GUEST POST: When you tell everyone your exciting news and it turns to shit

A friend decided to live his dream, and the dream of many of ours, and move to a place that’s always held his heart. Even though ahhhh! Risky! Scary! Learning the ways of a different culture! Employment! Being so far from loved ones! What if it doesn’t work out?!
 
Also BECAUSE of all of that. What is the purpose of it all if you don’t do the thing?
 
As one does in such scenarios, he excitedly told everyone — “I’m leaving Chicago for London.” And of course, everyone was ecstatic for him. I was ecstatic for him. I was envious of him. I couldn’t wait to watch his ADVENTURE! unfold.
 
And unfold it did. Gorgeous, dreamy Instagram images of food, drink, architecture, nightlife, wandering, artisanal shots of artisanal places. His happiness was obvious.
 
Then I, along with his other BCC’d friends, got the below update.
 
After I finished OMGing, I immediately sent him a note. We went back and forth a bit. I expressed all the emotions you’d expect, I welcomed him home, I offered to help where I could. I knew what courage it took to press “Send.” I’m sure he typed and re-typed and erased and questioned and pressed send and felt regret and felt an immense weight lift and felt now what?
 
And then he wrote: “I feel so lucky to have such amazing humans as friends. I honestly think that I would be in same situation as Kate Spade and Bourdain if it wasn’t for friends who kept poking no matter how much I told them everything was great.”
 
I caught my breath. I knew there was sadness but I did not know THIS sadness.
 
I fumbled my words and apologized for not knowing, not being more, not reaching out.
 
Which of course he waved off. “But you did in so many ways you didn’t realize. Your out of no where email asking to (participate in an event), saying hi on IG…the small things matter :)”
 
I know that. That’s what I preach. That’s part of my worksheets, my bullet points, my website copy. I know that the small things matter big picture. But I often forget that the small things matter on the individual level, the specific human being level, the friend living out his dream in another country level. His words underlined the pervasiveness and seriousness of depression. It made this thing that was happening out there, to Kate and Anthony, a thing that was happening in here. In my world. And that was scary. It made me wonder who else? Who else in here is sad?
 
As is often the case, you’re not sure what to do. Maybe you repost the suicide hotline number and ask three of your friends to do the same. Maybe you rant about how posting the suicide hotline number and asking three of your friends to do the same is trash. Maybe you copy and paste “You are loved” sentiments. Maybe you shit on people who copy and paste “You are loved” sentiments. Maybe you read and share “Why ‘You are loved’ & ‘please reach out are crappy things to post after someone has died by suicide“, and agree yet disagree. You’re not sure what to do.
 
You do know that sharing seems to help. Both the producer and and consumer. You’ve experienced that time and time again with your own sadness.
 
So in our back and forths, along with an ask for permission to share our conversation, I typed: “If you ever want to make this update/your story public, I happen to know a certain network that would find so much inspiration and value in this, and a blog that would welcome this or any other Guest Post from you.”
 
To my co-loser in life, cause who ever knows what to say and because over-makeup’ed faces and stupidly wide smiles always make me feel better, this is for you. Welcome home.

Some of you know this but I’m back in town again. This time for a lot longer. Turns out it wasn’t my time to live in London. On my way back, I read this quote that reminded me that this wasn’t the end: “I will come to you, again. In another time. In another place. Where there are no endings. Only beginnings.”

I’d be lying if I didn’t feel like a failure. Aside from moving to this country, this move was the biggest move of my life and I can’t believe I couldn’t make it happen again. It’s so fucking hard. I know all of you have been there before. The past week, I’ve had one bad news after another and all I could think of is “fuck, I just need one break … I’m trying to so hard and I can’t see that break yet.” Actually it’s been happening since the start of May when I was coming to the realization that this may be it. My almost one year in London living the dream is ending. 

A Monday following S leaving found me very sad. It’s always great to be around him. On top of being supportive (in more than one way), he provided ways to show how much I love London. That Monday morning, I also got two rejection letters from employers I was pretty far into the interview process with. It couldn’t get worse. I told myself that I’m going to the nearest curry place (my comfort food in London) and buying a cheap bottle of wine and getting drunk while eating curry in bed. So I did that. 

Naked, done with eating, bowl next to me and wine bottle almost gone, I realized that the curry is kicking in and I hear my stomach rumble. I run off to the bathroom. When I came back, I saw that some of the curry had spilled into the bed, in my rush to the toilet. Fuck. How did that happen? Don’t know. Maybe because I was drunk. Maybe because I was still hungry. But I licked the curry sauce that wasn’t absorbed by the sheet. It tasted sweet which was odd because the curry I have been eating has been spicy. I get back in there and smell it. 

Yep, I’ve literally just eaten my own liquid shit… I’m having a fucking shitty week with shitty luck and I just finished with eating my shitty shit. Then I started uncontrollably laughing—and I hope you are now. It can’t get any worse than eating your own feces. This will get better and if anything, every friend I’ve told the story has sympathized but more importantly, laughed their asses off. If anything, it makes me very happy to make a friend laugh so I hope you’re laughing now too. 

Now that I’m back, my luck has unfortunately not gotten that much better. Two freelance projects I was counting on fell through very unexpectedly. Now I’m back with no work, no idea what the fuck to do. 

Then last night, I was talking to a friend who’s known me for a year or so. I told him about my “shitty” story, how I’m back and not sure what to do. He asked where I lived. I said, thankfully a kind friend is letting me stay at her place until I figure things out. He then said “wow, I’m always impressed with how lucky you are … you’re the luckiest guy.” First few seconds took me to an angry place, what the fuck does he mean, did he not just hear about how I ate my own shit?! Then it hit, yes I’m the luckiest. Without so many of you guys, I would have crumbled a long time ago. You, friends, told me that I would make it when I thought I am ready to jump off of a bridge. You reminded me to hold my head up high and move forward. You loaned me money when I needed it and didn’t bat an eye about asking what for. When all I emitted was sadness, negativity and anger, you didn’t walk away so you’re not infected with it. Even when I told you I was fine, you kept poking for me to say more.

This experience taught me about myself but what it taught me more than anything else is that I wouldn’t be alive without your support. Without you, I’m just a random guy with crazy dreams that will never be realized. I want you to know that no matter how you do it, you’ve made me better, you’ve made me trust myself better and trust that I am loved. Even when your own blood wants nothing to do with you, you were more than any family I could ever dream of. The unconditional love from you will always baffle me … then pull me from whatever shitty spot I’m in. Hopefully with a good story for us to laugh at.

I love you,

M

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