How Much Do You Share? An Open Post About Sadness in Relationships

Eric Barry B&W Mirror sad Full Disclosure

Who could be sad with that sweet bleached mop top? You can tell I’m being reflective because I’m looking into a mirror.

Despite its infancy, I feel like my writing has already taken a turn for the maudlin on this site. But hey, this whole Full Disclosure thing started with tears, and sometimes it’s nice to get back to your roots. I’ll be the first to admit that I love me some sad porn, so break out the tissue box and get ready to lube it up with Poppa Boner’s salty, salty tears.

I do truly believe that happiness begets happiness. And I don’t mean that in a Tony Robbins, “and so can you!” kind of way. It seems to be fact that those that are happier will attract good fortune into their lives and those that are sad will have less opportunity placed before them. It’s one of the most tragically hilarious realizations in life. We live in a capitalist society when it comes to happiness. A society where for every have, there must be a have-not (or ten), while simultaneously being told that happiness is to have all of the things.  All of the friends. All of the wealth. And if you don’t have those things, soon enough, you’re probably going to have even less of those things.

Well right now I’m sad. It feels like a “sad time” for me. I don’t know how I’m going to pay rent next week. A girl that I’ve cared about more than any in quite some time has lost my trust. In a recent effort to get some income I contemplated returning to escorting. Hey – at least that’s something I know I can do well. I am good at sex. I sent a prospective client nude photographs with my face obscured (pretty arguably my best asset), only to be told “you’re going to need more than that short dick.” FUCK. I can’t even do THAT right?? I can’t even retreat into the superficial layers of happiness without getting a swift kick in the dick.

This must just be a sad time for me. But then I look back to an April 10 Facebook posting when I declared for all the social network’s public to see “I’m actually happy. WTF.” And it makes me realize that happiness may be an anomaly for me. Happiness, when it flutters my way, is an occasion to be marked. To be pronounced, “Hey everybody, catch a rare glimpse at this strange feeling of Eric’s! It won’t be here long!” And even while I was experiencing that happiness I was waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Eric Barry Happiness Sad Facebook Full Dislcosure

 

 

 

 

It’s a tremendously heavy feeling, knowing that you have to fight for your own happiness. When I’m happy, I’ll see those that are sad around me and I want to shake them and say,”Snap out of it! Wake the fuck up and stop feeling sorry for yourself!” Be solution oriented. Allow yourself to feel but never allow yourself to wallow. And though my disposition in general has always had an undercurrent of doubt and cynicism, it’s been years since I’ve felt truly depressed. Since I’ve wanted to don the trenchcoat. Since I’ve said “Be solution oriented!” and looked to find no solutions around me. But here I am.

trench coat

I thrive on vulnerability. Relationships are fucking hard as is. If we can’t be painstakingly honest with each other, aren’t we only contributing to the machine and doing all of ourselves a disservice? There’s so much artifice in the world, so much fakery that we employ to brand ourselves better, to be liked by others, to ensure that we become the haves amongst the have-nots. It’s exhausting.

All of my relationships begin deep, deep on the inside. I don’t give a shit what kind of music you’re into. Well I do, but we’ll get to that part after we find out what your relationship with your family is like. I cannot tell you the number of times when someone has opened up to me about being raped, being abused as a child, or their deepest fears. All of this on a first date. All the while saying “I’ve never told anyone this. I’ve never felt this comfortable talking to someone.”

That kind of vulnerability not only demands trust, but it creates it. You know me, I know you.

But as I stated previously, happiness begets happiness. People don’t want to know the answer to “How’s your day going” if your answer is anything other than fine, good, or holy crap amazing.

So how do you translate that kind of vulnerability into a relationship when you’re feeling sad? How do you share your vulnerability with your partner without crippling them? How do you not push the one you love away by being honest that right now you’re probably not that desirable?

When you’re feeling undesired, there’s no time more that you want to reach out and grab those you care about by the shoulders and shout, “Tell me I’m desirable goddammit! Tell me I’m that person that you liked from the beginning! Like me more than anyone else!”

I want to be honest. I want to be vulnerable. It’s who I am. It’s what I built my relationships and my entire identity on. But if I show my wounds while raw, I wonder if they’re only opening them further to be examined. I want organic happiness – happiness I find because it’s found me. But is there a point where lying to others, if not myself, about my state of mind might actually benefit me?

And if I do ascend on those terms – if I do fake-it-till-I-make-it, and climb those emotional ranks – my greatest fear would be continuing to live in fear that it’s all fake. Fear that it will all be stripped away, fear that I built any sense of good or right in my life upon the sand, only to be washed away in a moment’s notice by the whim of circumstance.

What do you tell the ones you love? How open are you to the world? When does earnestness stop illuminating and only serve as a function of narcissism?

Is it to our benefit to know the whole of everyone or do we only want to know the parts that make ourselves feel complete?

Sometimes the Andys always win:

And perhaps:

____
UPDATE 8/23/2013: For anyone in the community that might be a in a position to help, I’m unfortunately scrambling desperately to pay rent for September 2013. It’s with a humble heart that I ask if anyone knows of any job opportunities or monetary assistance that they would please contact me. Much, much appreciated.  – Eric

About Eric Barry

Eric Barry is a Chicago comedian, writer, and creator of Full Disclosure, voted "Best Sex-Positive" podcast by the Chicago Reader. He holds a B.A. in Theater & Performance Studies from UC Berkeley, and his work has been featured on Huffington Post, Cosmo, SF Chronicle, and more. He is currently working on developing a pilot based off his time in the sex work industry.

Trackbacks

  1. […] of this past Thursday night, I’ve been officially single. Which is an odd thing to say, because I was never […]

Speak Your Mind

*