This is an open letter of apology to everyone who has dealt with me this year. 2015 has been a horrible year for me. If you’ve had anything to do with me, it’s definitely been apparent. Even if you haven’t had direct contact, you’ve probably either been told or it’s been noticeable. If you had no clue, you know now. I have behaved like an ass and I’m sorry.
I have owed apologies and debts since arriving home from America late last year. I have been a drain on people’s resources, financially and emotionally. I have abused friendship and goodwill to the point where, at times, every waking moment has been filled with such self-hatred I have been consumed with the thought of killing myself and ridding you all of my presence.
For what it’s worth, the foundation lies not in the complexity of supposedly being bi-polar, but the simplicity of being deeply, utterly sad. A sadness created by failure, a failure that lies solely on my shoulders. Despite feeble attempts to appear as if things were slowly improving, I have hated just about every moment of my existence since returning home. I cannot think of a period in my life when I felt so sad, so totally guilty, so utterly ashamed of my behaviour.
It’s so hard to communicate these feelings. I’ve come to realise that the little cries for help on Facebook are pointless, meaningless. Social media deals with sadness in the abstract. It’s fine to add to the dozens of ‘likes’ when someone mentions mental health as a cause or charity, but when you tell people you are crestfallen and bereft of hope, it honestly feels like most people are too discomfited to do anything but look away.
That said, as often as I have felt the need to reach out to people for comfort, I feel completely undeserving of same. Worse, I perpetuate that feeling. Plus, when people have offered their friendship and love and support and space, I’ve abused it.
When I came back to limbo, I figured I’d move to Melbourne. If you reduce yourself to a period of limbo, pick a cool limbo. Melbourne is as cool as fuckery. And in all truthfulness, I did not rest on my laurels with regard to seeking professional help, thanks to coaxing from certain friends and a bit of self-motivation. But in the time I was down there, I was over-therapied, under-therapied, un-therapied, overmedicated, weirdly-medicated and of course, self-medicated…you name it. All of it down to me. And through all of it I could sense myself gently but palpably slipping away, but never explicitly letting on that I was losing my grip. I just let my terrible behaviour do the talking.
After nine months of skating along on other people’s hospitality, literally messing up their lives & further damaging their already frayed nerves, I came home to…more of the same. A couch surf here, unsettlements there. I gave no fanfare of my arrival and quite honestly expected no fanfare of welcome.
I feel as if all my friends, especially my theatre friends, are gone. I feel as if I left the tribe and through my own actions or inaction they won’t have me back. Even though I know and feel love from certain quarters, I have never in my life felt so alone. I feel so alone.
Still, alone and/or lonely, gravely accepting that I may have burned a war’s worth of bridges or that many of my friends are too me-fatigued to have anything to do with me now, I am trying to maintain my ‘default to life’ position. That has been helped in no small part by looking after my baby niece, making her smile or even freak with laughter as I changed her poopy nappy (a first, and I hope, last), but most of all, nursing her gently to sleep. God, it makes me wish there were a god.
So those small experiences have given me a hope that was hitherto missing and the courage, finally, to tell you all that I have been very sad, so very very sad this last year or so…and to say that I am indescribably sorry for letting that affect how I have behaved towards so many of you.
I love you, really. I thank you and I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas & New Year. Maybe we will have the chance to raise a glass.
PS I’m hoping to reach more people than I would currently given my lack of recent Facebook activity. With that in mind, I would be extremely grateful, if you feel like it, please to share this on FB so I’m not spamming everyone with it. Nxx