Inspiring Me Now

  • "The Purpose of Life is to Be Happy" Dalai Lama

April 14, 2013

Depression: The Beginning

The ex and I broke up. Again. I feel a little numb even writing that. He didn't dump me because he didn't love me anymore, or was interested in someone else. I didn't catch him cheating. He broke up with me because he was depressed and he needed time to be with himself to figure out himself and as cheesy as that might sound, it was the truth. If you can’t stand alone, then you’ll only use your partner as a crutch.

At the moment it was happening, I didn't see that. I saw myself losing someone I loved. I grasped at anything I could think of to make him stay. I fell short of getting on my knees and begging. The worst part about this though, was that I had lied. I’m not a liar. In this circumstance though,I thought there was no other way. I basically for lack of a better word tricked my boyfriend into telling me some things he has been hiding from me. At the time, no, I didn't feel bad. I knew he was keeping things from me and wouldn't talk about it, so I found a way that he would. Once it was all out in the open I thought we were on the right track again. (Funny how writing this down right now is making me see how terribly wrong I was) When break up day came, he mentioned the “lie” that he didn't know was a lie. I knew that I had to come clean. I couldn't let him leave thinking that he had done something wrong when in fact it was me who lied. So I told the truth.

The look on his face was not a look I’ll ever forget. It was pain and anger and resentment all mixed into one. My confession was like a nail in our relationship coffin. I knew the second I said it, he would never forgive me. He stood up and put his hands up as if I were aiming a gun at his chest. He backed away from me. Disbelief was clear across his face. He looked me square on and told me he never wanted to see me again. I like control,especially in my own life, but even I know that you can’t force someone to want to be with you. So I surrendered. I’d never had anyone say they never wanted to see me again. It was a punch in my stomach that radiated pain straight to my heart. I loved this man, and I had just deliberately hurt him. Who the hell was I? What was I thinking? How could I ever have imagined that any good could come from deception? The phrase “love can make you do crazy things” resounded in my head.

After he left I went through my house and found the random things he had left. I put them all in a box to send to him. I must have written at least 20 apology letters that night. Each one sounded just as pathetic as the next. Did I really think that he would want to get back together with me if I sent him a nice enough note? Poor delusional, heartbroken, Jacqueline such a fool she can be.  In the end I put my pages of apologies in the trash and wrote on a small square sticky note that I was sorry and I wouldn't bother him again, and sometimes it takes every fiber in my being not to. So I replay his voice telling me he never wanted to see me again. It sadly solidifies my resolve.
I've slipped into a heavy duty depression. I've been hesitant to write about it, but I’m more concerned that no one writes or talks about it. Unless you’re threatening to kill yourself or shooting up an elementary school, no one seems to care about “mental health”. Less “dramatic” depression is just as real and hurts just as much. A lot of people will read this and think “oh, she’s just heartbroken. She’ll be fine. Everyone goes through this when they go through a break up”. I’m here to say, no. This is not heartbreak. This is serious, dirty, black, hopeless depression. It's a real health issue. It's a chemical imbalance in your brain, it's not just feeling "really really sad". 

The thing about depression is that you never see yourself slipping into it. It’s such a gradual decline that it’s almost shocking when you look up and think “damn! How did I get so far into this hole?” This hole I’ve been in is my deepest yet. I’ve had my ups and downs. Being diagnosed with MS and dealing with my dad’s death were big blows, but instead of falling into a deep hole, it seemed rather like I tripped into big potholes. They weren't as deep and it didn’t take too long to find my way out.

Depression is ugly and painful. For the past month, all I’ve done when I’m not at work is sleep and read. My room looks like a hoarder’s closet. My clothes are scattered everywhere. My pillows and sheets are strewn across the bed. Kleenex is piled up and overflowing out of my trash bin. When I eat, if I can eat, I leave dishes and cups everywhere. The trash heaps and is only taken out when I can’t stuff anything else into it. I have no motivation and I’m utterly exhausted. I sleep in two to three hour increments usually starting when I get home from work. A day spent in my office, smiling politely and making friendly conversation leaves me completely drained. It’s like playing the part of another person for 8 hours. All day I want to yell, “Leave me the fuck alone! I don’t care about your petty problems; I don’t care about this job. I just want to be left alone.” When I get home, I crash. I close my eyes and think that if I didn't wake up, I'd be okay with that. When I do wake I relegate myself to the couch which I try to tell myself is better than just lying in bed. I’ll read. I can get lost in a book, I’m not sad Jacqueline. I’m no one. I’m not thinking of anything but the words in front of me. When I close the covert hough, I’m back in my real world. I get back into bed and lay there. I toss and turn well into the night. I can’t make my brain stop thinking about how much my heart hurts. I relive our first date. I relive the first time we said “I love you”. I relive him standing in my living room telling me he never wanted to see me again. Sometimes I think if I can hurt myself enough by reliving it, it will make me get over it faster. It’s a bad theory and so far has proven totally opposite.

I hold my phone and type out text messages I know I won't send. I close my eyes and make myself imagine a knock at my door. I imagine him showing up in the middle of the night to tell me that he’s had time to think and he figured out that he DOES want to be with me. Then I open my eyes and tell myself that this is not a romance film and girls don’t always get the guy and the guys don’t always want that girl. Eventually I’m able to fall asleep for a few hours. It’s a fitful sleep where I can feel myself half awake.

Every other man I’ve dated has made me feel like I have to meet a certain standard. So I conformed for them. I did things and acted in ways that I thought would be most pleasing to the person I was with. It was only in this last relationship that I was comfortable enough to be 100% myself. My ex saw me funny and sad and angry and sick and jealous and he loved me anyway. He never made me feel like I wasn’t good enough for him. Perhaps that’s why this has been especially hard. The second he walked out my door, my walls of insecurity went right back up and I cannot imagine someone else being able to take them down like he did.

I  can’t admit to myself that the relationship is done. I guess I’m in the denial stage of the grieving process. I wish I could be angry or resentful, but there’s nothing to be angry about. He broke up with me because he was feeling the exact way I am feeling now: confused, lost, angry, and unmotivated...depressed. The irony of the role reversals has not been lost on me.

I’m still depressed and  not so tolerantly waiting not to be. Unfortunately, there is no quick way out of depression. You can do things to help like getting exercise, avoiding booze and drugs, getting a good night's sleep, etc... when you're depressed though, just the thought of getting out of bed is exhausting let alone going for a jog. So just as you slowly fall down the hole, you slowly climb back out. Today I vacuumed and took out the trash. Tomorrow I might do laundry. Perhaps these are a couple rungs on my ladder to the way out. I still sleep with my phone and I let myself hope that maybe he’ll text or call or knock, because sometimes girls DO get the guy and sometimes guys do WANT the girl and sometimes they come back and sometimes they live happily ever after. Depression can be inexorable if nothing else.

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