I was diagnosed years ago. I want to say in the 90s, but it’s been so long I can’t remember. The last “shrink” I saw regularly was early 2000, I think. It’s funny, she has a 1-star rating on most of the review sites, but as far as I recall she was fine. I just got tired of being doped up on everything. I was on Xanax, because I also get panic attacks, Adderall for my ADHD, which I still can’t spell (Used spell-check), Lithium, something called Lexapro, and a few other things. I’m not good with daily medications. I have one of those 30-day things to the left of me right now filled with other kinds of pills, vitamins, statin, and regular supplements because my diet sucks and I rarely exercise, and even with that I can’t seem to remember to stick with it for more than a few days. Anyway, it’s 4:30 am and I am just FLYING all over the internet, so you can just guess my mood. One of the things I was on was supposed to help with my OCD. And I’m severely arachnophobic, acrophobic with a smidge of vertigo just to make it fun, and mildly agoraphobic. I have some other health issues like Low testosterone, high cholesterol, asthma, ringing in my ears that won’t go away (appointment with ENT tomorrow), and dental issues that are entirely my fault. But I tell people I’m good if they ask. I feel like a nihilist existentialist, but I try to look on the bight side when I have to talk to other people. If I never had to go out, I probably never would except for those times when all I want to do is go out, but even in a manic phase, I still don’t like being around people. I’ve also been diagnosed with being antisocial, but I’m guessing they meant the kind where you just don’t like socializing, not the kind where you manipulate everyone. Although if I’m being perfectly honest, I have done that, too. My life has kind of been a mess, as you can imagine. Issue with the law years ago, drugs, alcohol, and I was never treated for those issues other than when the courts made me go. In this one regard I am not like other people, I did have my rock bottom and quit on my own after that. I still drink very rarely. Never to get drunk. New Year’s I had a glass of champagne. I haven’t used hard drugs in 29 years. My rock bottom scarred me. I’ve been married now for 9 years. No kids, but we live with my wife’s sister-in-law who’s 23, so it’s kind of like having a kid? And of all the jobs I could have picked I do rideshare. Mostly because I can pick my hours or if I even work at all. I tell people they don’t know how hard it is to stuff it all down and pretend for the time people are in the car. Sometimes I feel like throwing up after. Sometimes I feel like crying. Other times I can’t wait to play a first-person shooter on my computer and work it out that way. I have had “real jobs” over the years, briefly. I worked in IT for about a year and change. I also owned a pizza place for two years, but it didn’t work out. I blame myself for that, too. It didn’t help that I found out a few years ago one of my best friend that I had stopped talking to because he was spiraling and there was a straw that finally broke the camel’s back killed himself two years after. e had been like brothers, and sometimes family fights. I thought there was time. And now it haunts me. I can’t get out my my own head. I have good days, but most of the time I’m hiding what’s going on, or lashing out, and in my manic phases, I’m up all night, and spending money I don’t have on stuff I don’t need. But my depression scares me more than anything else. Sometimes it’s really dark. I would never go the route my friend did, probably simply because I feel like life is pain and pain is better than nothing. Sounds dumb, right? So the meds all played havoc with me and no combination ever felt right. I saw someone last year who prescribed something that had a black label warning even after I told him I didn’t want those kinds of meds. I said, “Look, if the possible side-effects are some sort of horrible death down the road, I am not interested.” He literally said, “But wouldn’t you rather feel better now?” Umm, NO, not if that’s the price I pay for it. It’s like telling someone with a broken leg you can make the pain go away if you amputate the leg. There have only been two kinds of time where I felt as close to “normal” as I suppose I can get: years ago I worked 70 hours a week and was going to college full-time, something about that killer schedule kept me so busy I didn’t have as much time for me to get in my own way, and last year when I was riding my mountain bike every day. I’d go out to the trails and ride 15 miles a day every day before work. It helped. Then my bike broke, and I wound up getting a different car that I need to get a tow-hitch and bike rack for since it’s tiny (Kona), and a new bike since my Walmart bike isn’t worth fixing. I plan to get a Trek this time around. But between the bike and car stuff it’s a thousand dollars I don’t have right now and I have other issues. Like the dental stuff. Upper denture at 50, so I have to get extractions done. LOVING that I have to go do that. I’d get implants if I had the money, but that will have to wait I guess. So how many of you are med-free and surviving? And have any of you found safe meds that work well?
It was someone that was my best friend for many years. We met in 1992, hung out almost daily, lived together twice, but eventually grew apart around 2009. I reached out, and we started hanging out again, but he was bad news. We both had a troubled past, but where I grew and changed, he got worse. More into drugs, more into negative thoughts, and he wound up jealous of the girl I was dating. I had been with her for 6 years when in 2011 he said something that was the final straw.
Over the years my few other good friends asked why I was still friends with him. This was a guy who had burned me many times over the years, but I always made up with him. He didn’t deserve it for the things he did (like getting a different girl I was dating high then hooking up with her while I was sleeping), he was just not the kind of person you would want as a close friend. I can’t explain why, but we were anyway. We just “clicked”. Anyway, that last straw in 2011 he said, literally, “Maybe if you spent less time with your bitch, you’d have more time to hang out with me”. He meant it to be disrespectful. I don’t talk about women like that, and this was a girl I was deeply committed to. So I cut him off. I told him it was the last straw, and that I was done.
3 years ago, after my cat of 14 years died and I was feeling particularly devastated, I decided to do some digging on FB to see what he was up to. I had planned to reach out. The last posts I saw from him were from 2013. As soon as I saw that I got that feeling in my stomach. So I googled his name hoping I wasn’t right. But I was. I contacted his father who he wasn’t close to, but he told me on FB that my friend was very depressed, and they were all sad about it, etc. He was kind of dismissive, so I’m not sure. He also told me a year after my friend killed himself his son killed himself, and his former girlfriend. I guess bad things really do travel in threes.
So he had been dead for 5 years when I found out, and to this very day, to this very minute, I am convinced had I not written him off he’d still be here. He didn’t have any other good friends, just acquaintances. Or dealers, etc. He rarely saw his mother, and in the entire time I knew him saw his father once. To top all that off, most of my best memories are also with him. My early 20s were a blast. Even my early 30s when we hung out all the time were pretty amazing. And we both lived in what used to be my favorite city. And now it’s just his ghost shrouding it when I go there. Everything reminds me of him. I cried more for my cat because my cat didn’t choose to die and was there for me every single day: I know it’s weird to some to be that attached to a pet, but I did cry for my friend, too when I found out. I kind of felt like an idiot crying about something that happened 5 years prior, but I had just found out about it. So for me it happened then. I just really miss him.
If one good thing came out of it, I started reaching out to some people who were less than popular I used to see around town to check up on them, even though it’d been years (they’re on my FB friends list). I even started hanging out with one of them. We get coffee on occasion. Because of the pandemic and his kidney problems (he gets dialysis, not idea why specifically, didn’t ask), we haven’t in the last year, but we talk online frequently. I’m determined to try to pay attention going forward, just in case there is anything I can do. I guess I just wanted to know if it’s weird to feel this way years later.