myself that he could leave me and disregard my friendship any time he wants. That’s completely his prerogative. If he decides he’s done being friends with me, it will be horrible. But it will be his choice and if he wants to make that choice, I will be okay with it.
With you, I told you I was afraid of people leaving me and you told me you never would.
And then you did.
I’ve learned, and am learning, to hold friendships closely but loosely. You were the reason I had to learn.
And still, I’m missing you.
How do you start the conversation?
How do you ask for help? How do you say you’re not okay?
Honestly, it’s weird being an adult and not being okay. As a kid and as a student, there was someone to go to. I’m not talking friends or relatives or anything like that. I mean there was always someone there who was specifically there for you to go talk to if needed.
But now? I’m still wrestling with how much your supposed to tell your boss. And I struggle with the fact that I work in an environment that doesn’t seem to keep things as private as it should.
And another thing? When I’m searching for help online, I don’t know what I’m looking for. I don’t know how my insurance works, I don’t know what you’re really able to tell from a website, and I don’t know if everything available is actually online.
I don’t know how to tell my friends I’m not okay. I don’t know how they’ll react or how I want them to. I don’t know know if or how it will change the way they view me or speak to me. I just don’t know. I don’t even think I want anything from them. I just want them to know.
It’s just odd because… well, I’m so high functioning. And I very much understand why people say that those that are high functioning with depression are the scariest. Because I know the picture I’m portraying. I know that, even when I show that it’s not good, I never show how bad it actually is.
There’s not really a point to all of this. Living with depression is hard. And, because I never actually deal with things, when the busyness stops, it gets so much worse. So I guess I’m just keep keeping myself busy.
I don’t really want to keep this to myself. But I don’t know how to start the conversation.
It’s Father’s Day.
I forgot how much you don’t like Father’s Day until I was sitting in church this morning and something reminded me of you. Something reminded me of the Father’s Day years ago when I was sitting in a different church and you texted me that it was Father’s day, I typed, “Yes?” and you replied, “I hate this day.”
This morning, I felt your pain again. I’m sorry that you hate this day. You deserved a dad who acted like your dad. You deserved a dad who showed his love to you, who taught you how to be wise, who shared your humor, and who was there for you. And your mom deserved to have help; she deserved to not have to be both parents. Though I will say I always loved how you celebrated her both on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
Today – and this is kind of a long shot – but today, I bet you felt those same feelings but they were matched with feelings of fear. Today, I bet you felt inadequate. Today, I bet you hoped desperately that you will be the father to your son that you needed.
Don’t worry too much about it, okay? Because you will be. You’ll do whatever you can for him. You’ll love him and teach him and, goodness knows, you’ll get him rolling his eyes very early with all of your dad jokes. You are loving and caring and gentle. You will show him what it’s like to be human in this crazy world and you will absolutely fail sometimes. But that’s okay. Because you can teach him that failing is okay, humbleness is necessary, and you move forward and learn from your mistakes.
I am sorry if you’ve felt pain and fear today. I hope you’ve also experienced joy and love. You deserve joy and love.
Happy first Father’s Day to you my brother.