When writing a blog about depression I guess it’s best to explain who you are, write about your history and examine the possible factors involved that have brought you to this point. This involves a deep exploration of every aspect of your life thus far; your childhood, education, relationships with family, the friendships (or lack thereof) you form and lose, experiences with puberty and your transition from angsty teenager to similarly angsty adult. It’s pretty important to include all of this in a post near the start of your blog so that readers will know where you come from and develop a greater understanding of who you are as a person.
This is not that post.
I will be touching upon some of these aspects but not with the aim of giving a concise history. Instead I am only going to concentrate on my first relationship. Why? Because today is June 11th. And it was on June 11th, three years ago, that this relationship began. It was the happiest day of my life. And I wish it never happened.
I never had a girlfriend in my teens. There were girls I noticed and thought were pretty but I knew that because I was overweight and nerdy I didn’t have a chance with any of them. When started university at 17 I still hadn’t had my first kiss. It was also at this point that I began to question myself. Like I said, I noticed girls were pretty….but that was far as I was ever willing to think about them. I loved the idea of having a girlfriend but, unlike most horny teenage boys, never watched porn or got particularly excited by the prospect of seeing or touching boobs. I remembered how I used to look at boys in my school with jealousy, wishing I looked like them. Eventually I realised that it wasn’t just jealousy; deep down I actually fancied them.
My sexuality has never been a particular reason for me being depressed. I dislike calling myself gay because I don’t really believe it’s a 100% accurate label, and sure I sometimes figure things would be easier if I was straight. But it’s not something that gets me down every night. What did get me down, however, was my complete lack of experience with a boy, a girl, ANYONE.
At the grand old age of 20 I finally met Billy. His name wasn’t really Billy, obviously, but I’ve been reading a thread about some guy who was struggling with his sexuality and finally met a boyfriend called Billy who he constantly posts about and is head over heels in love with. I hate to be bitter and resentful but in my moments of depression and loneliness I really detest happy stories like that. But I borrowed the name Billy for the purpose of this post.
Anyway Billy lived 3 hours away by train, which was a bit of a problem. We had been chatting online, first on a forum and then on Facebook, when I mentioned I was travelling to a gig near where he lived. I mentioned travelling up a day early, ’cause I lived in the middle of nowhere at the time and was looking for any excuse to get out. He suggested I hang out with him for a bit, which suited me fine because I had noticed our chats had moved from normal friendliness to barely concealed flirting. So I travelled up. We hung out. We had food (he even brought me a slice of cake!) We went to a pub, had rather a bit too much to drink. Eventually we ended up in the grounds of the university he attended, where we proceeded to drink even more. I remember lying down in the sun and making one of those little self-deprecating comment that I’m always guilty of. Billy smiled at me and then leaned forward and kissed me. That moment has sent more shivers down my spine than any other I can recall. It seemed like the perfect beginning to what I naively thought would be a perfect relationship.
It lasted six months. We didn’t get to see each other in person a whole lot, due to the distance between us, but we texted each other every single day and chatted on Skype most weekends. We went to a music festival together. I even met his parents and his brother. For both of us this six month period was new and exciting but also terrifying. Neither of us had been in a relationship before and all of a sudden we had wound up in a same sex relationship with someone who lived 3 hours away! In hindsight it was obvious that we were doomed but it didn’t feel that way at the time. After a couple of weeks or less we had already assured each other that we loved each other. Again, I doubt either of us really knew or cared what the word ‘love’ actually meant, or was supposed to mean; it just felt like the right thing to say, I guess.
