Into the Dark
Have you ever left a piece of fresh meat in the refrigerator? Days later, it is burned with the cold, and it smells like a decomposing animal. That is precisely how it feels when you are at the bottom of the hole – called
depression. You have been hurt so many times that you got used to it. You do not know how it is to feel otherwise. It does not bother you as much. Your hair is not brushed, and you don’t remember the last time you used a toothbrush. Who cares? It is not like someone is going to get close enough to notice. You are quiet most of the time because you are torturing yourself inside your head. Everything is going wrong.
- “What else can you send me, God?”
Food has no flavor, and I am happier in bed sleeping because at least I can think and imagine a better world — a world where someone would love me, for me. Or at least, escape the one I am in.
Society focus on respecting other’s feelings. “Think about how they feel.” “You are not the only one that has problems.” “There are others with bigger problems.” But we never validate ourselves. We don’t teach our children about pain and suffering. We try to masque the ache with happiness; instead of learning from it, we learn how to move forward. Because like it or not, without High, there’s no low, and without losing, there is no appreciation for the gains.
Eventually, after time does his job, you begin to feel free. Others never reach freedom because they give up. They give up just too soon. I was down there, where you might be right now. I know the pain; I have felt that pain — the pain of a broken heart. You can’t walk, you can’t breathe. You wish you could grab that cold/sharp pain and rip it from your heart, but you can’t. You are weak, full of rage, full of pain. At that moment, your world has ended. I felt this pain way too many times.
After your heart is broken, people expect you to get over it quickly. Your friends ask you not to talk about it. You start to get the hint that they don’t really care like they say they do. So, you do what you do best – pretend that you are Okay. That way, you are not killing the mood, and everyone is happy. Everyone except you, but you are used to it, so you keep quiet. You go with the flow, but indeed, you too know that only a dead fish goes with the flow. You need to be a Salmon; push against the flow. Do what you must do.
Months go by, and you feel worst every day. Your body hurts, and you don’t have any energy left in you. However, you have been getting better at pretending. In fact, you are so good at it that you start to believe in yourself. That is the reason why after two weeks of “trying,” you trip and fall. Everything starts feeling foggy again. You take a few deep breaths to collect yourself. However, you know you are falling through the cracks with no one to hold your hand. You want someone to notice, but you don’t say a thing. You want someone to understand. Your friends are starting to go out without you, and you feel alone, naked in ice, shaking in pain; all you want is for that feeling to go away. Some of us don’t come back from that trip.
As a former Soldier, we brief many times about Suicide. They give you tools, and they offer a hand. However, it makes me wonder whether we should brief EVERYONE? Middle School, High School? Life? Often, I hear people saying, “Ah...it will pass” without a hint of compassion for your feelings. Others want to help without knowing what to do with the best intentions.
I have to say, being so close to the edge helps me see that the first thing we want and is that we would matter to someone and yearn for that someone to notice Someone to notice enough to offer their hand. Someone to be there for you, picking you up every time you fall, not letting you touch the ground. I might have said the total opposite, but what I really wanted was for someone to notice me.
My hero, the one that saves me from that edge when I was 17, was my 11th grade Math teacher, Mrs. Melendez. I was lost inside my head, but she saw me. I wasn’t doing anything wrong; in fact, I was just walking to the trashcan to sharpen my pencil. She stands beside me and said,
” Zylkia, I have noticed you been a little blue. Your hair is a mess, and you are walking on your socks, leaving your shoes behind at your desk.” You are not wearing makeup, and you are way too quiet. Is there anything I could help you with?”
Notice, not precisely the word the most would expect, but a powerful one. She noticed, and not only that, and she even gave me examples of how she noticed, and that validated everything. I did not have to say anything. She clearly noticed. If someone notices, that means someone cares. Someone that cares enough to say something. She didn’t have to do anything, and it took her a few seconds to do it. She probably does not know, but that day she saved a life. It is not all ways that simple; others need more than that.
There is one lesson I have learned is that when the cup is half full or half empty, it does matter what you choose. A person that sees a half-full cup will talk to their loved ones with the biggest respect, and this changes the dynamic of everything.
A human being can be both; amazingly humanitarian with compassion and selfishly desensitize to human suffering. Compassion is what makes us want to be kind to others and a major path to happiness. It is defined as the feeling that arises when we witness other people in distress and want to help stop their suffering. (December 5, 2015, by Sandi Schwartz)” 1 I can’t help to wonder; If compassion is in nature, then why are we humans so mean, cruel, despicable with one another. Or is it the feeling of human desires and fascination with pleasure that stands in the way of nature? All I know is that humans are capable of the most despicable with each other; I have seen it, I have lived it, and I felt it too many times. However, I also got up, I better myself, and I kept trying and will keep trying.