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How Adolescent Depression Is Like That Person You Aren’t Really Into Anymore

February 27, 2014

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Your iPhone chirps and you look down to find yourself staring at a text from That Person You Aren’t Really Into Anymore, “r we still on 4 2nite???” You recall when you were young and naive (about a month ago) and you paid no attention to the way That Person You Used To Be Sort-Of Into texted like a pasty 5th grader who has just received their first phone, filled with pictures of their Pokemon card collection or duck-faced selfies.

You sigh as you realize you do have plans with this someone, who is sweet and nice and has nothing particularly wrong with them, but has also just become a handicap to your ideal night of crepe-making and watching 1950’s musicals with your best friend, who is not particularly interested in either of those things but pretends to be for your sake.

Around 8, you go over to the house of the Someone You’re Not Really Into Anymore, as you had promised. You try to make yourself as comfortable as you can while making sure you are not touching them, because you’re not really into them anymore and you don’t want to lead them on. You then begin to contemplate why you didn’t just cancel in the first place.

They sit down on the bed next to you with their Dell laptop and they pull up Internet Explorer. You take a deep breath as you try to hold your tongue and not mock them incessantly for being so “2005.” “What do you want to watch?” they ask.

“Anime,” you say because you are hilarious.

They ignore you and decide to watch Shrek.

You die a little inside.

30 minutes into the movie and you are unsure as to how you ever thought farts were funny because the entire plot of this movie is based on fart jokes and you are not laughing. The Person You Definitely Aren’t Into Anymore begins to aggressively cuddle you, hogging the sheets and breathing on your neck.

You sit up. They sit up. You lie down, they lie down. You roll over, they roll over, latching onto you like a 7th grader to her first boyfriend.

Uncomfortably situated and cold, you rearrange yourself at least a hundred times, but no matter how you move yourself, 80% of the bed is still overwhelmed with the body of The Person You Aren’t Really Into Anymore.

Unavoidable, claustrophobic, overwhelmed by them, this someone becomes an extended metaphor for adolescent depression.

The first step to overcoming depression is wanting to overcome depression, just as you need to want to break up with this person to break up with them.

Personally I fall victim to this idea that depression offers me some kind of “tortured artist” credibility, where my pain can translate into something moving and beautiful as it did for Hemingway and Hunter S. Thompson who achieved their great works through utilizing alcohol and depression.

There is a kind of sick satisfaction, an inexplicable feeling of contentment, that we gain from being diagnosed with depression; similar to the feeling that derives from knowing we are the object of someone’s affection, even if it is the affection of someone we are sort of half-trying to avoid. It makes us feel special, unique, important, identifiable amongst the mass that is our peer group.

We want to be rid of depression, but we also want to hang onto it because it gives us a story.

This someone, now playing footsie with essentially themselves as you refuse to reciprocate, has inadvertently held you back from an opportunity that you would have more enjoyed. Granted, their persistence is not their fault, because you haven’t had the confidence or audacity to tell this Person You Aren’t Really Into them anymore. They are only continuing what they have done before because they think you are both on the same page.

Make an attempt to realize that the time you spend uncomfortably trying not to be kissed by this person, you could be spending getting to know other people you could potentially be into! Someone that enjoys what you enjoy, someone that teaches you to see the world differently, someone that agrees that Drew Barrymore is pretty much the worst! Allow the someone you aren’t really into anymore the time and freedom to woo people that actually might be interested in them, someone with their same tastes of Linkin Park, National Treasure and Julianne Hough’s incredible butt!

Often, we succumb to depression because it is easy to fall into, to identify with, to use in order to receive the attention of others. It’s a legitimate issue, but also sometimes a selfish one: we don’t tell this Person We’re Not Really Into Anymore that we’ve lost interest because we are afraid of loneliness, just as we are somehow afraid of happiness.

We fear the unknown, we despise the effort a smile and the making of a good day requires, the honesty and the awkwardness that a breakup asks of us, whether the breakup is with a human being or a feeling.

Abandon whatever you can of your adolescent depression, at least take increments of time to make active attempts to be happy. Great stories do not arise if we surrender to these adolescent battles against depression, but they come with confidence and bravery and the embracing of extraordinary opportunities.

You look over at the someone who is now basically sitting on top of you with their face uncomfortably close to yours.

“We need to talk,” you say.

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