Sad Boys IRL: Depression Is Not A Meme

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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Lately I feel like I've seen a lot of talk on the Internet about sad boys and sad rappers and feelings and whatever the fuck a Young Lean is, which makes me think that maybe you young motherfuckers are way more in touch with your feelings than literally everyone else on the entire planet. But then, like everything on the Internet, I realized sadness is just becoming another fucking meme. So, I figured it's my duty on some older brother type shit to school you depressed goons on what it's like to actually be sad IRL.

I never knew I had depression. I just thought everyone had really bad anxiety when confronted with new people and new situations. I thought everyone bottled shit up until they had a full-blown breakdown instead of talking about their feelings with their parents or friends or teachers.

I used to get such bad stomach aches before high school that I would be doubled over in pain while walking out the door. My mom was freaking out because she thought she made the mistake of sending me to this school that's so rigorous her eldest born was having ulcer symptoms at 14. But it wasn't school, at all. It took a while, but I eventually got used to everything and I'd like to say I kept all my mental issues in check for the next 3 or so years.

Then I went to college. I was nervous. Everyone was smarter than me. Everyone had gotten into all the other schools that had rejected me. They had been to Europe already. They knew who Damien Hirst was. My folks came down for parents weekend and, before they left, took me to Whole Foods to stock up on provisions. I remember they kept asking me if I wanted this or needed that and I just kept saying, "Yeah, sure. I dunno. Probably." We checked out and started loading the groceries into the van. And that's when I lost it. I didn't know how to tell them about the anxiety or the nervousness or the inability to will myself out of bed. Now, every time I try and buy some Gorilla Munch cereal, I think of that time I started sobbing outside the Whole Foods on North Avenue.

Flash forward to the end of law school. I was losing it again. I think I left my apartment, like, maybe once a week. THAT'S NOT HEALTHY BEHAVIOR, MY GUYS. Everyone in my life was freaked out. Eventually, I watched this documentary on PBS about depression and how it's chronically underdiagnosed in men my age. They had all these dudes talk about their experiences and IT WAS LIKE HEARING MY OWN THOUGHTS ON TELEVISION. That was when it hit me. Maybe I should talk about this with someone. But there was still some shit on Netflix I hadn't watched. It took my parents offering to pay for things before I finally, truly, actually got off my ass and sought help.

That as my therapist, she was telling me to cover a menswear trade show an entire city away for a blog that nobody actually read sounds pretty crazy as I type it out, I know.

My therapist would always ask me what made me happy. If it wasn't law school, what was it? She wanted to know what I did in my free time. So, I admitted to her that I had started a blog about clothes. She encouraged me to stick with the writing and blogging and I told her I was thinking about going to this trade show called Capsule, but I didn't really have any business going and I wouldn't know anyone and what's a fucking blog anyways, so, like, yeah, I probably wasn't going to go. She cut me off right there and said that I had to go. That as my therapist, she was telling me to cover a menswear trade show an entire city away for a blog that nobody actually read sounds pretty crazy as I type it out, I know. LIKE, MY THERAPIST IS THE REASON I MOVED FROM A DOT BLOGSPOT TO MY OWN URL. THANK YOU, DOCTOR YATES. IF YOU HADN'T TOLD ME TO GO FOR IT I WOULDN'T BE ON FOUR PINS TALKING ABOUT DEPRESSION IN ALL CAPS. Always remember to thank your therapist, I guess.

Despite finally seeking professional help and having Tommy Ton take my photo every once in a while, shit will still crop up. Recently, I've dropped the ball on some professional shit and I need to embrace that. I will go on airplane mode for days at a time. I've straight up disappeared on the team here at Four Pins. I've ignored much more talented people than myself reaching out to work with me, even offering to pay me to write things. And I don't know why. I still don't know why I just can't answer my phone or email a motherfucker back. I get so anxious even thinking about it. I'm just bummed for no reason for weeks at a time, which sucks because, objectively, I have ZERO things to be bummed about. I get to create content by my lonely and with a squad. Shit is fucking awesome. The shitty thing about being a real sad boy is that you can't control when your sadness will erupt into a Mount Vesuvius of emotions. For example:

Remember when Nothing Was the Same first came out and everyone was like, "LOL wow such dope feels," and how they "cried" listening to it etc.? Yeah, I was like, "I don't get it. I like the album, sure, but I don't catch feelings from it." Then, one time when I was driving with my girl to my favorite luxe cafe to cop a $4.25 signature latte and some expensive ass toast with bacon jam, "Too Much" came on and Aubrey said, "My uncle used to have all these things on his bucket list/And now he's actin' like 'Oh, well, this is life I guess.'" And those lyrics hit an echo chamber in my brain and before I knew it was crying while driving in front of my girlfriend. And not like, contemplative, reflective, dignified tears that girls imagine Idris Elba crying that makes them feel even more sexually and emotionally connected to him. No, I was crying like this. The fucked up thing was that I didn't even know why I was crying. Damn, Drizzy got bars.

My girl handled the whole witnessing her boyfriend losing it to a fucking Drake song on the way to buy expensive coffee thing really well and just told me to pull over and take a deep breath. That's when I blurted out, "WHY AM I UPSET? I DON'T EVEN RELATE TO THIS SONG. IT'S ABOUT THE HEAVINESS OF WEALTH AND SUCCESS AND THE EFFECT IT'S HAD ON DRAKE'S PERSONAL LIFE. THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MY GROWING ANXIETY THAT SOMEONE I KNOW AND LOVE IS GOING TO DIE IMMINENTLY. WHAT THE FUCK!?"

That's what it's like to be a real sad boy. You ain’t about that life unless you actually cry in front of your girlfriend while a Drake song plays in the background and have to explain to her that sometimes it feels like when you say goodbye to people it's the last time you might see them because then she'll know you're crazy and it's one thing to suspect your boyfriend is crazy and a whole other thing to have that suspicion confirmed so vividly. DO YOU KNOW HOW INDELIBLY THE IMAGE OF HER BOYFRIEND SOBBING LIKE KIM KARDASHIAN IN A LATE MODEL CHEVY BLAZER TO A DRAKE SONG MUST BE STUCK IN MY GIRLFRIEND’S CRANIAL?

But it's cool to be a little crazy, I guess. I read on Wikipedia or something that a disproportionate amount of creative geniuses are a little crazy. And I'm pretty sure girls are kinda into geniuses. So ladies, if your man claims that clique, makes sure he's a thoroughbred. Oh yeah, and a thug and intelligent too. I'm pretty sure Nas said that once.

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