I discovered a kind of cool thing on my WordPress app just now…it shows the stats on this here blog back to 1970! Not only are the stats nearly as old as I am, they show me that pretty much nobody is looking at this odd little corner of the internet. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a good thing. Know why?
It means I can get real as shit. Which is kind of why I started this brain-dump-cum-cesspool to begin with. Which brings us to today’s topic: do I owe anyone jack shit?
I’ve been dealing with a major depressive episode since around last October. Ish. It’s hard to say when it descended, but I realized it in October. It’s only begun to lift in the last six weeks or so, but I’m still dealing with other mental health diagnoses that have been unearthed in the process.
As I began to work through it and get help and try to deal with the massive pile of shit it felt like I was trudging through every day, I tried to be open with the people I knew. I talked about it on social media, I mentioned it when I saw people in person, mainly because I believe that we need to share our struggles so that others will feel safe to open up about their own.
I ended up leaving social media, initially temporarily, but it’s turned out to be mostly a permanent thing. When I left, I explained why and told people how to get in touch.
Out of 700+ “friends,” many of whom I have known outside of the internet for a number of years, fewer than 10 have reached out.
The friends I’ve known for more than 30 years? Not a peep, not even from the friend my husband and I took in when she was in the depths of a depressive episode of her own.
College friends? Nope. Former coworkers? Uh-uh. People I helped and supported and advocated for as part of my volunteer nonprofit work? Just one. Parents of kids that my kid has gone to school with? Again, just one.
I’m not completely sure what to do with this turn of events. On the one hand, I haven’t exactly been there for any of these people for about 9 months. I used to check in on people, send messages, share articles I thought they’d find interesting, and that has definitely NOT been happening.
On the other hand, my family and I were dealing with the fallout from my mental illness(es) for months, and I can count the people who reached out to help on two hands.
There are days when I miss some of those friendships. I long for the lighthearted, stress-free days of meeting for coffee, sharing a joke on Facebook, or chatting over a glass of wine. But I no longer trust about 97% of the people I used to spend time with. If friends are the people you can count on in a crisis, then none of these people qualify. When I think about texting or calling, I just…don’t.
Now that my mental energy is slowly returning, I feel like I need to put my time into the people I know will show up when life is shit. The people who let me lean on them are the ones I want to save my bits of energy for – so I can return the favor if necessary.
The rest of them?
I don’t think I owe them jack shit.