If we were meeting for drinks I’d order a shot of tequila and a Corona, then I’d look at you and say, “Trust me, I’ve earned it.” After the waiter took both of our orders I would promise I won’t have any more shots because yes, I know liquor doesn’t sit well with my meds.
If we were meeting for drinks you would probably see the stress written all over my face, you might even see it spill down my face as tears leaked from my eyes without my consent. Since we haven’t talked in quite a while I’d tell you I recently started an accelerated program to get certified as a medical assistant, and like everybody else in my life you would probably congratulate me and tell me that you’re proud of me. In response, I would probably cry harder. I would tell you that I feel like I am drowning and I am completely overwhelmed. I’d tell you I take pride in being a good student but this is all moving so quickly I don’t have time to absorb any of it. I am terrified I will do poorly or worse, fail entirely. Before you respond to that I’d ask that you not try to encourage me, like everyone else, because that really doesn’t make me feel better or more confident about my situation. Rather, it makes me feel like nobody hears me, as though my feelings are invalid and worthless.
If we were meeting for drinks I’d tell you that the depression has crept back in. It started around the edges, I wasn’t even sure it was depression at first and tried convincing myself it couldn’t be. It seems like I just came out of my last major episode. Alas, there’s no denying it anymore. You would probably have that sad look on your face, the one that says you don’t know what to say because nobody ever really does, and maybe that’s because there isn’t really anything that can be said. Depression just is what it is. When it decides to cloud my brain with darkness there’s very little that can be said or done to stop it. I might even laugh at this point because why not?! Well, that and the tequila has probably gone to my head a little by now. I’ve been through this so many times, when can I throw my hands in the air and say enough is enough?!! You would probably tell me I never get to say that, that I always have to hold on and trudge through it. You would remind me that I always get to the other side, that there always is another side – a side where there is light rather than darkness. You don’t actually have to remind me, I’ve been here a time or two, you know, but that seems to be the common response.
If we were meeting for drinks I’d tell you that I know I sound like a broken record. I know this all sounds familiar, I know I’m not the only person in the world with problems, and I know I will most likely get through all of this. But I’d also tell you that I don’t care about any of that because it doesn’t change how I feel in this moment and my feelings are valid. Hopefully, if we were meeting for drinks, you would agree that how I feel matters even if I’ve felt this way a million times before. Because being able to talk about my feelings with someone who is listening and hearing me actually does help.
If we were meeting for drinks I would thank you for the gift of your friendship and being there for me when I’m really down and out. I would let you know how much I appreciate you and our time together because I know your time is precious. And after I got all that off my chest, I’d beg you to catch me up on all that is going on with you. I’d tell you I feel like a horrible and selfish friend for talking about myself so much, now it’s your turn…