“Time To Move On”
I don’t have any advice or insight regarding this part. I’ve accepted that I need to move on (I’m sure she has too for herself), but I have a terrible track record when it comes to dating and romance. While I wish it were easy for me to just go out, hit on any woman I was interested in, have the night end in sex and/or a relationship, but I’m just not that guy. I’ve tried being that guy in my younger years and I was terrible at it. I think I knew that wasn’t me. However, I was so deadest on creating barricades and labyrinths for people to work through that I would come off as callous and awkward when really I’m just awkward. I honestly have no idea what to say for this section because your time to move on will come, but it depends on how much effort you’re really willing to put into it. I didn’t care about moving on until I felt like I was losing so much control of my life that I needed something to feel normal again. It’s just important to move forward and remember what made those nights special in the first place. It was the love and affection you felt towards one another that led to conversations about the future and fantasizing about life would be like outside of your town. The lazy nights spent watching horror movies and the days spent entertaining one another. The good mornings and good nights via texts that made each day better than the last. The inside jokes that made you blush when trying to explain it to someone else. The way you two slept entwined in the sheets hoping you would never have to leave that comfort… But sadly, you only have those memories left. Those memories will ignite your passion again and one day you’ll find someone to share those same sensations and feelings.
However, People Do Want What’s Best For You
If there’s one feeling I know better than anything else in the world, it’s isolation. As I mentioned in other posts, I’m really good at it, but that’s not a skill I’m proud of. I think maybe I was Bruce Banner in another life, but I digress from the point. I forged a lot of good online friendships with a fair share of people and while they had the same derivative response of “don’t worry, it gets better” (the one thing you don’t say to someone with depression) I could tell that they cared and really wanted me to get better for myself. However, do the overwhelming nature of my anxiety billowing down, I wasn’t able to get myself to “normal” for months. That’s the sad reality of when you’re by yourself yet surround by people: they all want what’s best for you, but you can’t see that in the mist of your depression.
Don’t Hold Out
Even though she said “I’m not opposed to reconnecting, but it won’t be for a while” the phrase “a while” is incredibly convoluted and vague. It’s almost impossible to determine what a while really is. In my old business, “a while” could range from a few minutes to a few days to a few weeks. And when does it become appropriate to restart this talk? After the holidays or before you get those new puppies? When? You have to decide if that’s a talk you want to have and if it’s something you want to pursue. Even though I wanted to talk to her every day, I never found a good enough reason to start a conversation or find one that would make me seem like I was doing better when I wasn’t. I didn’t need to be “that” guy trying to make things happen when they weren’t going to be any different from the last time around. No one needs that chaos in their life.
Clichés Are There For A Reason
There are three things I hate: terrorists, clichés and gluten free bread in that order. Terrorists for obvious reasons, gluten free bread is terrible and crumbly, and clichés just rehash the same one line and message multiple times. However, I learned during my tenure in the deep dark cavern of depression that clichés as inspirational messages and typographical posters do help the healing process. Even simple messages and quotes, no matter how often you see or hear them, can help you feel better about your situation. I didn’t have any particular quote or passage that I loved reading when I was feeling particularly vulnerable, but going through Tumblr tags and seeing what others had posted or reblogged helped ease that grief a bit. It wasn’t a lot, but it was enough to see me through to the next day.
Find A Favorite CD Because That’s Going To Be Your New Best Friend
Everyone has their favorite break-up song and their favorite album to listen to while they’re depressed. I got into fun.’s Some Nights and Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange right around the same time during the first few months of 2013 a.k.a. my re-formative months. Fun. let my quasi-emotional side come out in a swirl of ballads and anthems, while Frank Ocean wrote more poetic and melodic jams that allowed me to enjoy those moments of desire without feeling like I was backsliding. They were crucial in helping me cope without her and reconstruct my some of my romantic ideology. A good album will do wonders for the remnants of your soul.
Keep Your Photos And Saved Messages, But Don’t Romanticize Everything
There’s no reason why you shouldn’t get nostalgic on old photos and saved text messages. I did and it was nice just to think about old times and uncomplicated everything was before the ship went down. Seeing how your relationship evolved into what it was when it was its peak and going over pictures from the special moments for you two was a nice way to remember how it used to be before you realized she was a Shark and you’re a Jet, and well, let’s face it: those are pretty terrible gang names. But in seriousness, I was finding myself remembering the good times and trying to remember them in different ways, until I would immerse myself in that reality. I was disconnected from time and speak so frequently about something that happened months ago like it was last week. I wasn’t doing myself any favors by indulging in nostalgia that frequently. I found a balance between indulgence and restraint, but it takes time and people to get you back to normal.
