Welcome Back Black Dog

Everything is great. I’m hanging out with my new friends Spaced and Chem and I needn’t worry about a problem in the world, I feel like I’m their third musketeer. Then they fade away for their reasons and I see them less frequently. I hate it, their reasons frustrate me and I focus on that, still missing the point. I hate them, I hate my attachment to them, I hate them for leaving. Then I ask why? I avoid answering this question for days. I tell myself to stop focusing on them and focus on myself and on my body, suddenly I know the answer to my question. I hate them because when they leave I am left with myself. I am left to face my problems and feel my feelings I’m forced to focus on myself instead of other people.

It’s not that I necessarily need validated by them or supported by them but it’s quite literally that I lose myself in other people. I become completely intertwined in their life. I take on their problems, their concerns, I check how and what I’m doing in contrast to them. I think about them all the time. I think about them this much so I can’t think about myself. But when your goal in life is to become a fixture in someone else’s life when they are absent for too long you are suddenly lost.

At first I thought that I was losing my identity. This isn’t true I gain my identity, I gain my problems and my burden. It’s all too much for me.

I listen to Adam’s Song by Blink-182 on repeat. Just a few days before I listened to this song and enjoyed the last verse. This song is written about a 17 year old that is about to kill himself. The last verse slightly changes the lyrics from lamenting about how the past was better to excitement for days to come. I restart it before it gets to the last verse. I did like that verse for a day, I’ve hated it for years though. I’ve never put the song on repeat because I always did it manually before the upbeat verse comes on.

I listened to this song a lot in Philly. I would ride my recumbent bike to work and play this song over and over again. For a very long time when I would sing it I couldn’t sing the line “tell mom it’s not her fault.” I would get all chocked up and start to tear up. It was so hard because I couldn’t help but imagining how I wanted to say that to my mom, to tell her, “it’s not your fault.” Thoughts of suicide were obviously heavy on my mind at this time.

Next I listen to an old Reply All podcast, What it Looks Like. The podcast is about depression and about how people get through it. The person it focuses on at first is Jamie Keiles a writer and at the time a student.

At one point she comments on the never-ending inwardly focused tormented thoughts that she got caught in. “If I could just figure out why I’m sad then I could become less sad then I would be happier but I have to keep thinking about why I’m sad.”

Then Reply All’s host PJ Vogt comments on his experiences with depression. One of his friends hanged herself not to long after finishing high school. She had skipped her senior prom to take a first responder class and always carried surgical gloves with her because she always wanted to be ready to help anyone that may be hurt. Despite this in her suicide note she lamented that she couldn’t help people as much as she wanted to. This is exactly how I feel so often. I care for others before myself. I see how dangerous this mentality is but breaking it is another story. I think this is a trait found in many depressed peoples. The endless desire to help other people, without recognizing the need to help yourself.

PJ goes on to talk about how he was depressed and suicidal for a long time. “For all that time I just thought that everybody’s brain was like that. The same way I genuinely can’t imagine that anybody doesn’t always kind of want to be eating potato chips. I also just thought that anybody’s brain faced with a sufficiently difficult problem would suggest that one easy solution would just be dieing.” I expressed the sentiment that everyone feels that way to a friend when he told me he was depressed in high school, turns out that isn’t true.

When PJ was numb or depressed he would go to a folder that contained things from his friend who hanged herself. Because to him feeling sad was better than feeling numb. That is where I am and I can’t stop myself. I’m digging deeper into depression unable to figure out what will get me out and doing all the wrong things.

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