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The End

I hate endings. The unsatisfying closure of goodbyes. The finality of a change. The terrifying step into a new unknown. Even happy endings mean that a good experience is over. And obviously there is a flipside to this perspective. Potential. Growth. Newness. But I’ve always resisted change. Even when it meant remaining in a worse position, I have stubbornly pushed back against the largest or smallest of changes.

Please leave the cups upside down in the cabinet.

No, I don’t need a new blanket; I’d like to keep the one with holes in it I’ve had for 10 years.

Sure I’ll keep working underpaid at the one job I’ve had since high school.

Don't go to sleep yet, you'll miss all the fun.

Please don’t move away, I’m not ready to let you go.

I know that change is good, but I’d rather things just stay the way they are.

I thought I prepared myself for the end of the frisbee season. I knew what was coming and I braced myself for it. I guess I wasn’t ready though. For readers who don’t know, frisbee became my life over the summer. Acknowledgements of unhealthy life balance and priorities can come later, but regardless, my team and our goal became my social life, my athletic life, and my motivation. Outside of work, evenings were spent working out, practicing, or spending time with teammates. The constant exposure to one other, endless amounts of laughter and fun, and a shared goal formed a tight community for me. I was driven to get faster, get stronger, and be a better teammate because of the work and the drive I saw from the people around me and the love I had for them. It was a good summer. I stayed busy. I was motivated. I had a social life. I had time to myself. I was working. I felt like a grown-up. As the last few tournaments and practices came around, I was well aware of what would change when the season ended. I reminded myself that friendships and memories lasted beyond the summer. I thought about what I would do with all this time I now have. But now it has ended.

I have always had the tendency to become entirely over-invested in certain facets of my life for periods of time. On a small scale like a book series or personality types, to things or people that I almost let engulf my life - like a best friend or summer of frisbee. I know that about myself. But self-awareness is not a solution to anything really. I knew that my teammates had their lives outside my circle. I knew that the season would definitively end. I knew all summer that putting everything into this team would leave me with nothing to put anywhere else. But here I am.

I spend enough time dwelling on the past, so it doesn’t really do me any good to recognize where I went wrong. What I really want everyone to know is how much I loved my summer. How much I love my team, my friends, and the effort and the time that we spent together. I wish everyone could see that, so now that it’s over, it would make how I feel now more excusable.

I hate to say I feel depressed, when it is so clear and obvious why I feel that way. I miss my friends. I miss frisbee. I miss the daily motivation it gave me. I miss our weekly practices, and the team meals afterwards. I miss it all. I’m sad it’s over. I gave myself a week after the season ended to just rest and be sad, which, in hindsight, was a big mistake. My anticipated depressive slump widened into a valley. I’ve been down here enough times to recognize what is happening. Familiar scenery. But that doesn’t make it any easier. I’ve got self-awareness in spades. It’s just like I said though - self-awareness isn’t a solution to anything. It doesn’t matter if I know how high the walls of my pit are if there isn’t a ladder available down here. Too many metaphors? Yeah I thought so too.

I know it comes down to me. I got myself here. I have to make the choices that create a life for myself. But that’s the worst thing about depression - I can see so clearly and simply the actions I need to take, but I’m paralyzed. Almost every single evening for the last 10 days, I have gotten home after work or been at home already and laid on the couch for 4-5 hours. Mind-numbing scrolling. Watching TV I’m not interested in. Just laying there. Screaming at my body to stand up. I set my alarm an hour earlier than needed in the mornings, because I know it will take me that long to just get out of bed. I put my head down and push through work. I seem to have forgotten any hobbies or activities I used to do for fun. My friends are all busy with their lives or live hundreds of miles away. And anytime I pause long enough to think, an empty feeling in my chest starts to expand and I want to shed tears that won’t appear. I’m a slave in my own mind and body. I’ve been here before.

(ignore the image it's just a good picture of how I wish I felt right now. Or you could imagine that the ocean is my depression)

Now I’m just writing because I don’t know what else to turn to. I hate asking for help. I hate telling anyone I need them. I guess posting this on my blog is the closest I’ve come to doing that in awhile. A cry for help that I can’t or won’t accept. When I get like this, I tend to isolate further. Every thought or memory of friendship becomes warped in my mind and I tell myself how annoying, clingy, and dramatic I am. I overthink every text I send and withdraw from people because I refuse to be a burden. I convince myself that every person who says I’m not any of those things is lying to try and make me feel better. Being taken care of opens up my deepest insecurities, so if I can’t do anything for you, I am better off alone.

I know exactly what I wish people would do, but I know exactly how terrible it would make me feel at the same time. I wish someone would be the person for me that I always wanted to be for everyone else. I wish someone would ignore my defenses and isolation tactics. I wish someone would push back against my resistance. I wish someone would sit with me in silence, and allow me to be sad without questioning. I wish someone would break into my apartment and pick me up off the couch. Make plans and stick to them even as I drag my feet. Go for a drive with the windows down to let me know I’m not alone. Give me a long hug to let me know I have something else to hold on to other than the pillows on my bed.

Somewhere at the heart of this, I know I can’t bring myself to accept that kind of love. Maybe that’s why I just keep trying to give it to someone else. And I know that this hole in my heart is begging to be filled with a Savior. I know that He is right here. A shred of hope. A lifeline. Somewhere. I can look back and point out the lies I'm telling myself. But I still feel like I’m drowning. I’m blind. I’m numb. I don’t know where to go from here.

I don’t know who I am right now. At work and in social situations, I can maintain a put-together exterior. I can do my job. I can put a smile on my face. Once I’ve crawled out of bed I can do my dishes and take out the trash. Sometimes a symptom of depression is familiar and recognizable, but it always looks a little bit new and different each time around. I’ve done my best to describe how I feel but I don’t even know if it’s accurate sometimes. Just know that for a little while, if you ask how I’m doing, my first answer will probably be a lie. If I've ignored you, I'm sorry. If you give me a hug, give me a long one. The longer I sit here and write this, the more I wonder if I should post it at all. Out of fear of vulnerability but also just the fear of asking for attention. I know that I have many people that care about me, but I won’t know how to reply to a concerned text. I don’t really know what I want anyone to do after reading this. I want it all to make sense - why I wrote about what I did and why I feel the way I feel - but it doesn’t even make sense to me.

I started by talking about how much I hate endings. Well here’s another reason why.

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2 comentários

Craig Welkener
Craig Welkener
26 de out. de 2023

Love you Daniel. Thanks for sharing. It will be great to see you this weekend - hopefully we can get some good time together.


Vivian Sexton
Vivian Sexton
08 de out. de 2023

I had a depressing week with too much time on my phone too. 😩make some fun plans to force you out of your slump! Love you my couch brotato.

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