The Depression Series - An Apology
There are so many friendships that I lost because of my depression.
And it was my fault.
I’m sorry I didn’t show up for you.
I don’t know what event I missed. Or how I dropped the ball. But I know I did.
I didn’t answer my phone when you called because I knew you were upset. I didn’t listen to your voicemails because I didn’t want to hear the disappointment in your voice.
I looked you in your eyes and told you that you were important. Then I treated you like you didn’t matter.
I wasted your time.
I wasted your energy.
I never gave you valid reasons. I never gave you honest excuses.
I wanted to be the person I told you I was. I really did. But the person that I presented to you was too lofty in her abilities. She believed that she was able to table her depression on demand. I should’ve known better. When it came to reconcile the two versions of myself, the actress and my actuality, she lost every time. I lost every time. You lost every time.
It’s often described how depression can make getting up and out feel impossible. How waking up can be too much work. How the thought of socializing can be paralyzing. Or how anxiety can ruin an experience before it begins. All of that is true. But that isn’t why I let you down regularly. That isn’t why I went to the club instead of your party. That isn’t why I spent hours on the phone with my boyfriend ignoring your calls. Depression isn’t why I failed our relationship, hiding it is.
You didn’t know I was depressed, at least not from my own admission, and I didn’t feel comfortable telling you. I was worried about you asking questions that I didn’t know the answers to. Hell, I was dreading the questions I did know the answers to. I was embarrassed to tell you about my past. I was ashamed to admit my current struggle. I was afraid to expose you to the rawness of my emotions before they were properly filtered and packaged as palatable.
Because I didn’t think you could handle them.
I didn’t think you would accept them.
I didn’t think you would accept me.
Because I could barely handle them.
Because I could barely accept me.
So, I concealed the largest portion of my being from you and replaced it with a cheerful façade I thought you could better stomach. I was trying to protect you and myself at the same time, but I failed at doing both.
All I did was make you believe you were insignificant and that I was careless. Neither of those things are true. I owe you an apology for that. I’m not sorry for struggling with my mental health. I’m not sorry for not explaining every detail about my condition. Working through my issues required me to be selective with who I included in my journey. But I am sorry that while I was trying to figure myself out, while I was trying to understand myself, while I was in the eye of my personal storm, I made you collateral damage.
When I look back, I think of how our relationship could have benefitted from me being more transparent. I can’t say we would be best friends, but, at least we would know one another better. When I refused to let myself out, I also prevented letting you in. But I wasn’t ready to be your friend. You came around to soon or I got there too late. Either way, I will take the blame for the miscommunication and the missed opportunities.
This is my attempt to atone for that.
Me telling you what I should have years ago.
It wasn’t you. It was me.