Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I just read through each of the 138 posts I've written in this blog over the course of the last day. This was prompted by a conversation I was having with a friend of mine over the value of therapy. Why, I asked, would you pay someone to listen to you complain about life, when you have the whole of the internet at your fingertips? When you have a diary, or a blog, or somewhere like /r/offmychest on Reddit, where people just want to listen to you. That's all the therapist does anyway, right? Listen to you rant, and then "insert comments to make you think she understands even though she doesn't," as my friend put it. Why pay for that?

Why shell out money to have someone do in person what the internet can do all the time? So that brought the discussion to this blog, which I haven't looked at or thought about for a little over a year. Remember those times I would come back after a month or so and say that nasty little blogger icon in my bookmarks was staring at me again? I deleted it. I had learned my lesson. This honest, open place was no longer the online diary it started out as, because I could no longer be honest. There was too much at stake. Too many interested parties that could take what I say here and use it against me. An employer. A concerned friend. Parents. Those sort of people. So I stopped. For just over a year now, I stopped. Left it to rot, to be forgotten. I left it as a tribute to my high school and college years, a everlasting diary on the internet, with almost no way to find it. I deleted the link to it from my Facebook. I deleted a few incriminating entries. What was left was just a portal to the past, to how I felt as an angst-filled teen. To how I was a lost little freshman in the world of college. To how I slowly came to accept that what I was feeling was depression, not just laziness or apathy or simple unhappiness.

All 138 entries are honest. And they tell a story. It doesn't have a beginning; it only references the beginning. The first blog. The MySpace blog. MySpace revamped and is now a music site and the blogs are lost forever, or at least I can't find it. But it picks up in 2009, near the end of my Junior year of high school. I felt used, ignored, under-appreciated. I felt like what I thought or wanted didn't matter. I was just beginning to see my parents as real people. I was naive. Innocent, to an extent. I had never been drunk. I had never tried marijuana. I was the purest I would be for the rest of my life. But I was not happy. I worried about school because I was supposed to. I filled the roles set in front of me - leader of boy scouts, leader of band kids, hardworking (albeit rebellious) son and student. I did these things without the recognition I thought I deserved, but I did nothing about it.

Then I died and was reborn. I went to college and life started over. I had one friend that semester. I was lonely and I blamed myself for it. I missed high school and my previous life. But life went on without consideration for how I felt. I blamed my new situation on my sadness and indirection. I left as though if I just had friends near me, I would be whole. With graduation goggles permanently in place, high school seemed like a perfect time. Putting aside those times I called my parents nazis, those times I was stressed about a million things at the same time, those responsibilities I reluctantly took on, I remembered only my friends, and how I now had none. I was almost completely alone and certainly lost. I considered therapy but never went. I needed friends, not a therapist, I argued.

I pledged. I made band friends. I met Eric, who I don't think I ever mentioned by name on this blog, but who has been there since that second semester of college. Now I had friends. The invigorating drama was back. Taylor entered the picture. Ethan and I moved into an apartment, but grew apart as K Psi and the friend group around it consumed my life more and more. Now that I had friends, surely I would be happy. But I still wasn't. I found my classes boring. I found life uninteresting. I wanted someone I could never have, and even attended her wedding. I complained about wasting my life away watching tv but did nothing about it, and still constantly worried about not having a direction in life. Friends had not been the solution.

After that year I got into trouble. I stopped blogging. There was a gap. A whole semester undocumented. I was too scared to trust people, and far too scared to talk earnestly here, so instead of lying, I said nothing. I wasn't about to make the whole blog sound like how I talked about that girl I was in love with. That wouldn't do at all. During that blackout, I lived alone for the first time in my life. I was lonely again. I watched more tv than ever, I was unproductive, sad, and alone. I had excellent grades, definite prospects for a future, but none of that interested me. I finally accepted the fact that I needed help. Since I couldn't rely on this blog to be my safe haven, I finally visited the counselors on campus.

It was a wash. I liked going and being able to talk freely, to not have to hide and worry what people would read into or hold against me. But it wasn't helpful. As my friend said, they say they understand. Unfortunately fake empathy doesn't translate to answers, and certainly not happiness. This poor grad student couldn't help me. Said I had depression and that I should consider a proper psychologist, but the on campus one wasn't taking new people. Encouraged me to find one in Dallas once I moved there. But in true Kyle fashion, I took a small task like choosing a new, real therapist and blew it out of proportion until I was overwhelmed. It was effort, and I was undermotivated, so it never happened.

Then I graduated. I took a road trip with Eric. I got ready to start working. And when I started, I left this blog to rot in the archives of internet history. Classes won't fire you for complaining about them. They won't kick out out if you admit to not doing the homework. Baylor could have probably taken action against me for the admissions of occasional cheating, but with fifteen thousand students to keep track of, what were the odds they'd find this little blog? The company I work for is not fifteen thousand people. I finally became too scared to say anything at all, because if they found it and held it against me, I was done for.

So that's where the epic journal ended. Four years of intermittent note keeping that just stopped without a goodbye. I do apologize for that. I didn't mean to disappear, but I thought maybe it was better this way. Maybe I shouldn't document the transition from college to real life. As uneventful as I thought college was at times, or as distant as I thought friendships were, it was ten times worse in real life. Everyone concerned with their own lives. So little time for new friend making. Working forty hours every week doesn't lend itself to exciting nights 5 out of 7 days a week. My blog started looking prophetic; I've spent my evenings too tired to do much except watch tv. My weekends are spent with old friends, both college and high school friends, but the rest of the time I'm alone.

Right after I graduated, I moved home. I did exactly what I thought - spent a little time with old friends, but largely I spent the evenings watching tv with my parents. Eventually the old frictions started to set in. I needed out. I patiently waited for Eric to graduate since he was only 5 months behind me. We got a nice apartment in uptown Dallas. His boyfriend quickly followed and moved in nearby, and after that I almost never saw him. I was alone again.

Taylor - remember Taylor? - has her own story, but she was even more lost than I was. Deserted and alone, I offered Taylor refuge from her mother's home at my apartment. We lived together for a time. I wasn't alone. I had someone who legitimately cared about me. We played house for a few months. I still was not happy.

Taylor didn't have an income. There were other problems I don't feel like expanding on. Eric, who had been there for years now, moved out after 6 months. He moved in with the boyfriend. Taylor went home. I was left out of Eric's new life, forced to fend for myself. It was still too early for the friends my age to have graduated, so I had no one to turn to. This brings us to present day, where I reside alone, in a bad part of town because I can't afford a nice apartment on my own, with Berkley as my roommate. Waiting.

Waiting for my life to get going. Waiting for my friends to have enough money to rent a house with me so I can move out of the ghetto. Waiting for the chance at a new job. Waiting for a chance to go back to college. Waiting to be happy.

This blog has told the story of a depressed adolescent trying to find a place in the world, trying to figure out what's wrong and where happiness is. The chapter is over for that kid, but the book keeps going. I may have to be more careful, but I need someone to talk to. Somewhere to talk, anyway. I don't need to pay a therapist, but I do need somewhere to rant. I need this blog. It took a year to realize it, but I need it. I don't mind if you follow along or not, but I'm bringing this sucker back from the dead.

Thanks, Reem.

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