Sunday, April 11, 2010

This could get awkward.

I need to get really personal and really heavy for a minute. I am feeling intense anxiety about publishing this because I know all the people who read this blog and it could be... more than a little awkward... but I have to do it because a.) there are other people who deserve explanations and b.) I need more than anything to hold myself accountable right now.

I fell in love for the first time in 2007 and had a brief but lovely relationship. Had it actually ended there, I--we--would most certainly be in a very different place right now, but it didn't. For two and a half years he couldn't decide what he wanted, would be completely in love with me and want marriage and forever, and then within a week be distant, disinterested and mean. I never fell out of love with him (I never had the chance, we were always together even when we weren't) and I stayed through all of it, constantly guessing at what he wanted, giving everything I had and much that I didn't and being slowly broken down by this dark cloud hanging over my life. In 2008 I lost 25 lbs. In early 2009 I started dating one of the kindest men I have ever met but gave that up because HE (the former) had a revelation and wanted forever again, a notion that he was bored with within a month. He casually dropped this bomb, moved on and didn't look back, while I was left feeling betrayed, stupid, broken and extremely depressed. I had ruined something wonderful to be duped again. I was back at square one. I hated myself. By August 2009 I was destroyed. I slept for days on end while the grandparents looked after B. I woke up every morning with a feeling that I can't adequately describe with words. It felt like death. It was beyond depression and beyond anything I'd ever come close to feeling before. My brain was empty, my stomach and chest felt hollow. It was as though my soul had left my body. At this point I was trying to move to New York, going through the motions of wanting to move on but not actually feeling anything but this horrible emptiness. Getting out of bed was the hardest thing I'd ever done. Putting one foot in front of the other was nearly impossible. I knew that I couldn't kill myself for B's sake, but I felt as though I was already dead and didn't want my body to have to keep going through these motions. I flew back to Texas from New York in August and stayed in bed for days, deciding that there was no better option, that I absolutely could not go on. When it became imminent I panicked and made some phone calls asking my friends for help for B's sake. I was so lucky at that point that people stepped in and made me get help. Everyone knew I was depressed but saying out loud just how serious it had gotten was the first step to getting better. With counseling and a permanent move to New York, I began a new chapter in my life. I was proud of myself, excited to be following my dreams, and woke up feeling ecstatic that I could breath air and see sunlight and get out of bed.

Like an addict, or anyone whose confidence and will has been weakened by emotional trauma, I relapsed. In October of 2009 he came back, said all the right things, including that he was moving to New York, and flew up to see me and prove all of this to me. My head spun, then stopped spinning and started screaming at me that this was bad, but I didn't listen. By December he was back to treating me literally like I was the bane of his existence. I was devastated. New York was no longer my bright, new world. I was no longer happy with myself. I was losing my drive and on top of everything, B was going back to Texas. I had never felt so alone... which is saying something. We kept up the charade for a bit because at this point he was my best friend. (I've lost two of my oldest friends over this.) I listened to his problems, I tried to be supportive, I made time and I became his emotional dumping ground. I kept my feelings and problems to myself because that's the way we work. I stressed out for him, I worried about him, I stood up for him and I stayed home every night. I tried. But the anger and resentment built up inside me and I was beginning to feel familiar, unwelcome emotions. I tried to get angry and be as mean as I could to him in hopes that it would push him away (I didn't--and still don't really--feel strong enough to do it on my own) and we began to fight daily. I was rapidly reaching a new level of self destruction and that suicidal place I was in only six months ago felt inevitable. I felt like there were no options, I didn't want to tell anyone how bad it had gotten again because I was humiliated and I. Was. Terrified.

That day in Texas, where I briefly felt alive again, was crucial. It didn't immediately change anything, except that it reminded me that there are people who will never judge me and never stop being my friend, no matter how bad I've screwed up. Because of that I swallowed my fears and told Ashley that it was worse than she knew, that I wasn't saying "I want to die" in a funny way, but that I actually did. She stayed with me, slept on my tiny couch, fed me, called for help, literally dragged me out of bed in the morning and forced me to shower and go talk to the therapist I saw when I first moved to New York, who had already started trying to help me out of this. I don't know where people like that come from, or what I've done to deserve them, but my cup runneth over. So far it has been slow but good. The good thing about heartbreak-related depression (as opposed to clinical) is that you can get out of it rationally and by changing your behavior (maybe like quitting smoking?) if you want to. And I do. I SO DO. I actually really love myself and I love life. I love people and energy and nature and moments and feelings. I want those things. I never again want to feel like if I die it won't matter.

So there you go. It's morbid and it's awkward to talk about (in any setting, in fact--imagine telling your therapist how you planned to do it) but I believe that things become less scary the more you know about them, and I believe in honesty with yourself and the people you owe it to... even if it's shameful and hard to talk about. I don't think everything will be rosy from here on out, but I can practice the art of one day at a time. I am so sorry to the friends I've alienated or confused, to the man I hurt last year and to the family who I've pretty much completely kept this from for two years. I have so much going on in my life right now and I want to focus the blog back on what I love thinking and writing about the most-- those moments that make you feel alive, the good in every situation and the journey to create a life that you love and are passionate about. Thanks for hearing me out.