I've been depressed for as long as I can remember. As soon as I was cut out of my mother's uterus and placed into a hospital bed, I wordlessly declared, "I'm home". I rarely leave my current bed if I can help it, preferring to conduct important business (avoiding work, pushing my cat away, and watching other people's lives unfold on Instagram) while prostrate.
My previous excuse for lying in bed all day with the curtains drawn (because I was trying to avoid having to look at billboards of James Spader wearing a fedora) has ceased being serviceable. The Blacklist ads, unavoidable throughout my tri-county area mere months ago, have long since been removed. And yet still I lay, all day, in bed with the curtains drawn.
The fact that my current career situation is organically depressing doesn't help matters. I am 31, childless, alone, and lack professional representation. The only time anyone's ever approached me about representation, it was an agent's assistant, and he didn't know the Ari Gold of the Miller/Gold Talent Agency I have listed on my website isn't a real person (It's Jeremy Piven's power agent from character from Entourage, America's favorite television brogram).
I can't even get a job writing for basic cable. I can't even afford basic cable. Last week I fucked up my shoulder falling up a staircase at a venue doing my interpretative dance to a version of "Hotel California" I spookified (as in, made more spooky) by adding rattling chains and Charlie Sheen quotes. I'm still white in America, so I have that going for me, but inexplicably it's not enough to make life feel like a precious gift.
All I did last weekend (in bed, natch) was masturbate and read The War for Late Night, a book about the 2009 Tonight Show debacle. If I died and paramedics had stumbled upon the tableau of my vibrator lying next to the book, the cover of which is a mediocre Photoshopped image of Conan O'Brien and Jay Leno yelling at each other, I would have wished I'd died twice. Once while masturbating, I made the mistake of opening my eyes and seeing Leno's bloated visage staring back at me. I realized, at that that moment, I needed help.
The time had come. I decided I was going going/back back/to therapy therapy. I rang up MediCal (thanks, Obama!) and, after an afternoon spent listening to lite jazz, scheduled an appointment with my closest provider, an establishment called Asian Pacific Counseling and Treatment Centers. "Is it OK that I'm not Asian?" I asked the personality-deficient woman on the line that pitched it to me as a viable option for mental health. "They speak English," she replied. Duly noted.
Right out of the gate at my first session, I was already crushing it. Go hard, I say, then go home and go back to bed. How hard, exactly, did I go? Hard enough that I was crying while I filled out the paperwork. Gotta let them know you're not wasting their time! I thought as I wetted the HIPPA agreement with tears.
The crying continued intermittently throughout the session, with varying levels of intensity. When my therapist, a woman by the adorkable name of Zoey, asked me what my strengths were, I instantly started sobbing. If I had a positive self-image, why the fuck would I be here? I thought to myself before begrudgingly rattling off a couple softballs.
"I'm… funny?" I said with a lilt, a fact she emotionlessly wrote down while nodding. "What else?" she asked. "Uh… um…" I stammered, my mind drawing a complete blank. In that moment, I could not for the life of me think of anything worthwhile or remarkable about myself. No wonder you're here, you miserable sack of shit, I thought. "I'm…a good driver?" I offered. She dutifully wrote this down as well.
After deciding I had but two strengths, the topic shifted to family matters. "Would you like to tell me a little bit about your father?" she asked.
"Shiiiit," I responded. "How much time do you have?"
"An hour," she said, looking at her watch.
Oh, and tell her about my father I did. I could already tell I'm going to bring a lot of light to her life with the bad dad anecdotes I plan on dropping in the coming weeks, as her eyes lit up with perverse glee during my retelling of the occasion in which he carved the word "FUCK" into the top of a car that he decided had parked too close to his Volvo. She should be paying me for such gold!
I cried, and cried, and cried some more. I don't know if the waterworks were due to the heartbreaking nature of the room itself (a bleakly beige office with soiled furniture and an inspirational quote about the power of love on the wall), the fact that I felt tears were compulsory because that's what people do in therapy, the fact that I hate talking about myself, or the fact that I was born a basket case. Probably a combination of all four.
They certainly weren't related to the facts I was outlining; this was my first session, after all, an opportunity to introduce myself before I introduced my problems. I cried telling her how old my mother was. I cried telling her what my major in college was. I cried so much, my eyes started rebelling against their master and refusing to open. When I left the room and wandered out into the garish light of day, it was too much to bear. I had to lie in my car for a bit before driving the two blocks back to my apartment and going back to bed.
I am writing this, dear reader, from the comforting confines of my bed. Should I be? Probably not. Will I get out of it today? Only under duress. One day, I may be able to get out willingly. That's the goal, anyhow. I am, in a literal sense, tired of being tired. All I want is to be as happy as others seem to be (oh, and to get laid). Seems easy enough to accomplish.
Oh, and if you're thinking of going to therapy as well, here's a pro tip. It turns out if you respond to the question, "Have you been having suicidal thoughts?" with "Who doesn't?" people employed in the mental health field want further clarification. You might want to prepare your answer in advance.
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