Thursday, May 3, 2012

Welcome Back to Society

No one really welcomes you back or asks why you've been gone so long.  But here I am, a functioning member of the human race.  Working.  Helping people.  Going to meetings and trainings and all that crap that makes one feel, "Ooh, I'm a professional."  It's true.  Just tell someone, "I have to go to a meeting" and you will instantly feel smug and important. 
-Professional- now there's something I haven't felt like in a long time...I just don't think there's anything like having a Master's degree and working temp jobs (or retail or sales) to make a person feel sh*tty about themselves.  You can tell someone till you're both blue in the face that happiness comes from the INside, and that you mustn't let external circumstances affect the way you feel about yourself.  Well, go ahead and test the theory.  Demean yourself to work at a crappy junk-pay job and try to think only positive things about your life and your future.  Try being just as proud to tell people where you work, and remember not to worry about what other people think.  Isn't that kind of a ridiculous expectation, anyway?  If you're really so insulated from the opinions of others, you might be a sociopath.  But I digress.

The point is, it was a long time coming.  4 years + 4 months, to be precise.  So if you were to ask what depression has cost me, it would have to be all that time.  All the wasted time.  Time in which I just couldn't get it together.  And yes, I get up by my alarm and I exercise and I do my hair and I brush my teeth and I go to work and I don't call in; things I haven't managed to do in all this time. Or maybe some of those things in one day but not all of them every day. I don't know how it became so hard or why it did, or even why it's not as hard now.  Which brings me to the conundrum of explanations.

I have a chunk of my life I can't really explain. If I could think of a great little [err...BIG] lie that would tie it all up in a nice pretty bow, that would just be really effing awesome.  But people ask random questions I'm not prepared for, and I suck at spontaneous answers.  I don't want to tell people about a past I wish didn't exist, or about friends that I USED to have, or relationships I used to be in.  And since I didn't just materialize out of thin air, people want to know stuff about me.  I'm sick of lying; I hate it.  It traps me in my past, feeling sucky about myself, because I don't even have a story to tell to cover up this mess.  For it to be "NEAT" it would have to be a great big whopper that explains all the contingencies.  So I tell little lies that keep me as close to the truth as possible, and avoid getting into any details. 

I think I'm just angry that, even when I overcome it, I don't really.  It's a stain on my life that won't wash out.  I've tried OxyClean and everything. 

"The truth may hurt for a little while, but a lie hurts forever."

Oh, what a tangled web we weave. 


  1. That's a tough one. How about something like, you were on spiritual retreat? or having an existential crisis? engaging in self-education?

    Heh, I agree about meetings. They do sound pompous. As for welcome back to society I'm not sure that's all that but you sound happier and that's what's important!

  2. Wow, very honest, like always. I think the reminders are a good thing though and I'm always glad when I find them in my life too, like they're there for a reason. Just like you need the sides of the road to know that you're ON the road, you need these reminders to know that you're improving and getting better. They show you how much has changed, or how much must still. Thanks for sharing!

  3. @ Colleen Chen
    ...well, it WAS about that time that "Eat, Pray, Love" came out, so I COULD try to pull that off and say I was in an ashram chanting for a couple of those years. i like it. if i thought more than 3 people would know what "existential crisis" means i would definitely use that;) i was a philosophy undergrad and it was always a trip trying to explain that.

    @ Adam Alvarado
    ...i like the way you put that; i suppose we do need guideposts. and i'd venture to say the reminders don't go away, but may come to take on new meaning as the road winds out of depression.

  4. Feel better about yourself by helping someone and not telling anyone. Visit an old neighbor. Cook a meal and bring leftovers to the homeless guy down the street. Even better, buy the homeless guy a PO Box for a year ($40) so he can receive mail. I went to an Ivy-league college, graduated from law school, have a loving boyfriend... and still manage to feel unimportant at times, often actually. But when I help someone who can never pay me back, it makes me feel very important and very happy. Be happy, you deserve it.