First off, I should say that I’m a writer, so it’s likely that this “rant” will go on for a while… To put it plainly, I think what I’m looking for is guidance. The question I have to ask is simply, “What would you do if you were me?” I am thirty-three years old, and I live in Canton, Ohio. I am a single gay male, white, Caucasian, fairly good-looking, college-educated, and with indisputable talents and aptitudes, the main one being writing, natch. I have a job (which I hate, but we’ll get more into that later), a good deal of money in the bank, a nice apartment, and at least a couple of good friends. For the past fifteen years, I’ve dealt with depression which has waxed and waned according to my circumstances. I have contemplated suicide umpteen thousand times, and even put a plan together as to how I would go about it. My current one is to take all of my antidepressant medication at once, washed down with a good mixed drink. I have, obviously, tried drug therapy, and I have had seven different therapists over the years. Only the last one has done me any real good. I haven’t seen her in nearly a year, and I don’t really want to, anymore. I feel that she did all she could for me, but she can’t change the world, and she can’t fix life so that it’s comfortable for me. That’s what I want. You see, I hate life. I hate the rules we have to follow. I hate the necessity of working forty-plus hours a week at a job which is barely tolerable at best and excruciating at worst. I have sought other jobs, but I have no connections to follow, and in today’s job market, those are what matter, more than ever before. What I really want to do is to be free and independent, able to do whatever I choose, when I choose. I admit that I am lazy by nature. It runs in the family. My dad never worked half the time, and I think, looking back now, that it wasn’t because he couldn’t find a job; he just didn’t want to work badly enough. Like father, like son. I do have one ambition—to become a published writer. But anyone who knows anything will tell you that attempting it is like pissing in the wind and hoping none of it comes back to splatter you. All of my life, beginning with my early years as an only child, I have felt different, cut off, excluded, outside, unnecessary. It isn’t (usually) that people are mean or offensive to me. They simply don’t take to me. When I am in a social situation, I don’t know how to contribute. And other people pretty much ignore me, whether I am at work, in a store, the mall, a restaurant…it’s as though I’m invisible, or as though there’s a force field around me that prevents others from attempting interaction. And yes, I have tried reaching out…I did it a lot when I was young, but it just never got me anywhere. As I said, people don’t generally take to me. I am shy and introverted, and I know now that the exuberant, handsome, self-assured and charismatic man that I’d always hoped and prayed I would morph into, isn’t going to show up. Ever. I have stopped reaching out. I don’t send emails or make phone calls. My feeling is that people can come to me if they want to talk to me. They know where I am. Needless to say, that doesn’t happen. My phone doesn’t ring anymore. Even on Facebook, when I post a comment or my status, no one usually has anything to say to it. It kills me when I look at the things my Facebook friends post, because they’re no deeper or funnier than what I say…and yet they’ve got five, ten comments apiece on theirs. I look at the world and, as Jessie says in the play ‘Night, Mother, I see one thing: Not Fair. And as with her, I don’t have the fighting spirit to go out there and change things, even for myself, or at the very least, get even. All my life, I’ve felt no particular drive or ambition to do anything. Again, I am lazy, and I can’t help it. I was emotionally/verbally abused a lot as a child by my mother, especially. She was a very domineering, overpowering parent, and I don’t know how much that might account for what I am today. I guess it doesn’t matter…I can’t blame her anymore, anyway. I’ve battled with my inner nature ever since puberty. I don’t particularly like being gay, but it’s another thing I can’t help. I’ve come to look upon it as a weakness, a vulnerability. I don’t see how anyone could look at it as a gift. I had shame instilled in me first by the kids I went to school with—I wasn’t out back then, but they knew…oh, they knew—then by my parents when they found out, and then by the church which I was forced to attend until I was nineteen and stopped going. To this day, I have no use for organized religion and I have failed at all my attempts to develop a spiritual life. I don’t understand God, and I no longer want to. I even attempted to live according to Existentialist practice a few years ago, but that didn’t work, either. Those practices are founded upon being positive. I have nothing in me anymore but bitterness, negativity, and repressed rage. I suffer from physical pain as well as emotional…these pent-up emotions and urges have congealed into a lump in my stomach which is always there, and my neck and shoulders are always tense and aching. I developed a habit of cracking my neck to relieve this, and a year and a half ago, I had to have surgery to replace three ruptured disks. I think the greatest pain of my life is that I have never been able to find a romantic partner who lasted. I’ve had a few brief relationships…but never have even come close to finding anyone who was truly mine. And in the state I’m in now, who would want me? I feel as though there are roadblocks at every single avenue I try to pursue…vocational success…love…social acceptance…even just getting laid once in a while. I’ve wondered if the recent change in the dosage of my medication could be to blame for my present state of mind. I was on three hundred milligrams of Effexor for two and a half years, and not long ago, my doctor and I mutually decided to try cutting back to two hundred and twenty five milligrams. That was about two months ago. And so, once more, perhaps more seriously than ever before, I am contemplating suicide. I am thirty-three years old, and the most success I have to leave behind me is the review of a graphic novel I wrote once—which hasn’t been published yet and very possibly might not be a good review—and a play which a local community theatre has finally agreed to produce, after only about five years of going back and forth with them. Again…I don’t know what compelled me to write this. I think maybe it was partly venting, and partly looking for a connection with others who suffer as I have, and am. I would seek out birds of a feather to talk to in person, but there aren’t any. If you can find a single thoughtful, introspective, deep, intelligent person with a touch of class within a hundred-mile radius of Canton, Ohio, you’re doing a lot better than I can. I’ve joined online writers’ communities, and never made any connections…I couldn’t even get my own work read or critiqued. I have been doing college/community theatre for nearly half my life, and even as I’ve grown more lonely and disconnected, I’ve found less and less people with whom I feel I really belong among the casts of these shows. I did three plays in the last year alone, and during all of them, I found not one person with whom there was potential for a relationship, or even a meaningful friendship. Not one. So, I really don’t know what to do with myself anymore…with the exception of one thing. Cheers.