I think it was 15 years ago. At least.
I was really sad, lonely even. I was in high school at the time. I don’t remember the exact year, tbh. I don’t remember if I was a senior or junior, whatever. The point is, for some reason, I wanted to be dead.
Now, I wasn’t necessarily popular, but I didn’t do too badly for a performing arts nerd. No, really. I got along with some of the punk kids, I was used to attract some of the more popular kids and athletic kids to arts programs, and I was at least popular with the musicians, singers, and actors. So, there wasn’t any particular “reason” to be sad or lonely, but I was. And I didn’t want to be alive.
That being said, I white-knuckled through the period. Got through it.
A couple years after that, while I was in college, that feeling of loneliness hit me again. This time, I felt less popular, more distanced from the friends who convinced me that I was worth living. I spent more time just feeling sad, hunkered in my room, wondering why I wasn’t worth anyone’s time.
Sometime after that, after getting a DUI and losing my bartending job, things got bleak. I went through multiple, though thankfully feeble, attempts to end my life.
7-9am: I pass by multiple co-workers, I attempt to make eye contact and say “good morning”. A few do not acknowledge it and/or ignore me completely as if I were invisible. I continue to go about my work or make my breakfast or wait for my toast, but inside, I’m fucking screaming wondering why I’m not worth being treated like a normal human being.
My mind wanders to a few days before, at an office meeting, where I take a seat. I look at all the empty seats right next to me—past those seats, every seat, a group of co-workers talking, smiling, enjoying each other’s company.
I’ve been here for almost four years. When did I become a nobody?
12-1pm: Sitting at a lunch table, hoping to be a little bit more social. Same thing as the work meeting, same feelings of being wholly unimportant. The same people who ignored my existence, enjoying the existence of others. I eat my sandwich, while swallowing the fact that most people here only craft relationships if there’s a potential gain in social status or professional status.
I wish I were actually invisible. I wish I could be anywhere else.
At least the job pays decently. Could be better, but would probably be worse if I started somewhere new. This is my penance for being a trash human being. A short, fat, loser with nothing to offer. This is my lot in life.
I text my wife about how terrible I feel, and she urges me to finally follow-through with something that I’ve been pondering vocally for the last month.
2:30-3pm: I call my health care provider. I explain to a stranger how frustrated I’ve been feeling with trying to fight my sadness and ultimately losing. How I don’t feel like I can relate to the people I spend 40+ hours a week with. How I don’t know if this is normal. The stranger gives me a referral to see a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and gives me a broad classification: Unspecified Depressive Disorder
It seems simulataneously like nothing and something. It’s a broad classification, but it alludes to something that I suspected: Something’s wrong.
My first meeting with my therapist is on Thursday. I don’t know what happens after however many sessions. I don’t expect to be happy forever. I just want to be less sad.
At least I’ve made the first step. At least I know that this recurring and more-frequent sadness isn’t normal.
At this time, it has been about 24 hours since the stranger said that I’ve got some unspecified depressive disorder. I’ve felt numb. It doesn’t make me happy, but it didn’t make me sad, either. It was just a piece of information about myself that I was only previously acutely aware of.
I don’t know what I hope to get out of therapy. Wanting happiness seems like an overly broad aspirational goal. I’d like to be able to dismantle those feelings of worthlessness, I suppose. I want to feel less lonely both when I’m alone and when I’m among those who love me. I guess I’d like to know myself a little bit more.