Being Depressed Isn’t A License to Be Destructive

Depression can come and go like the weather. One minute it’s sunny and breezy and you can’t wait to go get a drink on your favorite patio bar and the next minute it starts to storm and you don’t have an umbrella. When you do get in the car, you realize you need gas and the windshield wipers aren’t working like they’re supposed to.

It hits you quick and hard and can be paralyzing to the point where you feel as though you don’t have the mental or physical energy to do anything. It’s in these moments where you have to fight the urge to be self-destructive.

I’m going to let you all in on a little secret. Everyone you know has battled some form of depression or mental illness. It can be something as simple as losing your job or breaking up with a mate. Our brains interpret that pain and hurt as though it’s actual physical pain. When these moments of shock of happen you can’t use them as excuses to be destructive.

“I’m not happy in my relationship,” so I’m going to go find happiness between the legs of someone else. “I’m not getting what I need from my job,” so I’m going to leave work that other people are depending on me to finish undone. These are self-destructive traits and when you wake up from this cloud of depression you’ll have to deal with the consequences that came from your bad decisions.

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I often write that the fundamental problem with most adults, men and women, is that we are unwilling to accept our roles in our own depression and bad situations. It is human nature to look out and see how someone has wronged you. When we should be looking within ourselves. You can be an amazing woman and do everything a man asks but he cheats and you have a right to say it’s his fault. But after you get past the tears, the depression, the anger, there’s a part of you that knows you saw the signs and chose to ignore them. There’s a part of you that knows you looked the other way when things didn’t feel right. You aren’t the one that broke the trust but you are the one that should have been honest with yourself.

Talk to someone.

Be honest about your feelings and allow your mind to pursued your heart out of foolishness.

Why Don’t They Teach A Class In High School About Adulting?

I’m half way into my 34th year of life and I can honestly tell you I have never had to use biology in real life. I have never gone on a job interview where someone asked me, “So, what is an organism?” I have yet to go to a pay a bill and the person behind the counter asked, “Excuse me sir, we need your street address, social security number and for you to tell us 10 State Capitals.” Why do they teach us all this useless knowledge but don’t teach us how to adult? Below are four classes on how to adult before you hit the real world.

Lesson One- Money and Common Cents

Could you imagine if in your senior year of high school there was a class on real life budgeting? Not calculus or trigonometry but a class entitled “Money and Common Cents.”

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Food all goes down the same. Wingstop taste amazing, Pappadeaux for happy hour is everything. A good steak from Brennan’s, mouthwatering. However, lesson 1, there isn’t a worse feeling than checking your bank statement and seeing you’ve spent 120.00 on food for the week knowing your cell phone bill is 117.89. Spaghetti is your friend; sandwiches are your friend, those cheap sausages that turn the water super greasy, your friend. If you know you don’t get paid for two weeks, don’t blow your money on food.

Lesson Two- Love Is Going To Break You; But It Won’t Kill You

We as a society do a horrible job of preparing our youth for how powerful love is. There was never a class in high school or college that taught us how much love would break us down. No group project on how to deal with seeing another man’s name pop on your woman’s phone at 2am. No power point on feeling like life is great and your man walking in and telling you, “I don’t love you anymore.”

There should be a test given to every high school senior. Don’t let love make you make dumb decisions. If you aren’t married, don’t co-sign for him a car because he changed a flat for you. Those things are not equal baby girl and I know you think he has a good job working at UPS overnight but I promise you a good job at 18 isn’t a good job at 24. If that woman wants to break up with you, let her go. Beating up her new man may feel good but the record that comes with it doesn’t. In a year she’ll have moved on and you’ll still be living with the consequences.

Lesson Three- Don’t Blow Off Your Grandparents and Parents

There’s a time frame after high school and before true adulthood kicks in at like 26 that we ignore our grandparents or parents. We want to travel and go out and sleep in so we say, “I’ll see grandma tomorrow.” “I’ll call my mom back tomorrow.” Those tomorrow’s add up and the next thing you know it’ll have been two months. There will be a day when they won’t be here anymore and in that moment you’ll think back to when you blew them off for a man or woman you have blocked on FB or friends that you don’t even talk to anymore. Love those that love you.

Lesson Four- Most Of Us Won’t Die Young; Prepare Yourself

Go to the dentist. You only get one set of real teeth.
Make memories and takes lots of pictures.
Don’t not pay bills to enjoy yourself. Credit is something you’ll need.
You don’t feel good, go to the doctor. You still don’t feel good, go back. You still don’t feel good, go to another doctor.
Don’t waste years of your life being unhappy.

