shut up. i’m talking now

I understand that sometimes depressed people can be a major drag. Trust me. I’ve been there. They’re not real fun to be around. They’re a buzzkill. I get that sometimes you’d rather remove your own fingernails than hang out with a friend in the midst of depression. I get it.

Excuse me for saying, though, and pardon my language but sometimes–especially in those moments–we depressed folk need our friends to fucking be there.

There is nothing worse than feeling alone–except realizing you actually are alone.

Do we expect you to spit out some magic bullet that’ll make us feel better? No. But in a manner of speaking, your presence makes the difference. By sheer virtue of demonstrating (not just saying) that you give a shit, by making yourself available, you become a balm in an otherwise unbearable circumstance.

Do we expect you to put your life on hold? No, and don’t you dare ever suggest that. We feel shitty enough reaching out in the first place. We know you’d probably prefer to catch up on House of Cards. But if you’re a friend–if you say you’re a friend–then act like it and stop making us feel like the bad guy for practically begging you for a little bit of time.

If I seem upset, it’s because I’m not speaking rhetorically. This isn’t a hypothetical exercise. And no, I’m not too dependent on others, and no, my happiness doesn’t count on other people. When you need a friend, you need a friend. And there’s nothing wrong with that. And if you don’t have a friend and you need a friend… well, then you know what it’s like.

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3 thoughts on “shut up. i’m talking now

  1. I don’t know the specifics of your situation but I’ve given this issue a fair bit of thought. I think our current culture lacks a tolerance to sadness. You know, everything has to sugar-coated. And it happens automatically. “I’m great, how are you?” “Things are good!” “Have a nice day” How many totally superficial smiles do we force on ourselves everyday just to be polite – or just because we feel we have to.

    I’m really sorry your friend wasn’t there for you. But I’m going to turn this into a bigger issue. I don’t think people learn how to deal with trauma anymore. We don’t learn how to deal with death. We don’t know how to be there for each other in the real human moments. You know, when the fake smiles are put away, and you just can’t even pretend anymore.

    You are completely right. Needing people is a necessity, like needing food or water. The makers of the SIms know that. And it sucks that your friends aren’t helping you through this. But in their defense, a lot of people don’t know how to react when bad shit happens. They don’t know what to say. They worry about making things worse. It’s not just selfishness, they’re afraid. I think in some way we are all programmed to think that death is contagious. That if we can stay away from people in grief then somehow we’ll be spared. It isn’t logical. And it isn’t fair to the people who are grieving, but it isn’t personal either.

    Of course I don’t mean to excuse it. I just want you to realize that they might not be staying away because you’re “a buzz kill”. There are deeper issues at play.

    I hope things get better for you. I hope your friends mature and gain some perspective. I hope they read your post. I wish you all the best.

  2. fireflyin says:

    I meant to thank you a long time ago for your comments. They’ve been encouraging to read, and I’ve read them more than once. Sorry I didn’t say so sooner.
    I do know for a fact that a lot of the people in my life don’t know what real loss or grief is. Though they’ve had their slogs, they’ve lived charmed lives, and I try my best not to begrudge them that. (What do they say about misery?) In a way, death is contagious. Not the physical sort, of course, but maybe the death of innocence, the death of an illusion, the death of a world without… death. That hasn’t been my world for many years, I’ve sort of forgotten what it’s like.
    But to be fair, I am a buzz kill. I admit it freely. I am more “doom and gloom” than, well, anything else. I have more bad days than good, even with… the steps I’ve taken to get better. I can understand the strain it puts on a friendship. You’re right about the superficiality of the times, though. It’s something that’s encouraged, too. If you’re not feeling good, fake it. If you’re not happy, fake it. (The reasoning being that it just might become genuine.) I have received that advice more than I care to. I can’t tell if the friends who suggest it still care or are just lazy.
    In any case, if your invitation still stands, it may be that I’ll toss you a message some time. I’ve appreciated what you have to say. Thanks for reading.

  3. I think there is a particular type of hardship when you are surrounded by people who have all had it easier than you. It’s not only that it makes you feel out of place for understandable emotions and thoughts, but it can be quite alienating. You’ve just had a big loss in your life, and so it’s normal that you have more bad days than good, and don’t let people tell you otherwise. Anything you feel is justified, but it’s also important not to identify yourself with your emotions. They will pass, and change, and re-arrange themselves into a more pleasant state of mind. You are more than they are.

    I’m really glad your posting again. For weeks I kept coming back to your blog every few days to check if there was an update. Your posts brought back very strong emotions for me, and I couldn’t stop thinking about them and hoping things were going well for you. You’re a really good writer, and you have a particular way of presenting yourself that gives your voice a singular clarity. I don’t know to describe it, but it’s a talent all on it’s own.

    You can message me anytime you want, about anything at all, and I really mean that.

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