You must be at least -this- sad to ride.

I feel like I don’t have the right to be sad.

I had a amazing childhood. I was an only child, my parents love me, they were supportive and made sacrifices so I could be happy. We're still close and get along great. I have a small tight-knit group of friends and we go out of our way to make everyone's birthdays and holidays special. My room mate I share my apartment with is my best friend. I have a cat I adore. I got to go to my first choice college, and graduated with a degree in illustration. I have a full time job with a salary and benefits, working in art at a start-up. So I feel horribly greedy when I say I'm hot happy.

Somewhere in college my worrying and self-criticism got much worse. The closer I got to graduation the more I cried, feeling like a failure before I even tried. My art wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t good enough. Mistakes I made or things that just happened were moral failings on my part. I couldn’t just mess up, it was carelessness and irresponsibility spilling all over my life. I should of been more careful, more responsible, known better. I was mediocre and I never be any better. I pulled it together to graduate, and hoped it would get better, it didn’t.

Despite the fact I worked from a part time contractor to full time real employee with benefits and important responsibilities, at least once a week I wonder if I'm about to get fired. I was 24, Id been single since I was 16, whenever I tried to ask men out they were already dating or weren't interested in me, I was working but it wasn’t in illustration and my job left me frustrated and unmotivated. I could put myself out there, go do more things, look for a new job and take control of what made me unhappy. But I didn’t. I ramped up on my negative self-dialogue, rubbing salt on and pushing on the wound so it will sting and burn and hoping Id go numb so I wouldn’t have to handle the pain. I cant do better than this job. I'm going to be alone forever, and that’s really for the best. I told myself things for so long that I knew there painful lies to make myself go numb that I started to believe them.

My mother and my best friend both have depression. I have watched them suffer and struggle. My mother had an abusive childhood, which destroyed her self esteem. My best friend was bullied, her father is deathly ill. They have real problems, real reasons to be sad. I feel like I don’t. So I cover it up, bottle it up. Whenever I crack and show I'm sad to my friend, its laden with guilt for these feelings, and I hurriedly try to put on a happy face again. I don’t tell my mom, I don’t want her to worry she might of passed depression to me.

My life feels like I have a clean apartment, but one corner of a room has a table covered in unwashed mugs and cups. They aren't very big, but they're getting moldy and gross. But I don’t deal with them. So they keep getting worse. I wont get real help, I don’t try to get a new job, I don’t try to pursue a love life. Because I've convinced myself I cant, that I don’t deserve it, that no one will love me, that Ill just be divorced or killed by my boyfriend. I let the guilt of wasing my youth alone and at home instead of living it up somewhere crush my spirit. I'm so angry with myself, for not dealing with the mess of my life, but I cant bring myself to do it. I don’t want to think about it, I don’t want to deal. I just want to smile, and let everyone think I'm okay because I don’t want to bother them, and go from day to day. But the fact Im here, reaching out, obviously means some part of me wants better.

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