Earlier this week one of my best friends sent me a series of text messages that broke my heart.
“I think I’m depressed
….I’ve never said that in my life”
“I don’t want to go home. I don’t want to go anywhere.”
My friend isn’t what you think of when you picture someone with depression. His smile, oh, if I could show you his smile, could light up an entire room – an entire building – the night sky – it’s gorgeous and radiant and causes you to smile, too. It’s not often that I can get along with someone so well, that I don’t grow tired of them or they of me. He’s an incredibly gifted musician and vocalist and I’m not ashamed to sing along with him in the car. Hell, he’s seen me naked. He left the bed at 2am to get me tea from McDonalds because I was sick and there wasn’t any in his house. There’s not a lot of people I’ve trusted so effortlessly. He’d do anything for anyone.
He used to be in a pretty popular band. Sometimes girls would throw themselves at him and I remember one time he had to change his phone number because a fan leaked it. Even a year after the band ended, he still got people coming up to him, raving about his music. He’s so fucking talented. He shouldn’t be sad. I hate that he’s so sad and so anxious all the time. It’s not fair.
I’m sad a lot. I’m anxious a lot. That’s okay. I’m nothing, really. I don’t have any super cool talents or fans or men throwing themselves at me. I’m lucky if I match with someone on Tinder (luckier still if they want to meet up). I’m pretty, I guess, if you like hipster chicks with winged eyeliner and tattoos of bugs. I can do my makeup well enough to cover the acne that still sometimes shows up at 23 years old. I still live at home. It’s okay that I’m sad a lot. I can deal with it. I’ve been dealing with it. But it’s not okay for my friends to be sad. If I could absorb all the sad and worry, I would. I know I can function with it. I’ve wanted to die before and that’s okay because I don’t anymore.
But I guess that’s not how sad works. You can’t just will it away. It comes when it chooses and stays for as long as it wants. It can happen to the best of us and it can happen to the worst of us. It can happen after really good things and after really bad things. Sometimes it’s not as strong and sometimes it’s so heavy that it pins us to the floor. Some days are really hard. Some months are really hard.
I don’t think I was meant to be without sadness. That’s not to say that I’m not meant to be happy because I can be happy. I know how to be happy because I know how to be sad. I don’t think I could write as much if I was happy all the time. I wouldn’t want to sit down and write. That’s what I told my friend. I told him that the most beautiful people, the most creative and wonderful people, are probably sad, too. I told him that I think you’ve had to have faced sadness to know how to be a person, to know how to make something lovely. I don’t think I’m a particularly lovely or wonderful writer. I make mistakes. I don’t use big words or edit or say things in ways more people would understand. But writing is therapeutic. Getting what’s in my head into words on a screen is helpful I think. Maybe the words will stay typed out on my computer and not come back.