It's not always about being funny.

Stripped bare

Monday night, I had a dream where I was sitting on a bed with someone and put my head on her shoulder.  She grasped my hand in hers and I told her that I was sorry, that the threads we have exist for a reason and should have remained whole.  She whispered into my ear that she missed me but sometimes letting go is the best thing to do.  I woke up in tears as if I had been sobbing in my sleep.

Wednesday morning, I opened my eyes and thought of facing the day and once again being responsible for everyone else’s livelihoods and making sure that everybody was secure and okay, and I couldn’t do it.  I walked outside naked and dove into my pool and floated there in the frigid water for as long as I could stand it.

I am in a funk.

No, not a funk.  That’s a light-hearted word that gives rise to comical imagery.

I am depressed.

Right now, I am going through the motions.  I do the minimum amount of work required to make sure that the bills and employees will get paid.  My mail is on my counter and hasn’t been opened in three weeks.  The effort I normally put forth in keeping in touch with people has almost disappeared entirely.  I have been losing myself in mindless activities – television, video games, books.  Anything that allows me to avoid interacting with people.

There have been good moments.  When I do leave the house and visit with friends, or go on dates, or do comedy, that light is there.  I feel invigorated and ready to conquer the world.  And then I get home and I feel the yoke of responsibility crushing me.  I feel a void fill me.  I feel my mind start churning, thinking about everything that must be done, everything that’s being done wrong, everything that I have to do, all on my own.

I’ve been carrying a lot on my shoulders.  I’ve ended long relationships and lost important friends.  I’ve shifted my focus from wanting financial security to the active pursuit of happiness.  I’ve learned that there is a huge gulf between being responsible for most things and having nobody but yourself to rely on.

This is not a difficult burden, especially compared to the burdens that others carry, I know, but it’s new to me.  And I know that I’ll be able to carry it.  But right now, I just don’t want to.

I feel like I’m being ripped apart between what I want to do and what I have to do.  That what I have to do is so damn much that it’s going to crush me forever and I am never going to escape.

Objectively, I know I’ll get there.  I know that everything will be fine.  I know that I’m strong and capable and that this is temporary.

But right now it sure as hell doesn’t feel that way.

57 thoughts on “Stripped bare”

  1. Ugh. That feeling sucks. I feel like there is nothing that I could say that will help you feel better. Fake it ’til you make it? Suck it up buttercup?

  2. I haven’t commented in awhile but I thought I had noticed you were a bit “off”, because you and I weren’t communicating. At first I thought selfishly that you were mad at me, then I thought well maybe he’s just busy. Then I realized I was being a stupid ass self important ho’ and making much out of nothing.

    Whatever we can figure out between the blend of our FuckDupNess, I want you to know that I think you are amazing, and I’m glad to be your friend. And that I might be rambling. Xoxo

  3. I’ve been there. As long as you know, really know, that it will pass, feeling like that is kind of a good thing. It helps you appreciate the people in your life and will make the good times even sweeter. Writing about it helps. Thanks for letting us in.

  4. You just described my depression perfectly. To say I know exactly how you feel is a vast understatement.
    I’d give a million Klondike bars to be able to give you a hug or to be able to just sit and talk it out with you.

    If it helps, this just further proves your destined for comedic greatness. All the funniest are fucked up. The dark and twisted soul is the key to the humor that speaks to all kinds of people.

    Just keep sharing. Suffering in silence only lends to the power of the depression. It’s a thin line between acceptance for the sake of emotional growth and wallowing in defeat.

    You don’t have to be everything to everybody, but I know how it feels to believe that you do.

  5. you will be OK. then you will be fine. then comes being great.

    you have to be.

    you will.

    i only lurk. but that feeling that you just expressed made me unlurk. if i were in the US i would drive out to whereever you are and give you a hug !

  6. Boy do I know that feeling. I had to pull myself out of it in January. I’m nearly back to 100%, and I’m learning to lean on people when I need them instead of hiding in my shell – my trouble was that I thought I had to do it all, by myself.

    You don’t.

    I had to fake it a little to get back on track – make lists and drag myself through doing them – and a little pharmaceuticals helped too. Get thee to a doctor, my friend. You might need a medication adjustment.


