I am more than certain my friends, and family is tired of my bailing on plans, especially last minute. Sometimes I don’t even bail, I just don’t show up and say nothing about it. Although my best friend attempts to assure me almost every single day that my friends get it, and know I’m depressed but this thought does not leave my pastel hair colored head.
During a depression cycle I only have a few options when I make plans while manically happy:
1. Go to whatever event, and have to pretend to be happy to avoid breaking down from a simple “hey, how are you?” pleasantry from someone
2. BAIL LIKE YOU HAVE NEVER BAILED BEFORE. This often involves an elaborate lie of an excuse as to why you are unable to make it. This entire scheme is to avoid explaining that you are once again too depressed to interact with humans, let alone leave your home.
3. Airplane mode: You phone goes into it avoiding all calls, social media, and messages and SO DO YOU. “Alexa, play my sad playlist, and then stfu and leave me alone”
4. Bail with honesty: “I’m too depressed to leave my bed ttyl.”
I spent a long time on option #2 especially with my number one excuse with no lying involved that I am working “a lot this week”. The more I grow to understand my depression, the more I go with option 4. I can almost hear the sighs of disappointment now when I type it.
I tend to go through very happy phases, moments of genuine happiness, some aided by intoxicants, some natural, some aided by my friends or lovers, and some a combo of all of the above. Within these phases I make plans to do things, and a lot of the time I bail later on.
I want to make it clear, when I am making these plans I fully intend on following through. I want to see my friends, I want to experience new things, and I want to create. Sometimes my brain doesn’t always follow suit, and I begin to overthink it. I begin to overthink everything. Please know this if I have ever bailed on plans with you: It’s not you, it’s me.
And it really is. It is what is going on in my head, my thoughts running a million miles an hour. It is me just trying to catch my breath, and make sense of the things my anxiety is telling me to be true but aren’t. As I type in a state of purgatory of depression and being content right now I know that it is untrue that “everyone hates me”. I am able to comprehend the loss of my father. I am almost able to forget anything awful that has happened to me in a weird state of emotional nirvana. But soon, probably as I try to close my eyes to sleep, that will all fade, and everything in my head will be scary again. And again, I will reach out to those I love, and trust for help when I think I need it most. The rest of the world will remain blissfully unaware of those dark times for me.
I cultivate and craft my social media to look like I’m always having fun, because who in their right mind wants to see the Instagram proof of depression. An entire feed of me wearing the same sweatpants and my dad’s old shirt for 4 days is a not a cute look. An Instastory of my Netflix habit of watching Animal Planet because animals are so much better than people is not much better of a good look. Twitter is another story, we’re all emo there, all of us.
I’m trying my best to remember that my depression does not define me and that my friends understand when I need love, and when I need space. And, as cheesy as it is going to sound if you’re reading this and also suffering you aren’t alone. If you are friends with someone suffering, ask them what they need, do not assume. Do not pressure them to go out, and do not guilt them when they bail.