No One Will Have The Answer You’re Looking For
There’s a theory that people never really talk to you about their problems for your opinion; you’re just a sounding board while they babble on and eventually solve the issue themselves. People just like to hear themselves talk until you can chime in and make them feel inadequate about everything. I used to do it all the time. I would rave and fume about something foolish until I looped around the solution I was trying to find in the first place. I would normally get some clichéd response, but occasionally the people I would chat with would have something productive to add to the conversation, but I would ignore it because I’m arrogant and stubborn.
Be Wary Of Online Addiction
I spent so much time on Buzzfeed and Tumblr, I should’ve been given a content editor credit for their websites. I currently have three full folders of Buzzfeed links on my iPad and almost 7,000 likes on Tumblr. I haven’t revisited any of these likes or links, but I know they’re important to me because I took the time to read and rate them, and save them for future reference when I need or want to. I may have taken that addiction too far at work when I started using only those websites as reference tools for content. I did get a lot of good stuff from them, but I felt like I was cheating my mind of letting other websites invade and put their own crazy ideas into my suggestive mind. While I was spending a lot of time online, nothing decent was coming from it.
Hell, Be Wary Of Any Addiction
I have an addictive personality. I didn’t know it until I was 22 and I would immerse myself in media to distract myself from the people and places around me. It explains an awful lot of lost hours online and in books about nothing to try and understand the world at large. For me it was television shows that were readily available for me to stream and some in cases had a vast mythos that would let me get lost in content for hours. It was a way to escape without putting in the commitment to move forward. It got to the point where we (my family and friends) were completely okay with letting me get lost in something in trivial just as long as it wasn’t something involving my ex.
Self-Mutilation Crosses Your Mind
I don’t have a history of self-mutilation. The only scars I have on my body are ones that were accidentally etched into my skin during my childhood and my tattoos. During my lowest points I would occasionally go to the kitchen with headphones on, blaring something overly emotional and earnest while mentally replaying old dates and just hold a knife. I would never do anything with it, but somehow just holding that much destructive power in such a small piece of metal comforted me, and the idea of slicing my skin into a mosaic of flesh and scars would wash over me. It felt like the perfect way to cap my shitty existence, until the song would change I would snap myself out of it. That’s a chilling experience that happened more times than I care to admit, but don’t give into it. Those scars won’t heal how you want them to and you’ll have too much explaining to do.
Porn Will Not Fill The Void
Sorry, Charlie but that vaguely, similar looking female that kind of looks like your ex is just going to cause you shame and remorse as soon as you’re done blowing your jizz nose. I know that analogy is disgusting and a bit uncivilized, but most people watch pornography in some way shape or form. While some months were better than others, I had a porn problem. I wasn’t watching it at work or in public and I kept it pretty under wraps, but the frequency and length that I was partaking in that perverse pleasure was distressing. I almost put the parental controls on just so I could use the Internet without going to a dirty site. Eventually I disgusted myself so much that I refocused that energy into doing something more productive rather than seeing how many naughty pictures I could save my iPad before anyone noticed.
On That Note: Don’t Backslide Into Bad Habits
This one was tough for me because I wasn’t sure what my bad habits were. What felt like indulgent pleasures that I would partake in once a month or so became a daily activity for me. No matter how much I thought I was improving, I was still falling back into old habits. It’s tough to drudge yourself out of them, too. Once you start yourself on a better path, you need to stay on it despite what that low-tone voice is saying in the back of your head. That voice is secretly the sin of sloth trying to prevent you from doing anything productive. He’s slowing convincing you that what you’re doing is normal and okay, even though you know it’s wrong and counter-intuitive. That bastard used to win against me all the time, until I finally took a bottle of vodka down his throat. That one worked surprisingly well.
Your Motivation Will Ebb and Flow
The problem with the ebb and flow spectrum is that with depression (especially when it’s untreated), you tend to stay more on the ebb side. Even when you have the flow to get things done, you’ll work for a few hours and then scurry yourself back to your cave to stay out of the public’s eye. Even if you have a semi-productive day, it still won’t feel like enough because you’re letting yourself down at every at turn. Especially if you spend all day online comparing your situation to everyone else’s and not on what’s important for you. I was caught in comparing every minute detail of my life with people from college who I hadn’t spoken to in years and that was one of my biggest problems.
This is the second entry in an ongoing series. Part One.
