Confession by Richard Bleil
Tonight, a bitter truth came to me. As I write this, it’s actually Christmas Eve, and I find myself sitting in the dark very much alone. Perhaps I should have outgrown this by now, but it made me realize that nothing has really changed for me since I was a child when, on Christmas Eve while friends and neighbors gathered at our house for the Christmas Eve tradition, I would go to the living room, where it was dark and lonely, and watch the tree while I cried.
Tonight, in my house, it’s dark and lonely as I look at the ceramic tree that was the gift from a friend and I am crying.
There is nobody to blame for this but myself. I think about my friends who are spending the evening with their families and friends enjoying the season and am truly happy for them. But my happiness for them doesn’t diminish my own desperate loneliness. I won’t text or call as I don’t want to infringe on their family time. Had they invited me, I would have politely thanked them and bowed out from the celebrations. It’s not me. A pall of depression washes over me at this time of year, and I certainly don’t want that to contaminate the others. My emotional state is too unstable to risk sharing it with others, regardless of their forgiveness or love for me, and I do know that they love me.
I think that I’ve always isolated myself. I would love to be open, to have a wife or even a partner, but I don’t know how I would be able to handle being with somebody who actually loves and cares about me. I’ve never felt like I fit in anywhere in this life, and those feelings are amplified on Christmas Eve and during the holidays in particular. The fault lies with me, with my heart, my mind, my past. Maybe I’m afraid of getting too close to anybody because it seems to always work out poorly. Or maybe I’m just not worthy of being loved as my friends are.
A couple of days ago, at my gun club, the manager told me that she was thinking about my depression. She accused me of being intelligent (which, trust me, I’m really not) and said that a lot of smart people suffer from depression because they tend to think so differently, and more deeply, than others. I must admit, I do think differently than most. My isolation was always a way of protecting myself. I see others happy and enjoying their family and friends and have always felt isolated. Maybe I’m afraid that when I do let people in, they’ll leave. I’ve lost too many people in my life to be able to suffer continuing loss, even if that is the nature of life, so instead I isolate myself in my house in the middle of a town where I know nobody, safe in my loneliness that has never left my side.
My dad’s voice is telling me that this post is horseshit, and self-indulgent nonsense. Perhaps it is, and I apologize to anybody who finds this posting distasteful, self-indulgent or uncomfortable. I just need to be able to get it out, so it won’t haunt me quite as badly tonight. When I started writing this blog, I promised myself that I wouldn’t avoid the truth, and that I would be honest no matter how bad it makes me look. I’m not alone in holiday depression, and one of the reasons I wanted to be forthright and honest in my blog is on the off chance that somebody will read it and perhaps not feel like they’re alone. I truly hope that nobody, and I do mean nobody, is suffering as I am, but for those who are, you are not alone. We’re in this together.
Today (if this posts according to schedule) is the first day of a new year. I can hear my friends screaming at me that I can change, and maybe this is the year that things will turn around, but it’s unlikely. It doesn’t matter what I want, or if I am going to make a goal. I’ve made the goal of finding somebody many times in my miserable life and doing it again won’t matter. The reality is that I don’t know how to find anybody (especially since I don’t drink), I don’t know how to flirt, and I don’t think I have the heart to keep trying. The old adage “the worst she can do is say no” is something of a misnomer as every know is another dagger in the shattered remnants of my heart. It’s really over for me. I’m just waiting on the end now. And that’s okay. The world will move on without me, and I’ll simply fade from memory.