DURHAM, NCDespite an elaborate regimen of prescription medications and thrice-weekly therapy sessions, local depression sufferer Gary Blanke remains a horribly insufferable person, area sources reported Tuesday.
Blanke, 28, an unemployed former gas-station attendant who has battled debilitating bouts of self-loathing and despair for most of his adult life, is reportedly so deeply immersed in his own selfish little world that relatives and acquaintances find it nearly impossible to be around him for more than a few minutes at a time.
"I have so many problems that nobody, least of all a person as weak and damaged as myself, could ever be expected to overcome them," Blanke told a steadily dwindling crowd of reporters. "What am I going to do? I've got nowhere to turn. It's never going to get any better, I just know it. I might as well just give up."
Added Blanke, "I'm so sorry you have to see me like this. You don't deserve to have to listen to me unloading all this on you."
He then broke down in uncontrollable, deeply annoying sobs.
Though those who know Blanke do their best to offer at least a modicum of sympathy, he is so unrelentingly unhappy and emotionally needy that he depletes most people's reserves of patience and interest in no time, leaving sad, withered husks of aborted friendships in his wake.
"I know I'm a burden on everyone," Blanke said. "I'm so pathetic, I know you must all hate me."
"Man, do I hate that guy," said Kevin Deshaies, Blanke's former roommate, expressing the general consensus of everyone who has met the longtime depressive. "You kind of feel sorry for him at first, but after the first 10 hours of listening to him whine, you find yourself wishing he was dead."
Though Deshaies has not spoken to Blanke voluntarily since 1993, he still runs into him occasionally at a neighborhood convenience store. Deshaies said he always takes pains to avoid being spotted by Blanke in the store, but, more often than not, he winds up getting sucked into tedious discussions with Blanke about the minutiae of his every neurotic dilemma.
"Nothing's worse than getting cornered by Gary and having to listen to him pour out his guts for hours on end," Deshaies said. "The absolute worst is when he starts crying and you have to hug and comfort him or something, even though all you really want to do is push him down a flight of stairs."
Eternally on and off a variety of antidepressant medications and bouncing from one esoteric belief system to another on a near-weekly basis, Blanke's psyche is a veritable minefield of irritating catch-phrases and insufferable self-pity.
"I am so ashamed of how I always lean on other people instead of facing up to my problems, but I'm just too weak to face them alone," said Blanke, starting his sentence, as he does nearly all his sentences, with the word "I." "I just wish all my pain and agony would end so I wouldn't be such a burden to everyone all the time."
Though Blanke has sought counseling many times over the past 15 years, his debilitating character flaws have precluded him from establishing a productive longterm relationship with any of his various therapists.
"I've seen Gary on-and-off for maybe 12 years, and it has pretty much all been a wasted effort," Dr. Joan Aldrete said. "He's desperate for someone to listen to him, but, nine times out of ten, he won't even show up for his scheduled appointments because of some new crisis. He gets fired from work, or maybe some girl rejects him, and then he becomes so engulfed in self-loathing that I don't hear from him for months. He's so wrapped up in his depression and misery that he's incapable of working toward a true healing. In my professional opinion, in all my years of counseling, I don't believe I've ever met anyone I liked less."
Noted therapist Dr. Eli Wasserbaum agreed. "The truly awful thing about severe depression," he said, "is not the damage it does to the sufferer, but the damage done to those who have to spend time around irritating, melodramatic, selfish pricks like Gary Blanke."
Blanke remains in full agreement with his critics. "I know. I'm sorry," he said, staring at the floor and whining pathetically. "They're right. I am pathetic. I know. I'm sorry."