Happy Before I’m 30: Friendship

Friendship involves a lot of dudes in shorts

I can honestly say I would not be here today without my friends. I believe that’s true for all of us, but thanks to the efforts of a lot of people over the last month, I’ve gone from a person in crisis to a guy just trying to find his place in the world. The road is still long and perilous, but thanks to my traveling companions I think I can manage it.

One month ago I had a nervous breakdown. I don’t want to say why. There were a number of factors, but one that was bigger than the others, one that still haunts me, one that I’m honestly not ready to talk about here yet, and it caused me to spiral out of control. I was sitting at my desk at my job, and I felt an overwhelming need to go to the top of my building and walk off the roof. Not an urge, a need. My entire brain told me that this is what needed to happen, that this is what I deserved, that this is what would make the pain stop.

Instead, I texted a friend. I texted them about how hurt I was, how angry I was, and that I honestly did not trust myself and that I would really appreciate her checking up on me for the rest of the day if she could. That friend was Jenn White and she was my savior.

She talked me down, she made sure that my voice was heard, she let me vent, offered her opinion and opened a dialogue so I had somewhere for those negative emotions to go. Also, she knew that I got out of work early and arranged for a mutual friend, Noah Rocklin, another amazing person, to reach out and meet up with me after work, and the two of them spent the rest of the afternoon talking to me and trying to curb my self-destructive actions and thoughts.

They did a greaat job too, all things considered. I was in a bad place, but I was being honest with them, and, maybe for the first time in awhile, honest with myself. I talked about how I felt, I made sure my feelings were known as opposed to swallowing them and letting my brain do its worst with them. They listened, they gave feedback, they told me what they would do if they were in my shoes. Then they tried to check me into a mental facility and I became an asshole.

I’ll be honest, I probably should’ve done it. I was angry at myself, angry at the world, and I did not want to exist anymore. But my insurance hadn’t kicked in yet. New job, new insurance, if I went in I would have to pay out of pocket, and that is the money I’ve saved to move to Los Angeles. Suicide no longer became a worry, losing my future did, not realizing that if I didn’t get the help I needed soon, I’d lose my future anyway. I begged, I pleaded, I hung out in a Potbelly’s sandwich shop longer than anyone really should. Eventually they said that they’d walk me home and make sure that Amanda knew everything. They saved me. And they still do.

Having a mental breakdown isn’t something you just bounce back from. I’m still recovering, and honestly there are still days where I wish I was dead, but they’re fewer, and when I have those thoughts I’m more in control of them each time, thanks to my friends.

Jenn and Noah still text me pretty regularly to check up on me, even though they both have their own issues to deal with. Other friends, Amanda, Charles, Derek, Chels, Liz, Billy, Sarah, my Dad, I really could go on forever, have been there, seen me in distress and talked to me, brought me back down. They’re amazing people, people I would do absolutely anything for. I’m not ready to live for myself, not yet, but I want to live for them.

A month ago I wasn’t in therapy. A month ago I thought the future that awaited me wasn’t worth living. A month ago I felt more alone than I ever thought possible. Today I am getting helped, and I feel loved, and I don’t know what future awaits me but I want to find out.

I apologize for the very dramatic nature of this post, but I was incredibly sad when I wrote it and now I’m less, so here is something very funny about my teenage years.

When I was in middle school, I had a long distance internet girlfriend that I met through writing fanfiction online. After a few months, she broke up with me, and I was forced by my mom to explain to her that I was sad and listening to a lot of Dido because I got dumped by a stranger on the internet. My mom never asked about my personal life ever again.

I love you all, and currently hate none of you.