This piece was started a lifetime ago, at a time in which my response to negativity in my life was, well, mean. I had started opening up to friends and family about my depression, and thus was facing the harsh reality of going public with depression. People don’t know how to properly react, and it was infuriating. That frustration bled into my writing, causing my message to be lost in the bitterness that surrounded it. In the end the original draft of this wasn’t helping anyone, least of all me, and so I sat on it. Since then, I’ve grown jaded enough to put aside some of my resentment, and the results of that are what you see here today. I’m hoping it ends up being far more productive than its original form.
Side note, I want to get better at crediting the amazingly helpful photographers who allow me to pair their beautiful pictures with the depressing things I write, so today’s picture is brought to you by the lovely Zoey Johnson, whose work has been featured previously.
Forgive Me for I Have Sinned
I need everyone to do me a favor. Stop praying for me. While receiving prayer no longer boils my blood, it still never fails to make me feel alone, and quite frankly I can’t afford to feel more cut off than I already am. I suppose I should clarify that I understand that those who keep me in their thoughts and prayers often have the best intentions, but in the end it never comes across as genuine as people mean it to.
I’d like you all to empathize for a moment. Try warping your mind into the twisted psyche of a jaded pessimist, who routinely masks their pain in an effort not to burden those around them. Now imagine that for the first time in your life you’re actually starting to acknowledge just how much you’re hurting. You forgo years of conditioning, ignore the panic rising in your chest, and boldly proclaim that something inside you feels wrong. Amazingly, people start to take notice. They approach you, take you by the hands, and let you know that they see you, and that they will keep you in their thoughts and prayers. They make you feel like you don’t have to be alone anymore, right before turning around, and never looking back.
This isn’t the exact scenario with every one of course. While there is some bitter bias that slips into this story, the sad reality is not far off. It feels like attempts to help me often start and stop with prayer. I understand having faith, but checking in to see if those prayers resulted in a positive outcome is not too far-fetched is it? While it is supposed to be uplifting the prayers I receive are soul crushing, because what I need isn’t divine intervention, but rather just a human connection.
I don’t think I’m asking for anything special. I don’t need a savior. I’m not looking for someone to open me up, break me down, and find the pieces that are missing. Honestly I don’t even think I’m searching for someone who understands my hardships. What I want, what I need, is someone who engages my thoughts, who admits that they don’t fully understand why I’m feeling the way I do, but at the very least makes an attempt to. Don’t get me wrong, helping me, or anyone or that matter, is a strenuous task that should not be taken up lightly. There’s nothing wrong with not being able to take an active role in someone’s recovery, and quite honestly I would advise against taking that role in most cases. What I do have a problem with though, is those who attempt to make themselves part of the solution, without actually offering me anything. Those who think that telling me that I’m on their mind, without asking me what is on mine, is doing me any sort of good.
I guess if nothing else I would like people to understand this simple message. If you are of faith, and really feel like a prayer will help me then by all means do it, but don’t tell me, because in the end it just makes me feel alone, and that’s not what I need.