An old English word for depression or melancholy that I learned in my eight grade English class. This was originally typed when I was around fourteen, and has been rewritten. However, my emotion is still poured into these words with no vital pieces left out. Before reading this let us take the time to message or call a friend. You never know. No one ever knows.
Every night I asked my mother how she said goodbye one last time. How to continue living or give my last farewell. Will they say I’m weak or say my patience was strong? Do you believe your success can shadow your human emotions? She told me when she held me to avoid surrounding myself with those with a driven mentality, and actions that almost never match it. After months of taking time for self reflection over my usual time management; I’ve shattered. My passion was blown out like a flame and I was becoming the person I feared the most. Someone without purpose.
Total strangers moved to a pitiful kindness by my story, and found redemption trying to heal me. This side of me is pitiful looking, but showed potential. What does it mean to be healed? Few may cope with their religious beliefs, find a support system, or vent to themselves. I was in the eye of the storm, I drowned in my own blood, and I was struck with this false compassion for others. Generosity was my main trait, but only to ignore my own mental needs. Hoping that if I could fuel someone else’s happiness I would eventually find mine.
People say my intelligence resembles both parents, but the hunger came from my mother. To me it was a lot of intelligence that needed to be polished. That’s not where the resemblance stops apparently. She may have been the first one to take her life, but I lived through the aftermath in her own shoes. We wonder alike if joy is just a lie. I turned eleven, and was introduced to a new companion called anxiety. This companion was obsessed with perfection as a student, friend, and daughter. It sat with me amongst the chaos in my child-like mind. Purity was a myth, yet the idea of imperfections still made me ill. As humans we experience a war within ourselves that sadly can start at any age. How many of us win?
It was November 18th beginning Thanksgiving break, and I rushed home to my neighborhood friends. The house was more peaceful than usual and I saw relief in my mother’s eyes. A warm hug from her left hand holding her family with a gun in her right ready to end her own battle. That night I heard a pop in the back of my mind. It was faint, similar to a firecracker. I was awoken the next morning to sirens, and my older sister’s quiet cry. A black bag was carried by the side of my home that looked 5”4 and I began to mourn my own mother’s death. Her funeral took place on that holiday, and I was a figure that would carry her legacy. I felt cursed carrying a similar fate to the one in the casket. Waking up each day in the mirror reminded me of her fate. I wanted to burn the memories that might have redeemed her decision.
January came to a new year with more days spent isolating myself. My grades were sublimed, friends moved on, and there was no hope in grieving. I surrendered myself to death’s civility or rather voluntarily offered it my life. The time spent at a certain facility still gets me emotional to this day. Those family visits showed how hurt my loved ones were because of my devastating mistake. My first night spent in a dark cold room with a cluster of cameras hovering over my bed. Tests were run, and I’ve suddenly forgotten my fear of needles. Everyday was a test to take a step towards freedom. We were numbers in a system that labeled us as dangerous kids when most were just misunderstood. Didn’t matter if we were dangerous to others or ourselves. These were the young outcasts to society. Would it be cruel to say I faked my way out? There was never any improvement, just a nosedive into an even more unstable state. This is the place where I learned how to push others away with a smile
In a way I hoped me recovering saved her. Saved her spirit from the darkness of guilt. Look around mother, look how grateful I am to be alive. I apologize to those I may have idolized to become the womanly figure I so “desperately needed”. It was never my intention to discriminate between false saints and real women. Many times I put my pride aside to learn from many mentors in my recent teenage years. Never could let a stray tear give my true intentions away. Even now I'm paranoid in every sentence how you will perceive my honesty. What do I stall for?. Each day I continued to waste time no matter how productive I was because I was focused on the wrong goals. Stone faced and showed restraint from confessing that this isn’t where I want to be. This is where people think I should be, and me being too hesitant to say no.
