Tag Archives: relationships

Back with a vengeance

Over at The Bloggess, she says something incredibly wise:  depression is a lying bastard and life will be brighter again.

(an aside – if you’ve never heard of The Bloggess, go there right now and read! She’s awesome and it’s much better than being here.  Plus, I’ll wait for you to come back.)

I’m struggling to keep this in mind — that this monster that keeps climbing on my back is doing nothing but whispering lies in my ear.  Nothing good or positive or healthy comes from this voice.  You’re boring.  And ugly.  And will always be alone.  And never have sex ever again.  No one in the world wants you.  That’s what it tells me.  Among other things.  (I mean, if it could toss in something helpful, that’d be nice, though.  Perhaps a reminder to change the filter on the furnace or something like that?)

When I’m at my most logical, I can see the fallacy behind these words.  No, I haven’t found someone to be with, but does that mean it’ll never happen?  Of course not.  And I’m quite sure that my stable of friends would argue with me if I told them I was ugly or boring.  If I were as awful a person as the monster tells me, I’d be utterly alone in this world.  And that is far from the truth.

And yet, I’ve been really challenged to work my head past these feelings and move forward. It’s hard to battle something that doesn’t play fair, ya know?

I had made an early August appointment with a psychiatrist to talk about going on some meds, but in the end, I cancelled that appointment.  See, for a few weeks at the end of July, life was good.  Really good.  I had met a girl.  Someone I liked! I thought she was cute and good company and everything she said to me indicated that she felt the same.  The only downside?  She lived about 2.5 hours from me.

It ended up being the relationship that never was.  After the initial date, we made — and she cancelled — 5 more, all with good, plausible reasons.  But fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me 5 times, who’s the idiot?  Whether the excuses were real or not, it was clear that I was a very low priority and if it’s that way in the beginning?  It’s never going to get better.  You can’t make someone love you. Or even meet up for a drink with you, as it turns out.

After that I went all to hell — much worse than before.  But I had already cancelled the psych appointment.  And when I finally called back, she wasn’t taking new appointments anymore.

For weeks I wallowed and dwelled and hated my life.  It was crying binges during the day and spending entire weekends where the only conversation I had (talking to the dog doesn’t count!) was with the checkout person at Trader Joe’s.  I ate with abandon and my only exercise consisted of using the remote control and doing 12oz bicep curls with my drinks. It wasn’t much of an existence, that’s for sure.

But very recently, part of me woke up and decided that if nothing else, I could control my eating and health.  I decided that even if I didn’t have the motivation to work out, I could eat healthy and watch calories.  I think things got so out of control that I picked the one thing that I *could* control.  If even just a little bit.

And so, I joined myfitnesspal.com and started tracking food.  Joined in with the community.  Even managed to get myself a dozen or so friends that check in on me.  And that’s been good.

In the spirit of trying to take care of myself, I also went through my insurance and found another random psychiatrist who was accepting new patients and made an appointment (I have another 3 weeks to wait)… one of those things that sounds easy as pie but is impossibly difficult for me to do (that’s a blog for another time).

So, we’ll see what happens.  This mood/depression/whatever has been hanging around most of the year, and it’s definitely been bearing down on me lately. Despite the fact that a potential girlfriend made me feel better, I don’t believe getting rid of the depression is that simple.  I think the uplift would have been temporary and would have gone away eventually, with or without someone in my life.  In the end, I need to fix myself, not distract myself.

So, while the depression has been back with a vengeance, perhaps I might be crawling back up as well.  At least I feel like I’m making some healthy decisions in spite of myself.  With every good choice I make, it makes a little easier to make the next one.  I’ve started doing a bare amount of exercise.  And I even promise not to cancel the psych appointment, no matter what’s going on by then. Because I need to remember how depression can lie … life will get better. Sometimes you just need to take the first steps.

I quit you… or do I?

Tell me… how do you quit people?

Not the bad influence friends.  Or the ones who periodically weed-whack their way through your life, destroying everything in their paths.  Those are easy … well, at least the decision to delete their number from your cell phone should be easy (actual removal is a different problem, of course).

But what about someone who’s your friend?  Someone who would be there if you needed them.  Someone who knows your secrets.  Someone who knows you just about as well as you know yourself.  Someone that (maybe, just maybe) you’re secretly in love with?

How do you quit them?

Of course, it’s not that clear cut, either.  The fact is that I’m mostly past the “in love” part.  Due to my wildly, insanely high expectations, I’ve been let down enough that I’ve started the process of letting go.  This, in turn, is helped by the fact that this friend tends to promise big, say all the right things, and then stumble on the follow through.  She still is the person I confide in most and is utterly dear to me, but even I can recognize that I’m not a priority to her.

Of course, if I’m to be honest, I was expecting my friend to act like my girlfriend in all ways but the obvious girlfriend ways.  I wanted her around (all the time), do stuff with me (all the time) and put me first (all the time).  Isn’t that what friends are for?

But still – quitting her entirely?  That’s what my therapist is suggesting.  I knew she would — I almost didn’t bring it up because I knew this struggle would ensue.

I think I can keep the friendship; I’ve been here before, having a total crush on a friend who’s completely and obviously not interested (historically, these have always been straight friends… the fact this one is gay is an interesting twist).  And I’ve always managed to work my way through it and find the light on the other side.  Kept the friendship.  Pushed my way through to a place where the friendship wasn’t some form of exquisite torture and in return I received the gift of a true, equal relationship.

I’ll just do the same thing this time around.  Mold and manage my expectations into something that resembles reality — and what a normal “we’re just friends” friendship looks like.

I tell my therapist this; she’s not convinced.  Thinks — and perhaps rightly so — that this friend takes advantage of me.

It’s true:  our friendship is lopsided.  It used to be that I absolutely went out of my way for her. I would wait around for her to show up to go out, make her dinner, buy her things just because I knew she’d like them.  In return I usually got the attention I wanted — that’s all that I ever really wanted from her.  But she would dole it out in a manner so frustrating to me … I wanted everything, she just wanted to be friends.

But since then, I’ve definitely gotten better and reeled things in.  I’ve mostly dropped the puppy dog act (I was starting to get fleas, I think) and no longer make concessions for her.  Of course, even with this progress, I still sometimes leave myself open to getting hurt by her.  I’ll expect something that perhaps a friend shouldn’t expect and she’ll let me down.  The most recent episode of this had me in tears.

And so, do I quit her?

No matter which path I choose, there will be grieving involved — either losing a friend entirely or losing the fantasy I’ve been trying desperately to enact in real life.

I have to admit, there is some temptation to the full-on quit — I see the world in such a black and white way that act would fit my world view:  either I can have her entirely or not at all.

But the world is lonely enough without losing another friend, isn’t it?

It might not be the best decision I’ve ever made, but I’m guessing it won’t be the worst, either.  The time between now and when I’m free of the crush will be challenging, but I know that the core friendship that we share — outside of my wild ideas — is worth saving.

So, no quitting.  I’ll leave the option open, but for now?  I’ll give it a go.

(postscript:  no, I never told her I felt this way, but I never needed to — she made it clear from the beginning that she wanted nothing more than friendship from me and she’s in a serious relationship anyway)