amen. via @megburns
The Most Personal Thing I’ll Ever Write
I’m not usually one to talk about my personal life publicly. I don’t use social media to life cast. I don’t often seek comfort in others when I’m having personal troubles. Maybe I should do it more often, though, because maybe everything that I’m feeling right now wouldn’t feel so intense. It’s been a feeling I’ve felt for awhile. Honestly, if I really think about it, it’s been something I’ve been feeling for well over a year. It’s an emptiness that’s as hard to explain as it is to experience.
You grow up wondering what it would be like to be someone else; to see things from a different perspective; to experience new things. But now, I just wish I could feel like myself. I wish I could wake up every morning and feel like me again. It’s been strange, I guess is the word, to not feel at home in my own skin — to see photos or watch videos of myself during times when I was truly, unconditionally happy. I am still a happy person, but I can always feel this twinge deep down. This feeling, that when it presents itself, consumes and debilitates me. When it grabs ahold of me, I can’t shrug it off, ignore it or fight it.
“Depression” is not a word I use lightly. I’ve seen it, firsthand, attach itself to loved ones. I have witnessed its ugly effects and what it can do to someone. I have been the shoulder for others to lean on and the ear for others to consult. But now, when the situation has reversed itself, I don’t know how to handle it. I don’t know how to explain or describe it to anyone. I have no reason to feel what I’m feeling. I have a great job, an amazing girlfriend who would do anything for me, loving parents and the two best friends anyone could ever want.
I used to think that what I was feeling was the growing pains of professional life. I always chalked this up to not feeling fully satisfied with where I was going professionally. There was always more that I thought I could do, and I thought that once I got that chance to do something new, something better, all these feelings would disappear. Well, a new job and a move to New York City, and I still feel this emptiness. And in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever felt more alone in my life.
Making friends, or building a network of connections, has never been an issue for me. It’s actually been one thing that I’ve excelled at, and it’s one of the reasons I’ve had the opportunities that I’ve had thus far in my life, much less in my career. I’ve always been good at networking; at fitting in with my surroundings. That is until I started feeling whatever this is. Now, it’s become a struggle to do the thing that always came the easiest. I get anxious in social settings, I have problems trying to connect with others and I just think about when I can finally take refuge back home. I wish I knew why this was happening. I wish I could reverse this path that I’m following.
New York was supposed to be a clean slate. I’m not saying this like I’ve given up on that — I’ve been here two months; there’s a lot of living left to do. But I guess I felt that once I moved, and I started in a new place, everything would just click. I’d wake up with that old rigor I used to have and I’d be me again. Two months later and I’ve become wise to the fact that it’s just not that easy. When you have this affliction, not even making major life changes will always right it.
It’s funny, really. I never thought I would ever face this issue. Life has been good to me; I’ve had some wonderful experiences so far — I know all of this. I know I should be grateful for the things I have in my life, and I am. But for some reason, the one I’m trying to figure out, I feel like my life has been set in neutral and I don’t know how to work my way out of this. I hope that writing these words will help me work things out. I hope something just clicks, that I have that “eureka” moment, and I can move on and start achieving goals.
And in no way am I writing this post as a “woe is me” attention grab. I’ve never been that kind of person. I don’t need everyone to know these feelings or what I’m going through. Most people who do read this probably won’t care that much, and that’s OK. I didn’t write this for you. I wrote this for me, to catalogue my thoughts at what feels like a low point. I actually debated putting this post on my blog. I’ve always used this site as an outlet for my professional self. It’s a place that has always shown the best sides of me — my best work, news about me in the media, etc. — but this is different. This is my piece of the Internet and I want this to live here. If others are going through these kinds of things, and have no answers, I hope they come across this. If not, that’s OK too. I really just needed to put my thoughts into words.