I Have No Idea What I Need

I’ve been dealing with crippling depression for over twenty years now, getting psychiatric care for most of it. I’ve dealt with a lot, more suicide attempts than I can remember, hospitalizations, I think I’ve had over 1000 stitches and staples from self harm, I’ve lived on the streets for about a decade, on Skid Row in LA, to West Oakland and Kansas City, Then Dallas… I’m back in Los Angeles now… living in a car.

I quit a seven year heroin addiction ten years ago. I’m perfectly sober now but more miserable than I’ve ever been.

I’ve been locked up a ton of times, like 14 arrests. It was dumb stuff like drug possession from ten years ago but still, I can never live down the stigma. Getting a job has been one of the toughest challenges yet. I’ve built up an IT resume with achievements and tons of experience, but it’s very rare I can get the single odd temp job thrown my way.

I’ve had my heart broken more times than I can count. I’ve been in several long term relationships and I’ve even had a son I had to give up for adoption. On the streets I had been slamming heroin and cocaine, overdosing more times than I can remember. I’ve woken up with paramedics on tops of me, in strange alleys, I lived in a burned down warehouse in South Central LA for two months. My life has had ups and downs, but with a general downward trend for some time.

My whole life, my biggest problem has been a lack of interest in things. I am however empathetic and emotionally there… I can’t find anything to interest me. I have an “ambivalence towards life” is how one of my shrinks put it. I don’t care about anything but here’s the real fucked up part: I really WANT to care. I read self care books and all the famous books people talk about. I learn as much about science and math and history as I can, all day watching educational videos and scrolling Reddit…

My heart is broken everyday when I see people smiling and laughing and raising families and I know deep down I can never be a part of their world. Happiness exists… but not for me. And I’ve long accepted this. But how long is this supposed to last? I keep soldiering on, living in some of the worst conditions in the US. I’m surrounded by darkness and sadness and despair.

I think I want to live, but at what cost? I want help but my friends either ignore me or tell me I should be locked up in a psych ward. That is not help. I’m screaming into an empty room. But I guess I’m not even sure what it is I’m screaming for.