What happened to my happiness? What happened to my innocence? Why, oh why, did it turn out this way? I think this every day. I am a 21-year-old female, who suffers from severe chronic depression and anxiety, ever since I was 14 years old. I have been on the rise, fighting and fighting and getting better. For two years I was able to fight against self-harm and was free of that monster. Yet, a few weeks ago I had a relapse. One relapse, some years ago would have set me back almost to the beginning. It shows that I am in a better place when it only got me down for a day before I bounced back up and kept fighting. Still, I ask myself – what happened? Why? What did I do? I struggle with this question, even though I know the answer.
Nothing. Nothing about this is my fault, nothing about this is because of something I did. Thing is, if only it WAS something I did, then I could blame myself and do my best to fix it. Yet there is no pointing my fingers at anything but biology. And I cannot do anything about biology. So the answer is not satisfying in the slightest.
And the mind can be a vicious thing. While depressed, I focus on me and my problems. Because we only have ourselves to talk to inside our heads, it is hard to think of others when you feel like the whole world is crashing down on you. Focusing on others is hard when you yourself don’t have a stable stepping ground. I hate to admit but when my mother had Breast Cancer, I was not there to support her. And I regret it to this day. She is alive and it has been gone for a year, yet still, I feel that failure. In my mind I suffer from argument after argument, and when all you hear is all the bad there is, you start to believe that.
The thing that got through to me, though – when I was in the mindset to end it all – is actually something people may think is weird. See, I love the show, Teen Wolf. And on there, there is a character named Stiles Stilinski. He is just a human among werewolves, kanima, banshees, and more. And he does not know how to fight one bit. But, he musters on, and he fights. Among all the dangers and vicious beasts that come out of the woodwork to beat them up, he bounces back and fights. Why am I telling you this? Because that is exactly how I feel. Human, with all these monsters beating me up, breaking me down. And while they are not physical and corporal, that is what makes it all the more dangerous and frightening. I cannot run away from them, I cannot beat them off with a stick. Nobody else can see them, and nobody else can fight them.
So what about that show got me through? One quote. One quote from Stiles, when he talks about death.
“You see, death doesn’t happen to you Lydia, it happens to everyone around you, okay? To all the people left standing at your funeral, trying to figure out how they’re gonna live the rest of their lives without you in it.”
It is true. When someone dies, no matter how they do, death does not affect them after that. It cannot, they are gone. Who is affected after death are those who are left. Those who are left with a hole in their heart that will never close. It might be mended, but it will scar and it will hurt. So, I thought. If I go, if I die. What is keeping my parents from following? What keeps my friends? What keeps the cycle from continuing? If I don’t hold on, what makes sure my loved ones will?
It is harsh, but it is reality. Suicide is usually a vicious cycle. And those who go leave those who are left thinking, always questioning, always wondering. What could they have done? What could they have said? What could they have prevented? But I do understand that when in that cold, vicious thought that nothing will get better, it is almost impossible to think of others.
But when out of that room that houses just me and my demons, I am able to think more clearly. And that quote from that show, that got me thinking. And that got me fighting. Who was I to do that to my parents? My family. My friends. Who am I to go off and leave? But, also, who am I to give up on myself?
I have a bad relationship with myself, and it took a long time, but I do recognize that I myself deserve a chance, A chance at life, a chance at laughter, at running against the breeze. At dancing with the wind and holding hands, eating fast food and laughing at nothing. So, who am I to give up on myself?
I matter, and what I want you to know, is that you matter to. You, wherever you are, whoever you are, you matter. Whatever you are going through, no matter what it is, you matter and you deserve the world. I, admittedly, cannot give you that, but I can give you support. I can give you my love, my shoulder, and my words. I can give you my tears, a hug, and I will appreciate you for you. Like JJ Heller says, “I will love you for you. Not what you have done or what you will become.”
As parting words, from this thing I have spewed out from my heart, I would like to leave you with a poem.
I typed it up two years ago, and never touched it since. I typed it in one sitting, and no edits have been made. It is my favorite poem I have ever made, and I would like to share it with you.
The beautiful thing with falling apart
Is that all this bloodshed and all these scars
They show a story map out a whole life
Make you stronger, give you some bite
So that when they ask, you know who you are
Know the answer is not that simple yet not that far
For the struggle to get to the place you are at
Showed you your spirit and laid down your path
Now standing upright with your broken wings
Knowing you don’t need to be ashamed of anything
The light shines at your back, a beacon so bright
Making you the North Star, the one they follow tonight
So march on soldier and hold your head high
With the story of how you fell from that sky
You will change young minds to know the truth
That strength is not just physical, nor brute
Because you have survived and you are strong
And you know that just being alive, not living, is wrong
In the sense it will wear you down and claw at your skin
Till you feel like going down, like just giving in
And though it may seem like it at the time
You have not even tasted the sweet red wine
The blood of life that flows through us all
Letting us hear that final trumpet, that final call
Because once you give in, that is the end
You have lost, no more can you bend
And once broken, your story is done
To be lost in time, with no re-run
So do you really want to have no more chances
To paint it black instead of the rainbow that dances
Let me just give you one more thing
To take into your mind before you begin
Death does not happen to you, it happens to those around
Those who have to come and pick you off the ground
Who will cry and wail and wonder why
Why this time you CHOSE to fall from the sky
And in their minds regret will run all over
Till it ruins their color and brings them closer
To that choice that you made yourself that day
And then the cycle repeats, never to fade away
I see the resolve in your eyes fading
The choice you chose proves you will be staying
The fire that runs through your veins makes you ask why
Why choose to stay, hurt, still feeling like you want to die
The truth is that that may never vanish like a miracle
For life, yes, can be vicious and goes in a cycle
But when you see the double rainbow coming out of the clouds
And you finally dwell in the here and now
When you wake up to the birds chirping outside your window
Hear the song of a child’s laughter as it crescendo’s
That is when you can breathe and take it easy
A small break that fills you up and keeps you busy
Dwelling in the miracle that you could not see
A life of wonder, beauty, and peace
Those precious moments are what we all live for
The things that make our breath shoot out with the power it pours
Now can you see what I have been talking about
What makes a soldier keep fighting when everyone is in doubt
Those precious life stories that you tell around a fire
Making everyone smile till their face gets tired
So fall angel, and know that with your descent
Comes a better journey, a grand tale of your next ascent