There was a time when I preferred the darkness, the bright yellow on my walls caved in on me and brought about discomfort. The sun bothered me – it was too bright. I couldn’t relate. I lived in a household where we couldn’t close our bedroom doors, as my mother used to say there was no such thing as privacy in her house, so I liked the blinds down and the curtains pulled together. I was in a space of feeling like no one understood me, shit, I often felt like I didn’t understand myself, but my creative juices flowed best in the dark. I penned some of the most hauntingly beautiful pieces I know I could never compose again. I wrote about death the most, as it gave me the life I longed for – how ironic.
I envied people who smiled, their evident happiness not only displayed through their mouths but in their eyes, and it sickened me. I went from wanting to be them, desiring to live their lives whatever it consisted of and not knowing any details of their journey, to wanting nothing. I asked questions about my life, specifically who I came from, and I got nothing and that’s what I ended up feeling like – like a walking energy of emptiness. My mother’s depression, depressed me. My yearning for a solid family broke me. I found a temporary escape through a creative writing class in high school, but life is a collective ebb and flow of emotions. I was up one day, back down the next, feeling like a lifeless body floating through my adolescence with no control, no direction or destination in sight.
When I was tired of the inconsistency, I gave in. My tattoos tell a story, the location of each one symbolic for something and without going into detail, there’s a reason why I have my brother’s name inked on my wrists. He saved my life. If you ask me now what I think of life, it’d vary greatly from what you’d hear from me in 2003. Growing pains almost took me out, growth is what got me here.
You would think when the news of someone’s death via suicide hits, the world would be a little sympathetic, not just to the family and friends left behind, but towards the victim as well. This past weekend, I read the story of Simone Battle who succumbed to the pressures of the world and committed suicide. I’m still not over the death of one of favorite childhood actors, Robin Williams and the blogosphere still mourns the death of Karyn Washington, people from different walks of life who thought their life was no longer worthy to be lived.
From Karyn’s unfortunate passing to Simone’s, people have chosen to go the route of saying that depression could never happen to them, feeling as if you’re carrying the weight of the world is an impossible emotion to feel and nothing is ever that bad that one would feel the need to discontinue their life, instead of sending their condolences and trying to understand the plight of the victim.
Throughout social media are people who think they’re better than, just naturally built for the bullshit. They believe nothing could ever make them want to give up but for those of us that have felt like throwing in the towel, know you’re not alone. I once felt like you did. For those who are “fortunate” enough to have never felt like it’ll be easier to end it today because thinking about tomorrow hurts, lucky you.
To the people who don’t know what it’s like to cry yourself to sleep when you lie on the same bed you were sexual assaulted on and it feels like you’re living in that moment all. over. again. even though it was two years, five months, and seventeen days ago, lucky you.
Should those of us who have swallowed pills to refresh our cluttered minds like water, cut our arms in attempts to remove the inner demons that won’t escape, drunk way too much to drown in our depression, stand up with the bits of strength we may have left in us and slow clap for those of you who have never felt the way we once did? Should we?
Should we hand you doggie biscuits and a gold medal for always feeling like number one, for always getting it right, for always living up to your parents’ expectations, for never having your heart broken, for never having felt betrayal, for never being the poster child for domestic violence, for never being another +1 to a rape statistic, for never being homeless, for never having to deal with a death and then wanting to die yourself?
Because some of us sing Jhene Aiko lyrics and have answers to what are you, what are you, what are you so afraid of? We’re afraid of falling, of loving again, afraid of going home, afraid of going out at night, afraid of losing, afraid of giving in, afraid of ourselves.
If you simply cannot pray for those who are battling depression, then I’ll pray for you in hopes that you’ll continue to live your life without ever feeling that way because at any given moment, the one you refuse to understand, the one you turn your head away from and point your fingers at, can be you.
Erica is the writer behind everything EnJ, her personal blog that spotlights defining life lessons and chronicles a-ha moments in her life. You can find her somewhere in New York City or on Twitter at @everythingEnJ or @KaeNdKamsMom
Image Source: Melodie Monrose