I’d pretty much rather cut off my own foot than ask for help. Your initial reaction is probably along the lines of, “Well, that’s prideful.” But really, it’s not. It’s more of an overflow of frustration that—barring a very few select people—every time I ask for help, I receive none after a promise. I’d rather be frustrated and figure it out on my own then watch more people I love fail me. They deserve better. But so do I.
The difficult part is you can’t get very far without asking for help in this world. So maybe I’m just asking the wrong people. I don’t know. There is just such a serious disconnect between me and pretty much everyone in my world these days and I’m not sure if it’s my depression, my generation, or if I truly just don’t belong in my current place. It’s a constant questioning, searching, and sitting in the silence.
People are busy. I get that. If there’s one thing my mother has taught me, it’s the very Biblical, much forgotten principle of: let your yes be yes and your no be no. If someone asks for something, stick to your answer. Be accountable. Be trustworthy. Be there. Be present.
There’s a lot of distance in my life right now. Off the top of my head, my five best friends live three hours away, three hours a different direction, five hours away, five hours a different direction, and twelve hours away. Those aren’t the people letting me down. They’re the ones who wish they could help. They’re the ones in similar situations.
I think that’s the thing that really gets to me. The ones who have let me down the most are the ones that were so integral to my childhood and my teenage years. The ones who have known and cared for me the longest. At some point in the last five years, I’ve fallen by the wayside in so many things.
It’s not like I don’t think they love me. I know for an absolute fact that they do. But I’m no longer a priority. Is this a reaction to me treating them the same way? If so, I never meant to give off that vibe, but I’d understand it. Is this a reaction to who I’ve become between my personal faith journey, my worldwide travel, and my education? Then it is a deeply personal rejection of me. And this is the court I’m afraid the ball has landed in.
And, I’m not asking for help with money. I get enough unsolicited advice and derogatory remarks about my career search that I know better than to ask for money. Everyone has an opinion about my work ethic and thinks I’m wallowing exactly where I deserve to be. Whatever.
I’m talking about helping out with a project where we’ve been four hours from finishing since 2015 and they still won’t help finish even though they helped you start it. I’m talking about bringing over a tool (that won’t fit in my car so I can’t go pick it up) that I need to finish a project.
I’m talking about needing feedback and editing on my novel and never finishing it.
I’m talking about rescheduling plans because something better came along. I’m talking about making escape plans and cutting hours of time together to less than an hour. I’m talking about inviting other people along when it’s supposed to be more one-on-one.
I think the biggest negative out of this is that I don’t ask anybody to pray for me, really. This life is supposed to be about community: family, friendship, and the church. But when people fail you in the tangible, it’s hard to trust them with the spiritual. If no one cares about the physical things that have a definite end point, how can you—how can I?—expect them to care about a spiritual thing?
My current bout of depression—it feels weird to refer to four years now as a “bout”—has left me in some very dark places. I’m still there, honestly. I recently told someone I don’t remember what hope feels like anymore, not outside of sports anyway. But how can I lay this burden at someone’s feet when they’re failing me elsewhere?
Especially when they’ve mocked my depression to my face before. But that’s another story entirely.
I don’t know where this is supposed to end, but I guess here is good.