Me: Hello, my name is Jennifer and I’m depressed.
Them: Hello Jennifer.
Him: Why are you depressed, Jennifer? What’s your story?
Me: Well… I recently lost someone very dear to me. So it’s been a hard couple of months, to say the least.
Me: Yeah. One of my closest friends, Jeremy passed away. Umm… It’s so weird how humans just vanish in seconds. Jeremy is… well was such an incredible person and now he’s gone, in a blink of an eye. The irony is that just a few minutes before he passed, we were talking on the phone about our plans for the evening. It was a Saturday, mid-September. We were going to eat oysters, drink some wine then head home and have a Chaplin movie marathon. We were going to pull an all-nighter and on Sunday we were going to brunch with some friends. But you can guess the rest, he didn’t make it to dinner. I remember receiving that call at 5:34 PM. I see his name popping up on my phone. I pick it up: “You miss me already!” “Jenny?” I didn’t recognize the voice. “Who is this?” “I’m afraid your friend has been in an accident and you were the last person he called. He’s in the hospital and we need you to come down as quickly as possible.”
Me: You can imagine how I looked at the time. Colorless. Lifeless. I remember reaching this hospital after calling everyone I knew. I saw the doctors, the nurses, the interns. The moment I saw their long faces staring at me, feeling sorry for me, I knew I lost him.
Me: It’s been months now and things are only getting worse. I’ve started drinking on a daily basis, I quit my job, rarely leave the house unless I run out of alcohol. I’ve cried myself to sleep for the fourth time in a row this week and it looks like tonight will be no exception. I’ve tried so many different sleeping pills in the past few months but nothing seems to work for me. I’ve been to Church, fought with God, got mad and left. I’ve tried boxing too: in other words, releasing my anger while hitting a man who could effortlessly – if he wanted – beat me up within seconds. So I stopped after three sessions.
Me: I keep remembering stuff that I try so hard to forget. And I’ve reached a point where I don’t understand my own feelings. Whenever I talk to people about how I feel, they only tell me that I should be more positive, that things will get better in time, that I have to put my heart and soul into changing. Easier said than done, to say the least. One of my friends advised me to get fifteen minutes of daylight every day and follow a diet. Like that’s going to help. Oh, and should I remove the only thing bringing me some joy, aka burgers? I think not!
Me: I read this stupid article recently about overcoming depression and sadness. You know what the first tip was? “Be happy”.
Me: “Be happy”. Thank you. Like really, this was the much-needed advice that I was looking for. “Be happy”, “Stop being sad”. It’s like telling a homeless person to “stop being poor”! Oh, wait someone did do that!
Me: Hilarious. “Be happy”. Alright, I’ll be happy. I’ll show you fucking happiness! “Be one with nature”, “Live the fullest”. People just don’t understand. Well to be fair, most people, not all of them. Last week, another friend suggested that I join this group therapy, said I could talk to you guys and hear your stories too, so here I am. *AWKWARD LAUGH* I prepared my speech and all, worked hard on it. Didn’t realize it was going to be this long.
Him: It’s okay. Let it all out.
Me: Yeah. Umm, I’m miserable, I’m depressed, I’m always in a bad mood and I’m really tired. I’m putting too much effort into smiling and laughing. So I thought, why not? Why not come here and talk about my life while you listen? I never got the chance to do so before. I thought I’d come here. Even if my story wasn’t as tough or tragic as some of your stories that I heard during our meeting today, I thought you’d still like my captivating storytelling techniques and maybe the Creative Writing workshop that I took last year didn’t go to total waste…
Me: *AWKWARD LAUGH* The end… and queue the applause! *LAUGHS*
Him: Thank you, Jenny, for sharing your story and your pain.
Him: We know how hard it must have been on you but sharing makes us feel less alone.
*EVEN MORE APPLAUSE*
Someone: What happened to him?
Someone: Jeremy, how did he die?
Someone: Jeremy, your friend, how did he die?
Me: Oh that small part wasn’t true. None of my friends passed on recently. Oh and yeah I don’t know anybody called Jeremy.
Someone: And the story you just told. What about it?
Me: I’m really depressed and it was the only way people would sympathize and listen to me. I did get your attention, no?
Me: I’m really sad but I don’t have a sob story. Is that so wrong?