Depression, Anxiety, and Friends.

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That sounds a little like a pitch for a cartoon, or a line of plush figures, doesn’t it?

That’s not what I mean, though. I want to talk about being me and having friends — or not having friends. Because, honestly, I’m never exactly sure from moment to moment whether or not I do have friends.

Because I have problems.

I don’t remember if I said it here, or in a comment on Facebook, but depression and anxiety are like two people you never want to hang out with at the same time. One on its own is bad enough, but, once you get them together? It’s like summoning Captain Planet, except he’s not here to clean up a neon green, radioactive oil spill.

He’s here to sit on your chest and scream about how worthless you are while burning your entire life one possession at a time.

Except it’s not Captain Planet. It’s you. Like in that Hyperbole and A Half post.

Of course, it’s not the same for everyone. I never really reach the ‘invincible’ stage, myself. And others probably don’t have the problem I often have.

Before I get into this, I want to say one thing: I’m not looking for pats or hugs or assurances or anything. I’m just…stating facts about what’s in my head. How I feel. Trying to explain it as well as I can, so more people can kinda know what’s going on in the head of one mentally ill individual.

Back to the problem, which would be this:

The, “I am well and truly alone, because the people who say they’re my friends are probably lying. And maybe laughing behind my back.”

Paranoid. Yeah. When my issues combine, it’s like bleach and ammonia. One of the products of the reaction is a crippling paranoia-inducing gas.

And part of me knows it’s not really fair to my friends, because they’re probably all great people. They put up with me, after all. And they have lives and work and success.

But one or two incidents of shitty people will get called up at this point in the litany of ‘Stop being so shitty to everyone, you shitty excuse for a human.’

Now, most of my friends are online friends — people I’ve never met, but I still consider to be friends. But that doesn’t keep them safe from this rather hideous cycle of doubt.

Once it starts, nobody’s safe. And there’s no telling what’ll set it off, if there is even anything that sets it off. Sometimes, a wild doubt appears, and it cascades.

“They don’t like you any more.”
“What do you mean ‘any more’? You know they never actually liked you. You did something, or you failed to do something, and now they’re sick of playing along.”
“It’s true. You’re disgusting. You’re a waste of time. You’re not productive. Or clever. You’re pretty boring, when you’re not being morbid or repulsive. Hell, you don’t even drink. Nobody likes people who don’t drink.”

Eventually, it fades into a sort of white noise of anxious, self-loathing doubt.

And that’s where I am right now. No glorious ‘nothing can hurt me’ ending. Just…confusion, self-loathing, and a profound sense of being completely and utterly alone in the world.

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