There’s A Difference Between Giving Up and Knowing When Something Just Isn’t Working

Who Doesn't Want This?

We all want this but life isn’t perfect.

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That difference between true love and love.

“I’m never getting divorced.”

“People in our generation don’t know what loyalty is.”

“A man should take care of a woman like my grandfather and father did.”

We throw these phrases around in 2015 without actually thinking about what we’re saying. You notice how it’s always single people that make statements like, “I’m never getting divorced!” Or that say things like, “People don’t want to work for relationships anymore.” I respect any couple that can go through the ups and downs of life together for decades but let’s be honest about something. A lot of those women and men put up with things our generation would never put up with and why is that a bad thing?

If you work at a job for a year and realize you suck at it; no one blames you for quitting and finding a new job. If you buy a car because it’s sleek and pretty and realize the gas mileage sucks and it floods too much in Houston for something so low to the ground; no one judges you for trading it in for something that’s more practical. So why is it that we are so judgmental of people that realize a relationship or marriage isn’t working and decide to move on? If you give someone your all for six months and realize the differences are just too great to overcome would it be easier if you gave them a year, two years? Who are any of us to judge whether or not someone gave their all? Tell me if this makes sense: Be unhappy for a decade but you can say you were married for ten years or be unhappy for a year or two and spend the next eight enjoying your life and maybe actually finding someone that makes you smile.

For the longest time people would ask me about past relationships and I would say with pride, “I was with my ex for eight years.” But as I’ve gotten older I realized it didn’t make me strong or better than someone else for being in a relationship that long when I knew neither of us was happy. It made me a man that was afraid. Afraid of accepting that not being with her would mean uncertainty. It would mean maybe she would find happiness without me or maybe I would feel guilt for giving up on her. Fear of time wasted or guilt can’t be the cornerstone of a relationship. Being honest with yourself isn’t quitting, it’s being an adult.

How arrogant is it for people that are in marriages they resent or single people that have never even been engaged to make statements like, “People don’t try anymore.” Every marriage, household, relationship is different. You think that man or woman that you feel like just gave up went into their marriage with the idea they would get divorced? Every story is not the same and it’s okay to say, “This isn’t working, let’s be happy.”

You Deserve Better…

I couldn’t sleep, it was three in the morning and I couldn’t sleep because I was worried about her. We stopped being lovers a long time ago, she’d become more than that, she’d become my friend. The last time I talked to her she was up stressing and praying, I could hear it in her voice without her saying a word about it to me. She was trying to protect me more than lie to me, she knew in her heart if he ever hurt her I would hurt him.

I had no idea what her attraction to him was and I’d stop asking a long time ago, it wasn’t my place to judge. I’d loved and chased after my fair share of women that didn’t deserve me and I’d also been on the other end of the stick. Treating women like shit that deserved so much better, in most stories people want to play the victim but we’ve all been villains at one point or another. God knows I’ve played that role more times than I could count.

In a pair of pajama pants, no t-shirt, no socks, red eyes and a cup of hot chocolate in my hands I paced back and forth… My cell phone sitting on the table, my Bose playing softly throughout the living room, I wanted her to call me back, I needed her to call me back. I had to make sure she was okay. It was hard because I never knew the full story when it came to him and her all I knew was that he didn’t deserve her.

My life wasn’t very complicated, I didn’t have baby mama issues or family drama, I wasn’t on any drugs or chasing pussy every night. My life was pretty ordinary until she came alone, she was like a hurricane that swallowed me up and rebuilt me. At first I thought she was the worst thing that ever happened to me, she was all I thought about day and night, when we made love I swear I was seeing stars and shit. And then we were no longer that couple, hell, I don’t know if we were ever a couple but that was cool because through it all she was always honest with me about where we stood with each other.

And I loved her for that… I still love her because of that.

We were kindred spirits, both hopeless romantics, she loved to read and I loved to write. We both knew way to many designers we couldn’t afford, she wanted to make love on yachts in the French Rivera I wanted to make love on top of Penthouses over looking New York or Miami. Our ambitions and materialistic natures drew us into each other. When we met I was broken, alone and missing something, someone. She was probably the same way but I can’t speak for her, I just knew it was a natural chemistry.

