One of the unfortunate things about “coming out” as a depressive is that any enemy in your past can rightfully say, “Aha! See? I knew she was crazy.”
I was not well liked at my first job out of school. I admit that I was as annoying as Tom Cruise minus the Oprah-couch-jumping: loud but inexperienced, ambitious yet impatient, and much too competitive for teamwork. Still, a group of my colleagues didn’t have to make fun of me like a clique of popular seventh grade girls.
Recently I’ve reconnected with an editor there, who, like me, suffers from depression. Our communication has unearthed some of those old feelings of insecurity. There are moments when I feel like I’m back in that little gray cubicle eavesdropping on a conversation about my mistake du jour.
But I know I’m making progress. Because I don’t care as much that a few people (and many more that I don’t know about) don’t like me. One truth that the psych ward taught me is this: trying to do everything perfectly and make everyone like you will guarantee you a permanent bed there. Shoot for half. If you get more, you’re ahead of George Bush. If it’s less, you’ve got God on your side as a cheerleader and loyal fan. Even if you’re annoying.