Being A Hermit Doesn’t Do You Any Favors
Despite what Dragonball Z told us about being a hermit, you don’t get cool powers in an effort to defend the planet from evil alien forces. Instead, you just grow a really awkward beard, spend all day on Netflix, Hulu, and Facebook, and think about going back to school because you still have zero idea what you want to do with your life. I know it’s difficult, but you need to force yourself to interact with other people and make plans to do things. Even if it’s simple as getting coffee, you need to get up, get dressed, and get out of the house for a while. It’ll do you good, I promise. At the very least go to Target and buy something for the cats who’ve been cuddling with you every night in an attempt to ease your pain.
Social Anxieties Will Be A New Experience For You
Here’s what happened to me: about a month after the dust had settled, I got invited to a cabaret performance by our morning show intern. She was a nice girl, great worker and overall good person, so why not see her perform? The other producer agreed to meet me there, but I got there too early meet him and too late to say hi to our intern. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, but considering the psychological trauma I had experienced, I wasn’t comfortable being left alone. I was in an unfamiliar place by myself and I panicked; every possible disaster crossed my mind and I couldn’t focus on a goddamn thing besides the idea of running away and hiding in my truck. If I had taken a few moments for some deep breathing, I would’ve been fine. Eventually this feeling faded in a few minutes, but when it happened, I was frightened.
“Why Are You So Sensitive?”
I couldn’t tell you how many times I got teary-eyed over a scene in a movie I had seen multiple times and felt nothing for it previously. I also couldn’t tell you how often I got pissed off for seemingly no good reason. For example, my cat would do something normal like rub against me to get me to pet her and I end up shoving her away because she irritated me with her affection. My emotions became raw, powerful and unpredictable at times. My normal quiet reserve had spiraled into irrational anger and bitterness toward undeserving people. No one needed that side of me, especially when those people were trying to help me.
This is the first entry of a seven part series.
In the middle of December 2012, my girlfriend of six months and I ended our relationship. Since then I’ve been putting myself back together. I know it sounds pathetic and almost childish, but that’s what I’ve been doing since the beginning of 2013.
It started with almost daily violent mood swings and then spun into complete apathy and lethargy. I think I was reacting this way not because I failed at another relationship or I manipulated someone I truly cared about to try and get my way, but this relationship actually meant something to me. This was the first time in my decade of dating that I was infatuated with someone who was also infatuated with me, and that never happens.
However, like most good things in my life it came to an abrupt halt. I knew it was going to happen and at one point I could feel everything beginning to decay. I suppose that the separation happening sooner than later was good, but there’s was so much more I wanted to do before it ended.
We knew it was time to end it. We knew we had to break up because our small disputes were becoming major disagreements that would’ve landed one of us on the evening news.
Did I want it to end? No, of course not. I wanted to work on it, but I wasn’t the person I wanted to be for her then. Truthfully, I’m still not that person that I want to be, but at least now I’m on a better path to becoming that guy.
However, over the course of the past year or so, I’ve done a lot of soul searching (primarily through drive-thrus and red lights) and I realized some things about dealing with break-ups, the aftermath and depression.
Clean Breaks Are The Best Kind/Don’t Stalk Her Online
It may look like you’re doing it to be petty, but just do it. Fuck your friends’ opinion and disconnect her from your life. Unfriend her Facebook, unfollow her on Twitter and stop reblogging her on Tumblr. Get rid of your Instagram account, too. Do you want to know what photos she’s been liking or wanting her to see what you’ve been filtering since you two split? No, no you don’t. And if you do end doing none of that, you’ll end stalking her. Seriously, who does help? You? How, how does help you? All it does is make you look so feeble that you’re erasing your browser history in case someone goes through it, so that you’re not entirely embarrassed by it. Worse yet, if you do find something you don’t like, it’ll send you outside smoking a cigar and drinking half a bottle of crappy wine that you thought would be good because of the sweet wolf logo on it. Well, you were wrong and now you’re buzzed, you reek of cigar smoke and you hate yourself. Way to go, jackass.
For The Love of God, Do NOT Message Her Friends
No matter how badly you want to check in and see how she’s doing, do not message her best friends or roommates at 2:45 a.m. after a Saturday night of heavy drinking. And then don’t harass said friend/roommate by saying, “I know you read my messages, will you answer me?” because she will say, “you’re drunk, put your phone away and go to bed.” It’s embarrassing and you look pitiful. Plus, there’s no good way to rebound from that without looking like a disgraced puppy. I mean, puppies are pretty damn cute, but you’re not when you’re slurring your texts.