Another Sunday night has come and gone, and it was another Sunday night that I was unreasonably sad. Nowhere near as sad as last week, and I definitely wasn’t suicidal this week, but I was sad nonetheless. I was once again lonely. Several people have told me, “you can’t place the burden of your happiness on other people.” I know that what they mean by that is that I need to find happiness within myself, and I can’t rely on other people to be my sole source of happiness. I need to be able to be happy without other people. It’s not fair of me to expect any given person to be my happiness. I get that, I really do, but what I hear is “you are a burden.”
I don’t want to be a burden. That is something I’m incredibly fearful of. But the problem I’m having is I cannot tell the difference between being a burden and a reasonable request for support and care. When I’m lonely, who can I call? Is that being too clingy, too burdensome on someone? I end up calling no one. It’s partially that disconnect that I’ve talked about before – I can’t contact anyone because I’m not close enough to them, I’m not close enough to them because I push them away, I push them away and they think I need space, they give me space and then I feel lonely and abandoned and like I can’t contact anyone. It’s a vicious cycle that ends up with me feeling miserable.
The other part of it though is that I don’t want to be a burden. My misery is not something that others need to shoulder. I know they care about me, and they want me to be happy, and they want to help me. But how much help can I ask for before I’m burdening them with a responsibility they don’t need and they don’t deserve to be forced to take?
Even if my friends outright tell me I can call them, I won’t, because I’m afraid of being a burden, and that will push them away as well. There is precedent for it, after all. My ex left me because he couldn’t handle the burden of my depression. It wasn’t his responsibility, but he couldn’t support me because I needed too much. I was too depressed. And I didn’t even tell him everything.
It’s kind of funny, actually. The night he broke up with me, I had texted him earlier in the day asking him to come over later. He said he would because we needed to talk. I had actually been planning on telling him how much I trusted him, and how I was going to try to talk out my problems with him, instead of bottling it up and then crying and freaking out later. So much for that – he wanted to break up because he couldn’t handle my depression anymore. If he couldn’t handle it – and he claimed to love me – how could anyone else handle it?
I know I’m a burden. I try to be there for other people, and give all of myself to them, so that they feel they can come to me and count on me in times of trouble or despair. I don’t know if that works, because I think everyone is afraid to come to me for risk of triggering me, or something.
I know I can’t expect someone to be my everything. To always be there for me. I need to be there for myself. But there are sometimes I can’t be. Sometimes I’m just too upset or distressed, and I need to talk to someone. But I’m too afraid to talk to anyone.
It really comes down to the fact that I can’t tell what’s okay to ask of people and what’s too much. And I know that makes me stupid, but is it really too much to expect some care and support from the people who I call my friends?
Back to the subject of happiness – I don’t know how to create happiness within myself. I’m not a happy person, though I am happier now than I have been for the last several years. I rely on others for happiness, because that is when I am at my happiest usually (though not so much lately…). The “burden of my happiness” – I alone should be responsible for it. And that makes sense. But friendship is a two way street. And maybe I just don’t know how to be friends with people. Maybe I’m just a bad friend.
There are so many maybes. Maybe I actually am a burden, and people really don’t want to be around me because of it. I’m not sad all the time anymore, but my friends don’t know that, really, I don’t think, because when we are in a large group I’m still sad around them. Not always, of course, I love my friends and I have a good time with them for the most part. But I don’t know.
I’m sorry. I’m sorry for being a burden. I’m sorry for being sad. I’m sorry for not having answers, and for all the maybes.
This post has a much more depressive tone than I’m actually feeling. I guess I feel more resigned and confused than depressed about this subject. I feel like I’ve talked it to death. But here I am again. Ah, well.
I need to just talk to my friends, I think. But I don’t know how to do that without making them feel bad, or feel manipulated into saying that “of course you’re not a burden” or something like that. I don’t want them to feel bad or manipulated. I just want to have an honest conversation with them.
I’ll figure it out somehow.