Those days of us lying in bed holding each other and discussing the future seemed like a lifetime ago, we still talked everyday but the conversation was rarely sexual anymore. It was about life and love and our careers, our families and the day to day shit we all went thru.

I saw my phone lighting up on the table; her face came on the screen… I grabbed it and answered.

“Hello!” I tried to keep the anxiety out of my voice, tried to keep it level.

“Hey babe,” at two thirty in the morning with the weight of the world on her shoulders she calm and sexy as always.

“What’s up Nic… Why are you running around with that boy at this time of the morning?”

“We were out clubbing; he’s in his car seat knocked out anyway, when he was a newborn. This was the only way I could get him to stop crying some nights. I would load him up and just drive the loop, he’s still mommy’s baby.”

“He’s only like fourteen months girl and you aren’t answering my question, why are you and Josh out this time of night?” I could hear her sigh, I knew she would never tell me the whole story, sometimes I wished I could read her mind.

“I’m not happy, I haven’t been for a long time, it’s just a lot going on in this mind of mine. I’m headed to my mom’s, I just feel comfortable, at ease when I’m around her. I’m going to be dead tired in the morning.”

“Why aren’t you happy?” I didn’t want to feel what I did for her because when she hurt, I hurt. And I knew she wasn’t happy, I could see it like she could see when something was bothering me.

“It’s just a long story… It’s not even something I can explain like that, I had this image of my life, this way I expected things to go.” Her voice never changed, that was one of the things I marveled at about her. She could be hurting something serious and it would never sound like she had more than a cold.

“I understand completely, life isn’t perfect though, God alters plans.”

“It’s amazing, when you first meet someone the love is pure, the actions and reactions come so natural. And over time either the person changes or the real them comes out; I know you love me, I’m not blind and I love that you can be my friend without judging me. That’s more important to me than you know.”

“It’s not my place to tell you what you should do, I just need you to know that he doesn’t deserve you.”

“I know babe… I know…. Sometimes I wish we could have met in a different time, a different life, you’re going to be a great father, a great husband.”

“I don’t deal in fantasies, I met you in this life in this world and I don’t regret that. You’re a strong woman, I know you can deal with a lot but the thing is… You shouldn’t have to.”

“Life isn’t fair… I’m a though cookie.”

“It’s cool to let someone take care of you, to let them be there for you. You’re too beautiful of a person to carry those burdens alone.”

“My burdens are my on my cross to bear; I have my reasons babe and maybe they only make sense to me but they’re my reasons. I know you care, I know you love me but I have to do this my way.”

I took the phone away from my ear and rubbed my eyes, my love for her was my cross to bear.

“Okay, I’ve made it to my mom’s house, thanks for staying on the phone with me. I’ll call you in the morning.”

“Alright, get some sleep.”

“I will.”

She hung up; it killed me to know there was nothing I could do to help her. Sometimes you had to let someone go if you really loved them. I would let her handle her issues her own way, she was a good person and God wouldn’t forsake her.

He wouldn’t…

Placing my phone on the table, grabbing the remote and muting the Marsha Ambrosius I wiped my eyes and fell to the floor on my knees. I clasped my hands together and closed my eyes,

Dear Heavenly Father,

I know I don’t come to you as much as I should and you know my heart… I’m not coming to you this morning for myself; you’ve blessed me more than I could ever ask. I’m here on this day to ask that you give my friend clarity and guidance, that you protect her and bring her happiness. That you give her the life she deserves! You know the love I have in my heart but I would happily give her up if that means she’ll have a genuine smile. I know you’re a powerful God, a jealous God… but more than that you’re a merciful God!!! And I need you to have mercy on her! I need you to lift her spirits and allow her to be the woman we both know she’s destined to be. I’m sure billions of people pray to you every day and night asking you for riches, cures to cancer, peace of mind… I don’t want any of that for myself, I’ll sacrifice whatever you need me to; just give her the life she deserves. I know I’m in no position to make deals with a man of your caliber but if you do this I’ll spend my life honoring you. I’ll spend my life being a better man…

If you give her happiness, I’ll let her go. You say put no man before you, I’ve put her before you in my heart and I know that’s wrong. Give her happiness and I’ll sacrifice my own… In your darling son Jesus’s name.

Amen

I stood up, cut my music back on, traded in my hot chocolate for Hennessy and Orange Juice and sent my job an e-mail saying I wouldn’t be in till noon. Life isn’t perfect but we have to make the best out of our situations. Everything would work out for us because God wouldn’t have it any other way.