    1. I second @Karen Sugarpants’s sentiments: go talk to someone, just to be sure.

      Depression’s a bitch. Everything feels insurmountable. Just remember that you’re not alone, that it WILL end, and that there are tons of people here to help you out of the hole.

    2. I third Karen’s opinion. That overwhelming, can’t breathe, everything is coming undone feeling is horrible.

      I’ve noticed the lack of Adam on the internet and was hoping everything was ok. If you are on medication, a tweak may be good, if not, maybe it’s time to try something to help out a bit.

      Talk to someone, anyone who can help, and feel better soon!

      You are loved and missed! xoxo

  7. I hear ya, and I wish there was something I could do. Anytime you want to come by our wreck of an apartment and play Rock Band, just do it 🙂 Otherwise, I hope you feel better soon.

  8. You’ve just described exactly how I feel (and have felt for the last year or so), with a hell of a lot more eloquence than I could ever manage.
    I know there’s never really anything anyone can say that will “make you feel better” because you know, and I know, that the “solution” has to come from the inside.
    But I’d just like to say that you need to remember that you’re not alone, that there are many people out here in the ether (and in real life too) that care about you and are rooting for you.
    This too shall pass, as they say.
    Courage, mon ami, the only way is up from here on out…

  9. This, Adam, is why I keep following you. Because of your willingness to be honest about everything that is going on and to write about it eloquently. I’m sorry you are going through a dark time, but I admire you for not suffering in silence.

  10. I’m really sorry to hear you are depressed. Depression is something I have struggled with a lot through my life. I have been clinically depressed four times but have managed to work my way out of them drug- and therapy-free. Everybody is different though. You may need to talk to someone, or consider temporary medication. I got through it by faking it. When you laugh and smile it is hard to not feel happy after awhile.

    Also, you really have to recognize that the problem is within you. I would always blame others or situations for making me feel horrible, but it really comes down to how you view it all. Only you can fix you. Decide to be happy, and make that your main focus. You will never be happy if you are too focused on all the things that stand in the way of your happiness.

    “A string of excited, fugitive, miscellaneous pleasures is not happiness; happiness resides in imaginative reflection and judgment, when the picture of one’s life, or of human life, as it truly has been or is, satisfies the will, and is gladly accepted.”
    – George Santayana

    I do not know you personally and am fairly new to your blog, but you seem to me to be a good guy with a lot going for you. I really hope you start feeling better. As cliche as it may sound, I always suggest to think of three positive things for everything you feel like complaining about. I find that it helps. Cheesiness is the key to happiness.

    Even though I don’t know you personally, I sincerely want to say that I am always a willing listener. If you ever need an unrelated party to chat with, I’ll be available. 🙂

  11. Ha ha ha ha sucks to be you dude! And now I am subscribed to the comments and I can spend the rest of the day pretending that all the well wishes flooding my inbox are from friends who like me. Plus I just had fries. Life is coming up roses and bunnies in Grantland.

  12. Hey, I want to echo everything above. It sounds like you are being hard on yourself. Give yourself time to process changes and grieve. As much as these feelings suck, it really is best to let yourself feel them now. Maybe talking to someone could help you figure out how to break down overwhelming burdens into smaller achievable tasks.

  13. Awww, dude, I wish I could help. After having been there myself at various points in my life I know that nothing I can say will make it better, but I’m an awesome listener if you want to talk. Big hugs, dude. XOXO

  14. Awww, dude, I wish I could help. After having been there myself at various points in my life I know that nothing I can say will make it better, but I’m an awesome listener if you want to talk. Big hugs, dude. XOXO

  15. Adam, the best thing, in my opinion, is to sit and try to make a plan for how you can meet the important responsibilities while doing what you love. If your business is no longer what you love, then begin giving your employees the hint that this may all be ending, or choose someone to take over so you have time to pursue your happiness. Their happiness, as important as it is, and is to you, is not your responsibility, but yours is. I know you’re capable of doing all the things that really need to be done (roof, food, clothes), and following your dreams, once you realize that it’s ok to not carry more than your share.

  16. Aw man. I’m sorry.
    Do you ever got to therapy? I do and it really helps me. For awhile there I had to see my therapist and a psychiatrist– one to adjust my head, one to adjust my meds.