Time for me to face my own fundamental truths, and those selfish intentions that make me a human being. Take the heat! Take the burden because maybe it can make me stronger. Make mistakes to become wiser, stop beating myself up more than others beat me, and cry. I will entrust that those I truly care for remain by my side. Silently I resist the offer of staying in a local bubble of mediocrity. I know in my heart that we can become more… That I can become much more! My heart praises your self care, but my brain knows that this long pause won’t bring me peace. I honor your kindness to put others before your own gains. May you look at me in the future proud of my decisions my dear mother.
Now I struggle to find my identity in this melancholy era. Am I just a chemical imbalance? A two faced horoscope sign? A sinner and a saint? One who colors their mistakes on a canvas with white paint? A human being? A young woman with academic wit and no logic? Am I drowning in a stream letting the tide carry me? Call me modern Emily Dickinson who had lust for death then found content in life. Find your unique place in this world or where you think you will fit. That is what these years are all about right? To be told you’re too young to understand this world while they struggle to understand you? Cliche much? Oh to have the luxury of seeing your life with such value. “Look around and see how lucky you are to be alive.” Just staying alive is enough to them, but what about those who are struck with life’s harsh reality? I question my peers as their tweets cry for help in the form of memes. Laugh in the face of ignorance and overwhelm you with honesty. Struggling to keep a smile on our faces in the state of our nation. We cannot die or live, but at least act naive to the thought of suicide. If there is a reason why I’m still alive then I can no longer sit here, and wait for it.
My heart was broken, but at least I had my ambitious reputation. The summer of sophomore year tested my abilities, and people doubted me for the first time. I worked as if I was running out of time. Was I running out of time at the time? My mind is “older” and more mature, but to act such a way may insult my adult counterparts. Yes, this young girl can drop some knowledge. It seemed I was accustomed to this fragility due to what I’ve endured. This wasn’t for me...I was educated, but felt shamed for trying to mold my own way of doing tasks myself. If I follow in someone else’s shadow for the sake of legacy is this how you will remember me? It made me struggle to find my individuality thus leading to my many faces; faces that weren’t mine.
Anxiety asked me, “is this enough?”. Who said we could ever take a break from stressing about nothing? Depression told me, “close your eyes to the truth and your vanity”. Isolation whispered “They know.., they all know the truth about who you really are.” God will I be satisfied? Let them feel no pity for you. I’m the villain in my own narrative throwing away my own life. I was in a position to choose a better path, and I didn’t. When I needed them most, they were always on time. This was when I learned how selfish suicide really was. Why my mother’s sister was angry instead of being in tears at the news.
The constant self-punishment was insidious. When I fantasize at night I see the stars I looked at hoping for a beautiful new year. Cheers to a New Year! A new year I spent alone crying welcoming 2014 to this world. Now I begin to repair my broken pieces like a puzzle. Looking from the bottom it’s easy to say the sky's the limit. We can never run on redemption disguised as motivation.
As I grow up in my eyes I see her everyday. In my mind I ask myself what would you do if you had more time? I hope to enter this new stage of my life as my true self. Kind but stern with my decisions. Honest while being blunt and straightforward with my intentions. Continue to study the human mind finding closure in my mother’s death. Summon all my courage to reject negative individuals into my life. Stop looking at the clock as if my time’s almost up. Raise my hand to the sky and feel the wind blow me away. Let the river flow as I paddle in the direction of the path I want to take. Paint the canvas with all my mistakes in every color of the rainbow. Turn this moment into a movement! Exhibit no obstacle at the end of my journey. Teach me how to say hello again.
This was to share the wisdom learned throughout horrific events. I wish for my readers to not pity me in this confession. I kindly ask to refrain from belittling me, and instead share your story as well. I’m passionately smashing casualties in the name of confidence. There was a sweet feeling of freedom typing this for you. Encourage the youth who strive to be self starters, so that these children don’t beg, starve, or barter for acceptance. Retreat to a pen not a blade, or college versus a mental hospital. They will know what we overcame, and how we will change this world because of it. I hope you don't feel any guilt with expressing your painful experiences because the pain was never physical. My heart you saw before this is warm, inviting, and if we’ve met maybe you would have never guessed. I promise my dedication from this point on will make you all proud. It will make myself proud.