I’m sitting here, shaking at my keyboard, at 3 AM. I have that kind of pain in my abdomen you get from laughing too hard, except right now it’s from the uncontrollable tremors and tension from antidepressant withdrawal. Since doctors and pharmacies are (understandably) preoccupied with other concerns at the moment, I’ve been without my usual prescriptions for about a week now. And yes, I’m a little sad, and I’m going to write about it. We’ll see if I post it. (If you’re reading this, I clearly did.)
Before we realized how quickly the COVID situation was going to ramp up, I was over in the UK spending time with my boyfriend. While there, in the span of about 24 hours, I was told that my school was going to switch to “remote learning”, that I would need to return home to the US as soon as possible, and that upon arriving back in the states, I had to move out of my campus apartment and back home to Georgia. I don’t think these are circumstances that I need to detail any further, considering almost everyone you talk to had similar (or worse) experiences. What I think was slightly unique, were the texts that I received upon landing back in the U.S. The details are a lot to go into here, and because this isn’t about parsing out right and wrong, I’ll just say that the summary of those messages was that my roommates didn’t want me to come home that night. But that meant that with no alternative plan, and only a bus ticket back to my school’s campus, I didn’t have much of a choice.
Despite knowing there was likely nothing to be done, I called several people on my school’s campus that night, and predictably, they had no better answer. It’s not like this was a situation anyone could prepare for. I spent the three hour bus ride back to campus nauseous from the anxiety of what I would walk into, which sounds like an overreaction, but once again — mental health isn’t a rational thing. I will simply leave the rest of the story and say that everyone said hurtful things, and at the end of it all, I felt hated and isolated.
I’ve been trying to figure out why this story is so daunting to tell. It’s embarrassing, for one. What kind of a person must I be, if people I had been closest to for the past few years could drop me like that? And what do people reading this, people with far less context, think of me for this one anecdote? These are a few of the questions I’ve asked myself, but its the first one in particular that has refused to leave me. I’m scared even, that in posting this, I will stir up more feelings and invite hurtful commentary onto a story that is still so deeply painful and profoundly personal. But I think that it is also important to acknowledge that right now, we are living times that are new in not only the ways we see on the news but in how we deal with personal situations. I’d like to believe that this all came as a result of the heightened emotions of a pandemic, and I believe that to an extent. But as others have reminded me, these times have tested relationships, and I suppose that if it happened now, those bonds weren’t strong enough. Even after reaching out to these people, it seems that at this point these relationships are irreparable. And perhaps I should leave them as so, as we have to learn to grow separate directions.
I started this a few weeks back, and as I try and wrap up this post somewhat coherently, I am back on my medication and all is well on that front. But I still do feel the same. I am hurt, and I am lonely. It’s hard when you and the rest of the world are quarantining yourselves, to tell if you are having an episode of depression or just going through the stress of the situation. I think a lot of others feel this way, too.
I’m sitting here and looking back on this piece of writing, I see that I started out wanting to write one story and instead wrote another that has been gnawing at me. But I’m going to give myself permission to feel, and to turn to the people who have supported me even in the worst of times. Despite my constant fear of rejection, my worry over sounding selfish, and the always-present need to fix everything, I’m going to talk about how I feel. I hope you know that your feelings right now, however erratic or irrational you think they may be, are valid, and I hope you do the same. As always, my inbox is open.