    Hugs. (hey get your hand off my ass!)

  17. My Dad used to say, “Enjoy what you do and do what you enjoy.” You can miss a whole bunch of depression if you’re doing what you truly love. On the other hand – that may not be possible for you at this juncture of your life. In that case, you need a serious injection of endorphins into your existence. Get thee out and find thee a blow job.

  18. Fuck the funk. I keep thinking if I keep saying it, it will work. Being in my own house is my worst enemy lately. If I can drag myself out that door, I’m okay. I’m okay outside. I’m ok with friends. Hell I’m okay at the grocery store. The light at the end of the tunnel is that things always change. Nothing ever stays the same. So if my weird, twisted logic is logical at all… then depression will change too. You’ll find the answers you need. I’ll walk freely out my front door. Things will change. I’d say keep your chin up, but that just sounds corny. So just keep on, keepin’ on.

  19. I smiled knowingly at the unopened mail comment. When I was finally able to pull myself out of the rabbithole of PPD, I tackled mail that was over a year old. On a hot summer day, I opened Christmas cards. These days, the stack of mail is a personal gauge of my mood.

    Dude, I totally feel for you. Perhaps, getting it out of your system and openly acknowledging it here will set you on a path toward freeing it.

    Hang tough, take no prisoners.

  20. The biggest decisions are always the hardest. I walked away from my sick mom to get my degree – sometime you just gotta take the plunge and accept what goes with it, good or bad.

    Hang in there kitten.

  21. I think you need to give someone a Cleveland Steamer. I read somewhere that shitting on another person’s chest relieves pent up stress and emotions like no other action or medication known to man. Give it a try.

  22. It’s good that you’re writing about it. It’s good that you’re acknowledging it and working through it.

    I get this way, too, sometimes. Sometimes I want everyone to go away and leave me alone. More often than I care to admit.

    But then I find myself going back to those places where I know there are people I trust and that I know care about me. Even if it is just momentarily.

    I’m glad that you’re not trying to make people think that being Avitable is all fun, all the time.

  23. Hi Adam, I think this is a normal part of the process. You made a lot of life changing decisions and eventually there has to be resting point, if you will. Which probably does feel a LOT like depression because you are settling into a new way of life and reality has hit.

    As much as you cannot isolate yourself, you also must learn to self-preserve to a degree. And that might mean not being as socially out there as you have been, which is probably a hard thought to stomach. Moderation really is the key (and I have to tell you I have come to loathe that word, but I know it’s true).

    Of course I could be completely wrong.

    I do wish you the very best and hope that you can get to a place where you feel you are the capable man that you sincerely ARE.

  24. I go through these same periods. I am saved by the periods of light. I make myself see the people that matter so they can save me and they don’t even know it. Then I go back to my cave and pray for the best…Keep on keeping on, my internet friend!

  25. I’ll give you a piece of advice from someone who carries more than his fair share of burden children, ex, relationships, career, staff, and I could go on.

    Prioritize…if I do not do this I will end up running myself off a cliff into the abyss. I can’t nor will I be everything. I’ve come to realize that if given the opportunity many people will allow others to take care of them because it’s easier to do that than to tighten their chin strap and get the job done themselves.

    That means that some things simply don’t get accomplished and as long as that that fits into my priorities I’m ok with it.

  26. I don’t usually read your comments (not really) but today I did. Not sure why.

    I think alot of us have had felt similar feelings, at one point or another. And alot of us have shouldered burdens that felt too heavy and completely divorced from our own paths to happiness. It is a lonely road.

    So, alot of us get it. We do…I think these comments illustrate that you are FAR from alone, even if it might feel like it…when you wake up on a random Wednesday.

    But this post is not about us. It’s about YOU. I’m not sure if this was a stream of consciousness kind of thing…in that once it was written that you almost immediately felt better.

    Or…if you have continued to feel this way long past the 3 weeks of unopened mail. It’s probly the later. Either way, it seems time to go and get some help figuring this shit out.

    The help might be the ear of a good friend, a doctor’s appointment or the sketching of a list of priorities and the delegation of a few key tasks that will free up some time for you to work on things that make YOU happy.

