Depressive Journey with Richard Bleil
This blog should have been written hours ago, and to be honest, I should be in bed even as I write it. But here I am, starting a horror movie about an excessively lonely immortal. Maybe it’s because I feel like the main character tonight.
I’ve been on the verge of tears all day. I would like to say that I don’t know why, but I do. My friend would call it “birth trauma”. I don’t necessarily believe in it, but the hypothesis is that our subconscious remembers our birth, which is why, on our birthdays, we struggle. Sometimes we have difficulty doing things we want to do, just as I have been struggling with projects, and sometimes we fight depression, just as I am now.
As I write this, I am officially sixty. My birthday was yesterday (or, maybe two days ago since it’s well past midnight), which always makes me depressed. My friend suggested that I have a video conference birthday party, and for some reason I tried. It was far more successful than my past parties, because I did have one person show up. Usually, I have none. Instead, I sit alone in an empty and often dark house wondering what went long in my life.
I don’t blame my friends. They have lives. I understand that. They don’t have time for a guy like me. I’m destined to be alone, and lonely. And I’m sure that I’ll never understand the reason.
The reality is that there is nothing really wrong. It’s silly things. My cable won’t charge my phone, and my health tracking ring isn’t connecting to my phone. But some days, these things hit me. It’s not unlike a raw exposed nerve that’s just overly sensitive, not unlike the skin under a blister when it breaks. But it doesn’t tickle. At all.
So today I’ve been feeling excessively lonely. I managed to get my laundry done for the week, so I guess that’s something, and I’m celebrating any victories I can get.
I need to be more careful when I feel like this. I frightened a friend of mine by making comments that made her concerned that I might be considering ending it all. I won’t. The end will come soon enough, and it will last a very long time. There’s just no reason to rush it, but if the end came tomorrow, I wouldn’t resist it either.
The friend to which I refer is in her graduate psychology program. She reminded me that, as lonely and helpless as I feel, others are going through worse. She has been working on a chat line designed for people who are struggling and often suicidal. Yesterday, she lost one. She was chatting with a young woman who was talking about suicide, and suddenly just stopped talking. My friend hasn’t heard from her since, and my understanding is that they could not locate her for a follow up mental health intervention. I don’t know who this young woman was, but I do know my friend, and I know that this hit her hard.
She feels, I’m certain, as if she failed. My friend said that she should have been able to find the words to help, but the reality is that she couldn’t. The English language is pathetically lacking, and sometimes the words just don’t exist. The truth is that you cannot help somebody unless that person wants to be helped. It’s not unlike substance abuse. If the person won’t admit that there is a problem, there is nothing that can be done to help. This young lady had a great resource in my friend, and she truly wanted to help, but there is nothing my friend could do if she didn’t want to be helped.
I understand. I don’t like asking for help even when, like today, I should be reaching out. My friend apparently had to fill out a worksheet about her support network, and she put me down, she said, for many of the questions until she was chastised for not putting more names on it. I’m flattered, and I would like to be there if ever she needs me. I also know I can reach out to her, but I usually won’t simply because I fear that if I reached out as often as I should, or would like to, I would end up pushing her away. That very fear keeps me alone, and lonely.
I hope that you have a great support network. I cannot over stress the importance of having people in your life that you can turn to, and who can turn to you. I would never end my own life because I do know that there are people who would rely on me in times of need, and I want to be there for them should that happen. That has kept me going more often than I care to admit. And in times of need, I hope you would turn to those in your support network. In fact, why don’t you reach out to them now, and tell them how important they are to you?