More Things I Shouldn’t Be Thinking (Nothing Is Forever)
Nothing is forever. This is a realization that keeps dawning on me, drumming into my mind louder and louder. It’s like when you lie down to go to sleep and suddenly hear your own pulse—once you hear it, it’s hard not to. And so these past weeks I’ve been living trying not to know this realization…trying, but failing.
My family isn’t forever. I always knew that, but while I was depressed in high school, I thought that once I committed suicide it would bring my family together. My parents would be affectionate and kind to another, my brother would value his relationships with them. They would all regret how distant our family had been when I was alive, but would all live better lives as a result of it. Or, on the other hand, my parents would get divorced and my mom would marry someone who deserved her. My dad would finally understand how much he can hurt people with his selfishness, and change for the better. My brother would use the experience to make sure his own future marriage would last his lifetime. They would grow into their potential, and the beautiful lives they deserved. They would be a better family, or not a family at all. But I never did commit suicide, so now I’ll have to watch my family become worse and worse and avoid them like a cancerous growth until it kills me (not literally, emotionally) to be around them. That will probably be the ending of my family instead.
My friends are not forever. A few months ago I felt so connected with my college friends, and they meant so much to me. Now I feel utterly disconnected; I question how much we really have in common and how much they actually like me as a person. I’m not sure I would like me if I were them. And then there are my high school friends, who know me like the back of their palm. They are far away back home and at their respective colleges, and I miss them every single day. But our lives will probably never intersect the same way they did in high school—they will get married and settle down, or find jobs in different states, or embrace new lifestyles that call for a nomadic existence. We are all on separate paths, but love each other. What a torturous kind of love.
Speaking of, there’s my girlfriend and best friend Fred. How did I manage to fall in love with someone on a different path in life than me, and then fall in love with someone else on an even more different path than me. Why does everyone I love slip out of my fingers? With each of them, it boiled down to one person staying and delaying their potential plans to wait for the other. And what a guilt-ridden way to live, knowing that someone is waiting on you, putting their life on hold.
I thought Fred and I were forever. The real deal, you know? Everyone told us how perfect we were together. Everyone knew we were going to get married. We knew we were going to get married. But then the more progress we made, the more life wanted to tear us apart. I guess the universe got jealous of something so beautiful, or we forgot the value and rarity of finding something like that in a world so messed up. And so we messed up; I messed up. And the worst part is, it wasn’t a mistake. Our time was up, just a lot quicker than either of us anticipated.
My girlfriend and I won’t be forever. That is such a hard thing to swallow, and I absolutely hate admitting it. She will get bored, or I will screw up, or we will decide we want different things, or one of us will eventually die. There’s a ticking clock, there always is.
My depression is ticking, too, and I can hear it. It’s a metronome that my thoughts use for their rhythm. I can hear the rhythm getting slower and slower…ticking away as my time depression-free dwindles. I’m starting to think about the wrong things more, starting to crave the old habits that made me feel so low…
But even depression isn’t forever.
My life isn’t forever. Even when I think I have a plan, it changes. My idea of myself is constantly evolving, for better or worse. All I have is my history and my gut to keep me constant. And even then, memories can fade and rationality can wear thin—I could lose myself, just like I could lose everything else. Just like I will lose everything else. As much as I have gained since my last encounter with depression—all the happy memories, the friendships, the opportunities and the confidence—it all goes back to the knowledge that one day I will be alone.
Either alone with my death, or alone with my depression. But then again, they are kind of the same thing.