Billy had known that I was depressed. And I knew too that he suffered with anxiety. I knew he had been bullied in school and had trust issues as a result. I also knew he had a somewhat fraught relationship with his parents and how he was desperate to succeed at university. For the majority of our six month relationship it’s fair to say I was the mentally healthier of the two of us. I was still trying to get over the fact that someone, anyone actually wanted to go out with me. I was already stuck in a course I hated, I already lived isolated from the few true friends I had and I really had nothing much else in my life to distract me other than to dream about Billy all the time and remind myself how amazingly lucky I was to have him. Billy, however, had a college course he loved, several close friends who were nearby at all times and a bust social life. Eventually I guess I became more of a distraction and a hindrance for him than a boyfriend. Not long before Christmas he had started to get better, after months of feeling down, self harming and relying on me to provide him with comforting words and reassurance. By contrast, depression had reared its ugly head for me again and I begin sinking into a spot of bother. The tables had turned and I had become more dependent on him than before. This was the straw that broke his back. Despite his constant declarations of love for me and the amount of love and reassurance I had given him over the course of six months, he arbitrarily decided that the distance was now suddenly too much and we were too “emotionally dependent”. He ended the relationship. Via a phone-call. On the night before my 21st birthday. And that was that.
Everyone goes through heartbreak in life at some point, I imagine. Everyone has their trust broken at some point and someone who you think is “the one” turns out to not be everything you had hoped for. Since this experience I’ve realised that there’s no such thing as “the right person”; I mean how can there possibly be one right person out there for you? Logically it makes no sense, the universe doesn’t work that way. No, there’s definitely no such thing as the right person, only those who are slightly less wrong for you than others.
My six month relationship should have left me with confidence; I could now say I’d had a boyfriend, that someone had once gone out with me of their own free will and continued to do so for a period of time. I wasn’t the entirely hideous, unattractive, unloveable, gawky, ugly nerd I always thought. But no, it has had the opposite effect. I still have never asked a person out in my life and the fear of rejection has only increased as I’ve grown older. The feeling of abandonment, of complete hopelessness I felt after all the love I had given was thrown away in such a cruel manner….it was too much. Most days Billy comes into my mind at least once. I’d love to say I’m over it all but I’m not, and doubt I ever will be. It doesn’t matter how much I hate him; hatred isn’t the opposite of love, indifference is. And as much as I despise his character and his cruelty, I can never say that I don’t care about him at all or what happens to him. I haven’t spoken to Billy in about two years and I blocked him on Facebook but I inadvertently hear things about him from time to time; that he wound up in another relationship just a few weeks after we broke up (despite his “I don’t want to be in a relationship right now” excuse that he gave as one of the reasons for dumping me), that he went on holiday with his new boyfriend, that he finished top of his class in his following year of university and that he went on to work in America last summer. The fact that everything I hear about him indicates that he’s doing well, while every single day I get more and more depressed despite trying even harder and harder to get better, is just sickening. I know its not healthy to see the world in black or white but as far as I’m concerned he’s the bad guy here. And yet he’s the one who goes on to live his ideal life.
I can’t blame Billy for my depression. It was there before he came into my life and would still be there if he had never come into my life at all. But for his dishonesty, and for giving me so much happiness followed by so much misery, I’m always going to hate him. It doesn’t make a difference how sorry he may have been about this once, and for all I know he still feels bad about it and has since become a different person; maybe having everything go rosy for him in life has made him a better, more honest and more caring person. I don’t know. I don’t want to know. I never want to see him again because his legacy is one of leaving me with insecurity, paranoia and feelings of self-hatred. No-one, and I mean NO-ONE, has ever made me hate myself more than he has.
And so June 11th is a day for wallowing in self-pity. If it’s gonna be a long time before I’m healthy I may as well take advantage of the time I have left to indulge my angst and self-destructive tendencies. I have comfort food to make me fatter, alcohol to make my mind even less capable of rational thought and my bedroom door locked to ensure no-one from the outside world interrupts me while I sit alone and ponder how and why everything brought me to the point where I would happily curl up in a ball and never wake up again.
“There’s one thing I want to say so I’ll be brave
You were what I wanted, I gave what I gave,
I’m not sorry I met you*, I’m not sorry it’s over
I’m not sorry there’s nothing to say.”
*this line doesn’t ring true for me, but the rest sums it up pretty well.