Sometimes I find it hard to get up and move. The weight of what I’m carrying around feels too heavy and all I want to do is curl up and…do nothing.
I woke up this morning with a horrific headache, irritated eyes, and a sore throat. We are currently in the middle of the worst wildfire season in years. The smoke from all of the fires makes the air quality shit. Usually from where I sit, I can see mountains all around. Now, all I see is smoke, the color of which is like looking through a sepia filter.
I have moments of feeling okay. Not normal, but okay. I feel terribly alone. That is a constant, regardless of my okay moments, I always feel alone. I have a handful of close friends whom I confided in about my struggle. Two that asked “are you okay?”, I actually said “No. I’m not.” I need to be able to talk to someone about all of this. I need someone to understand that I’m really not okay. The day I told my friend, K, she texted me back and forth multiple times and asked what she could do to help. That was three weeks ago. I haven’t heard from her since.
Then there’s D. I told him 5 months ago that I was having an awful time. That I don’t recognize myself, don’t like myself, and hate what is happening. I’ve heard not one fucking word from him. Nothing but huge silence. This is a person I trusted and thought would be there for me. I have no words for how angry I am at myself for misjudging the kind of friend I thought he was.
Back in March, I disconnected myself from Social Media. I deactivated my Facebook account because I could no longer stand to look at the highlight reel of everyone’s lives while I quietly fell apart. Part of my struggle is that I constantly go out of my way to do good. To make a difference. I don’t do it to get anything in return, but for shit sake, a little karma would be okay. When I left Facebook, it’s like I never existed for most of my “friends”.
Some of those friends have struggled with their own depression and mental illnesses. Look at their social media accounts, and you will see a steady stream of shared posts on helping people who struggle. Catchy articles with titles like “You Are NOT Alone”, “13 Reasons Why” and “You Matter!”
Unless, of course, you aren’t easily accessible via social media. In that case, you don’t matter that much and you can fuck right off.
You don’t get to say “tell someone if you are struggling!” and then turn your back when someone does tell you. I once tried to confide in another friend and instead of listening, she chose to tell me how awful her depression was years ago and how terrible life was and blah, blah, blah. I was there for it and for her when she was fighting her demons. I knew all of that which was why I chose to talk to her. She turned it into a competition and I have not heard from her since.
I have one friend, J, that I do hear from regularly. He checks in via text to ask how I’m doing and see if I’m okay. I highly doubt he understands how much I appreciate him. We don’t have long conversations, or any conversations really. Usually just a quick text back and forth. As long as I’ve known him, he’s had more faith in my ability to do things than I ever had. A few years ago I went to DC to run the Marine Corps Marathon. I didn’t finish and it devastated me at the time. He immediately sent me this:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ~ Roosevelt
I have it in my wallet. I have it hanging on my wall in front of my treadmill, with my failed MCM race bib. I wish I felt one hundredth as strong as he gives me credit for. But, I appreciate him so much. I doubt he realizes just how much it means to me that he keeps up with me. I’ve told him, but I don’t think he really knows.
Feeling alone is the worst feeling.
It’s so empty and so consuming.
Living life alone, and always on the verge of tears, is exhausting.