I don’t know whether I’m merely gripped by this feeling I get every few months – of having a particular trait that’s wrong with me but is right with everyone else but I’m saddened at present by the thought that I’m like a virus or a blight in the lives of the people I know.
I don’t really think I can really speak to anyone about it. Speaking to others to gain comfort is precisely the type of past behaviour t hat troubles me now.
I wonder to what extent, in the past, friends were people I used to ease the chaos within my crazy head. I feel somewhat hollow now that the smog of depression has mostly dissipated from my brain. I don’t know whether there is anything positive about me that is of value to others.
I had a date recently with a gentlemen I met from a dating app. He coincidentally turned out to be quite familiarly acquainted with one of my friends from University. During the course of our date, he revealed his awareness of a couple of pieces of media that our mutual friend enjoyed. They weren’t particularly personal revelations and so it startled me that I wasn’t aware.
The conversation got me wondering if once I got to know my friend slightly, I sought her company to simply improve my mood or act as a partial band aid to the wounds that depression wrought.
The cycle is a familiar one. Due to anxiety or introversion I say no to requests they make or to taking part in activities they like. But when I desire aid, I seek them out
If I suspend my negative emotions for a time, I know that there are probably people who enjoy spending time with me. There are even those who seek me out because I’m a decent listener and they might require my judgement-free advice. But I don’t know whether I’ve cultivated bonds with people who think of me with fondness when I’m not around or who might go to the hospital if I were involved in an accident in a year’s time. In that way, I feel somewhat lonely. This loneliness, however, is much less than the pang I’ve experienced in the past when I’ve pondered on the noticeable lack of a maternal or paternal figure in my life.
Truthfully, I don’t know whether I was capable of acting differently. I now suspect I’ve scared off the man I would have called my best friend last year. Perhaps I was too honest about my mental health and he grew sick of me. Now that I’m better, I suspect that he is wary of speaking to me lest I reveal what new slight inconvenience has made me feel suicidal. And yet, last winter, genuinely afraid that I would end my life, I asked a few friends if they were willing to write a card for me saying they’d missed me if I died.
In the end, I didn’t ask for the card but the willingness of the people to accommodate my request touched me. But from their perspective, it isn’t something that warms the heart. I probably never told them how it helped me as despite my graphic posts on here, I am not that open a book and rarely feel like talking about my darkest moments when I feel better.
So it wouldn’t surprise me if that best friend no longer speaks to me, nor would it surprise me if my friends at University no longer speak to me when I go away for my year abroad or after I graduate. Who would blame them?
The trait I used to value most in friends was their ability to pull me up when I began to sink into despair. My perpetual fantasy was making plans to end my life, only to be pulled back by a well-meaning friend. Truthfully, nothing close to that has happened. Whenever I’ve done something particularly extreme, my thoughts have been very much inward. And despite feeling like wanting to die or cause great pain to myself, there is a strong sense of self-preservation and doubt that keeps me from reaching out in my worst moments. I tend to fear that either a lack of response or a harsh response will be the last straw that causes me to make that final decision that I’m tempted to but prefer not to make. I know not whether it’s a delusion, but I like to think that if I were to make a call, there’d be kindness on the other end of the phone. However I prefer not to put that barely-held belief to the test.
I no longer need saving. I don’t really know what I value most in others, nor how I should act without pain motivating my pursuit of bonds. I have the strength to critically evaluate relationships I currently possess and see the weaknesses.
And despite not being in the sick frame of mind that believes that people wish me harm or are out to get me, I find them wanting and that is my fault. And I suppose its on me to find out what I can do nourish them and discover what positive traits I should highlight, now revealed with the absence of depression’s shadow.