Ah, Jared's Java. Pleasant taste. Slight Monsterism.

Welcome to the home of my mind, where I brew my intellectual and spiritual joe. Sit back and let me pour you a cup or two. I promise not to cut you off, even after you get the caffeine jitters.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

That which remains

I mentioned my transition out of depression in my last post. Allow me to clarify: I still feel depressed, sometimes. All human beings do. But, I suffered from what is called "Massive Depressive Disorder." I had since I was about 8 years old. So, for the first time in about 21 years, I'm free of that. And, damn, it feels good.

Sadly, one of the casualties of my healing has been the loss of several relationships. It seems to happen when a person changes. I know this is flashing my geek colors, but it makes me think of the Trill on Star Trek (TNG and DS9). A slug-looking symbiote went from one human-looking Trill host to the next as each host passed on (it wasn't evil, it was just their way), carrying the collective memories, personal traits, etc., of each previous host, and the friends of the previous host body often didn't transition to befriend the new host because they couldn't comprehend or handle the radical change.

I suppose my change has been that significant. Most people change, meaning, are almost completely different, every 10 years. I'm not talking just cellular structures, either, I'm talking significant personality traits, habits, etc. To have made that jump in about 11 months has accelerated the process by eleven times the usual rate. I suppose that's a lot for most people to pick-up on, deal with or comprehend. Few people change so radically when they hit adulthood.

And, since I've made those changes so rapidly, I've observed that some of those old relationships defined me by my depression. And they still relate to me as if I continue to be that depressed person. It's really weird and out of step with who I am now. To be responded to in a place you are not is about as non-sequitor as:

Person one: "Do I turn left here?"
Person two: "Church's Chicken is my favorite. Thanks for asking."

As hilarious as that might sound, in the moment it's very uncomfortable and difficult to respond in a gracious way when the entirety of a conversation with a person is one of those after another. I run the gamut of emotions from wanting to punch them square between the eyes, to wanting to patronizingly pat them on the head, put my hand on their shoulder, wish them the best of luck and just walk away.

To an extent, it's not their fault that I'm not the person they understood me to be. I can't exactly hold that against them. But, there's a letting go on my part, like casting off from a pier, because without an understanding of both parties who the other is, the relationship cannot survive, since its base eroded and one party cannot reform their understanding or way of thinking about the other. On an emotional level, it's much the same feeling individuals with parents who "babied" them beyond a reasonable age felt when that occurred.

So, it is a bit of a lonely time of transition. I'm rebuilding a good portion of my social circle. Unfortunately, it isn't like first grade or kindergarten where you could just walk up to someone and say "Hi, my name is Jared. Wanna be friends?" It takes more time, but it's fine. Not all the caterpillar's friends would want to hang with a butterfly.

It certainly makes me grateful for the friends and acquaintances I have that have always looked beyond the surface circumstances to see who I am, deep down. There are those of you out there who have always believed in me. And I can't thank you enough for that.


Jim said...

Nothing like a personality transplant! I've seen friendships and relationships that were based on dysfunction, and they weren't pretty. It's really sad when one person is invested in the sickness of somebody else, and can't handle it when the sick person starts getting better.

God grant you continued healing!

SilverNeurotic said...

I recently ended a friendship with someone I had been close to for quite a few years. Evidentially he could not accept that I have changed in the years that we've known each other...especially in the last year. I guess in the same vein, I could not accept that this person has literally stayed the same as he was when we first met. The small changes he did make, we for the negative.

Today I had a conversation with one of his ex's (she's my best friend) and for the first time, I actually felt as though my cutting ties with him was a good thing. He was the one that initiated the severing...but in the end, he probably did me a favor.

KingJaymz said...

Thanks, Jim. I sincerely appreciate the sentiment. I guess I'm fortunate that these folks weren't vested in the relationship for their own dysfunctional needs. They just don't understand who I am now. It's easier to cut the cord like that, since they're not hanging on for their ego's sake.

Sil, I feel like I'm a fortunate individual, as I've gotten to see your personal journey from afar. I have the utmost respect for you and am grateful for your kind and gracious character. I see God in you to a much greater extent than I do in most of the Christians that I've known. I remember you when I have days that I doubt the goodness of humanity.

Jim said...

Jared--I'm humbled. Truly.