How does depression impact relationships, and what do you do about it?
I’ve been asked this a couple of times, actually, and I am glad this is what Raymond asked me to write about.
(Before we get started, go ahead and click play on the YouTube video at the bottom and jam it while you read.)
This post goes out to those of you who hate to ask for extra ketchup to the waitress, because he or she is cute. This post goes out to those of you who can’t find the courage to talk to a girl or a boy at a bar, because you think you’re not good enough. This post goes out to those who don’t think they can have a good relationship, because they don’t think they deserve it.
Well I say: Fuck that. You are good enough. You may not think it, but you are. You look in the mirror and can pick out five things wrong with you in a matter of seconds. Yet, have you even tried to pick out some good things? Huzzah! There’s your homework. Look at yourself in the mirror, and tell yourself at least five good things about yourself. It’s a choice to look at the bad verses the good.
think the biggest obstacle when it comes to dealing with depression as well as being in, or looking for, a relationship is this: What do I do? But have you asked yourself, What’s the difference?
“Oh people who are depressed need extra attention, they need more care, blah blah blah.” Those people are the reason we find it so hard to get out there and get a girl friend or boy friend of our own. It’s seems like people are nervous to take on, what, a new responsibility? Well, I can tell you this, we can take care of ourselves. All I ask of you is this: Be there. Sometimes we need to rant, sometimes we need a shoulder to cry on, but that’s what girl and boy friends are for, so I ask again: What’s the difference between dating someone who is healthy, versus dating someone with depression? Think about it is all I ask.
Now that I got that out-of-the-way, let’s get to the main subject. You’re depressed and you’re single. What do you do? I’ll be frank. It’s not going to be easy, but the best things in life never are. Let me tell you a story about my first relationship and then we can break it down.
I am a free runner. I am pretty good at it, I like to think. I used to go to this gym a couple of times a week to practice new tricks on soft mats and the like before taking it outside. There is this girl on the competitive cheerleading team. Fucking beautiful. Her smile, her laugh, her skill. Everything about her seeped perfection. But I’m just this lowly kid still learning how to do a simple back tuck. I have no business trying to communicate with someone of her caliber. I’m a nobody. The weeks go by, and I still can’t manage to get out a single peep to her countenance.
One day a week or so later, I brought a buddy with me to train. At this point, a back tuck is a thing of the past and I am working on some pretty high-caliber stuff. My buddy actually caught me looking at her, it was that obvious. A little explanation later and he’s walking up to her like there isn’t a problem with it in the world. He comes back and starts to laugh at me. Can you guess what she said? She knows I was looking at her, too. Of course now I think, well now there is no chance in hell I am going to meet her. But I was wrong. She was waiting for me to come up to her and say something. Or so my buddy says, I still wasn’t convinced. At the end of the practice session my buddy and I are walking out, and there she was talking with a couple of friends. When this happens, the first thing I do is put my head down and walk to my car. Of course, my buddy grabs me by the shoulder, and walks me right to her. My buddy introduces us, and she smiles. That fucking gorgeous smile. I still get nostalgic when I think about it. She gave me her name, and we started talking about tumbling. As the minutes go by I can feel the weight lifting off of my shoulders, I can feel my shoulders roll back and my head raising. I was actually beginning to feel comfortable.
I gave her my number. She actually texted me. I couldn’t believe my own eyes. Is there some sort of malfunction with my phone? I better take it in to get looked at. But, no. There was nothing wrong with my phone. She was actually interested in me. Me? The depressed kid who is too nervous to ask for help looking for something inside Target.
Here’s the moral of the story: Stare at your crush for weeks until your buddy helps you. Kidding! The whole thing was as simple as introducing myself, and having a simple conversation that we could both relate to. I can’t believe how simple it all would’ve been, but I, myself, made it so much more difficult.
I won’t lie, this situation may be different in a bar, club, or super market. I had the option to instantly know at least one thing we had in common. Yet, it’s not as hard to find something in common as it may seem. There are so many different subject matters out there, there has to be something. You just have to find it. Raymond has all these wonderful strategies that I suggest you make full use out of. This guy is a genius. Being depressed isn’t a weakness that you need to care for and nurture. It’s a state of mind. A state of mind that says, “CAUTION: Do not interact with that person. You will only scare him/her away.”
But that’s not how it has to be! I am one of many success stories, who have managed long-term, meaningful relationships, while dealing with depression. You can be the next success story. Introduce yourself, ask him/her questions, be interested in what they have to say. It’s that simple.
“Corey, what do we do if they say no?” Good question. Let me ask you this: Would you rather have them say no, or would you rather live the rest of your life asking yourself, “what if?” That’s the lesson I learned that day, if I never spoke to her, I’d have asked myself what could have been, instead of looking back on what was. And that in itself is a great feeling. Whether he/she says no, or you end up getting married to one another, at least go and find out. If I were to ask of one favor, that would be it. Don’t just sit there and wonder, get your ass up and find out.
P.S. Thanks for reading! My name is Corey. You can call me Tigger, though. I run a blog over at https://anotheryoungadultblog.wordpress.com feel free to check it out!
A huge thank you to Raymond for letting me guest post as well. Stay tuned, he is going to post on my blog as well, so be sure to stay on the look out!