Airing it All Out

And the Simplistic but Significant Value of Talking Honestly With a Friend

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Last night, I had three chilled shots of Southern Comfort and a beer or two — before calling a friend to tell him I had to talk to him. When I say friend, it’s one I’ve been close with since I was twelve years old. There’s really not much in life we haven’t been through together. We’ve seen each other at our worst as well as at our best. He faced tragedies at the age of seventeen that would have completely broken most people. Yet, he’s genuinely one of the more positive minded people I know. It’s for that reason, I consider him one of the stronger people I know as well.

Friendships between males are an odd thing. You’d assume two dudes who’ve known each other for almost 20 years and have been through thick and thin together, tell each other just about everything — we don’t. Actually, just the opposite. We know each other so well that we know when something is going on with the other but it’s not always spoken about. It doesn’t always need to be. However, there are times when it absolutely does.

I’ve spent far more time than I care to reflect on, pretending everything is okay, to the point I just can’t anymore. That comes off as dramatic, my apologies. But perhaps it’s exactly that serious, though everything inside me says it isn’t and I should just shove it all back down inside. It’s really been quite sometime since I was genuinely happy and that’s an incredibly sad thing to hear yourself say. I used to have this passion for and excitement about life that’s been absent from within me for a really long time and I just want to figure out how to get it back.

With that being said, it’s not something I talk about but last night, I decided to. I made my way over my friend’s and let him know exactly where I was at. Essentially, everything that’s been bothering me or I haven’t talked about for months, maybe longer. While my head wants to convince me, nobody — including my friend — cares and to just suck it up and move on, I’ve found just the opposite to be true. When you talk openly and honestly with people, it typically only opens the door for them to do the same. Which is exactly what my friend did, after telling me everything I not wanted but instead needed to hear.

For longer than I can remember or at least care to I’ve dealt with a lack of drive and confidence — two things I used to have plenty of. There are days I feel incapable of performing the most basic of tasks and would rather not be around anyone. Where even the thought of the phone ringing is more than I can deal with and I feel disconnected from everyone and everything in life. Like I’m not capable of living and enjoying life like others do. And you know what, that’s bullshit.

I’m against taking anti-depressants and have never been to therapy. I’m medically uninsured which plays a large part in me never addressing any of this. I simply don’t know where to start. However, I’ve gotten to a point where I refuse to feel like this. Well, not how I do right now but how I do at my worst. I’m done pretending everything is okay all the time because it’s not. There’s plenty I’m grateful for and there is without a doubt a happy, positive person in me. Some days, he just seems buried under a layer of overwhelming thoughts — despite how untrue so many of them are.

I come from a family, where we simply don’t talk about these things. We pretend everything is fine and move forward. We don’t inconvenience others with our problems and feelings. Which is probably why I even write to begin with. I take everything I can’t find a way to talk about and throw it at a blank page. While it certainly helps, it’s not always enough. Find a friend and talk to them. You don’t have to suffer in silence, it doesn’t build strength or character, it eventually just weighs you down. I know I feel better this morning than I did last night.