    The hardest thing I’ve learnt in my 30s is that if I don’t take care of myself….unfortunately no one else will.

    xox Adam, keep on, keeping on.

  27. would it help if i came down and swam naked in your chilly pool with you? i promise not to pull any of my patented skinny dipping ninja moves on you.

    (i hate that you are dealing with this, but have no doubt that you will make it through.)

  28. First of all, this: “This is not a difficult burden, especially compared to the burdens that others carry.” You have to stop thinking like this. You’re marginalizing yourself, your feelings, and your own validity in those feelings by comparing them to an incredibly vague standard. You’ll help yourself out a lot if you merely accept that your depression is a difficult burden, that it is a difficult burden for thousands of people, and that it’s so difficult that many people choose death over facing it every single day.

    And did you see that word ‘accept’ back there? That’s the biggest trick. It helps if you can accept that this how you feel, that you may not always feel this way but that for now you do. If you can accept that phoning-it-in is a totally viable way of life in certain circumstances, even though you typically hold yourself to a higher standard. If you can accept that this is only happening right now, that it may happen again in the future, and that it may not go away forever. If you can accept that endogenic depression doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you, fundamentally.

    If you can accept those sorts of things, you can learn to sort-of swim through it – to live your life as you want to live it even though you’re not feeling well, internally.

    Think of it like this: If you have to wait out in the cold for a long period of time (you still remember cold, right?), the best way to stop trembling and shaking is to simply let the cold pass through you. Acknowledge it, but don’t fight it. Just be cold.

    Dealing with depression is exactly like that. Don’t fight it. Just be depressed. You won’t feel better, but you’ll stop feeling worse. In time you’ll get better. But you can’t skip over the time you need right now. Be patient with yourself.

    And if you need anything, drop me a line.

  29. I feel that way — a lot. This weekend I kept myself away from those responsibilities, and just did nothing. It felt good to not worry about anything. Today I’m back in the game and it feels a lot more manageable. Maybe you should consider a vacation, even if it’s only a weekend or long weekend. Feel better!

  30. Oh, Adam. Sigh. Creating a new way of living is like having a baby. It starts of with excitement, gets totally uncomfortable, then downright painful. But the result is pure unadulterated joy and bliss.
    So, what I’m saying here is, you should get pregnant. It will solve ALL your problems.

  31. So much of what you said here is exactly how I’m feeling right now. I get out occasionally and see people but I get home and just feel completely overwhelmed with everything: My job that I’m no longer motivated to do, my kids who are exhausting me, the house…I’ve been trying to work on art but get frustrated about the lack of time I have to put into that. I get overwhelmed and just want to get lost in movies and TV and sleep–but I can’t sleep either. The loneliness is really starting to set in, especially because I don’t want to be “that person” who whines all the time, when I really should be thankful for what I have. But anyway, probably should try for some antidepressants but no insurance so trying to hold out. :-/ ((hugs))

  32. I told you not to quit therapy, fucker.

    Also, I’m pretty sure that you’re a hypocrite. Aren’t you the one who is always telling me to make sure I allow myself to lean on my friends and not feel like I have to always be in control and that I’m not in charge of anyone else’s happiness, yadda yadda yadda? Oh – and all that junk about how my boss will get over me leaving and how he will have to figure it out and I don’t owe him anything, blah blah blah?

    Yeah – that’s what I thought.

    I’m not so good at this “supportive” thing but seriously, just look through your archives of our chats and pretend that it’s me saying that stuff to you. Or, use your super duper memory skillz to recall our phone conversations.

    You may be hairy and have that weird rash but you’re still awesome and you deserve to be happy.


  33. I couldn’t agree more. There is a song I listen to a lot lately called Let Go by Frou Frou and it reminds me there is beauty in the breakdown. Sometimes you have to let go and just cry/scream or whatever. I let myself do that or I try to. I used to break down at the drop of a hat, now as an adult you can’t really just do it when you want but sometimes you just have to accept it. So many people push it down and pretend it isn’t there and it makes life so unbearable. I’ve tried to live that way before and it’ll torture you.

  34. Ditto Adam. This is why I have turned into a shit friend to so many people. Medicated 2 weeks now and just waiting until they begin to work. Best wishes hon. Thanks for reaching out to me.

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