Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Life You Save May Be Your Own

"There's no one as honest as those in pain " -
 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Very sad but if we can learn even  one thing that can help someone then it will be so worth it. I know the person who wrote this and I knew her sister who is no longer with us. This piece is so raw that it is very uncomfortable to read. Welcome to the world of those in pain. Maybe I am being idealistic but if you learn one thing that will allow you to relate to a person who is undergoing internal turmoil, you will never know if that rapport will prevent them from a fatal tipping point. Suicide is real. You can also be a real suicide deterrent with some love and understanding. 



OKAY SO. It’s a strange feeling, having something like 13 Reasons Why blow up not too long ago and realize that for the first time you’ve fallen under the demographic trigger warnings are for. What? Sorry to anyone who’s had to deal with me the past month. I’ve been pissy and angry and everything quiet in between-- 

The year is 2014. Around this time, my sister is buying pizza for me and my 10 year old brother. She never does that. It’s a Sunday. Our parents are out of town. We play cards. She wins. She’s deleting files. There was no note. 

Until then we had been together almost every day of our lives. 

And maybe it’s because of shows like 13rw, or the recent influx of media personalities passing away under similar circumstances that I’ve been hearing conversations budding (good or bad?). These kids are sad. Suddenly people are asking again. They say they didn’t ask to be born. I wish I knew what to say. 

Just don’t do it. I know the world can be a little like A Tale of Two Cities. You're in the same place, but yours is sadder and darker than that of the people around you. Not everyone is going to understand. People will be insensitive and abusive when they don't have to be. You watch a video of a child getting a hand transplant and suddenly you're hagulgoling on the floor.

My sister made herself appear to be happy and strong (and she WAS, but nobody is strong all the time). She had issues. Mostly to do with her body and how it never looked the way she wanted it to. And I used to feel guilty talking about it. Like I was spilling a secret. And I could blame beauty standards, or the weird prestige we place on having a "good body" (spoiler: ALL bodies are good bodies), or the way we (don’t) talk about mental health in this country. But at the end of the day, this is the reality we live in. 

Before it happened I had been off anti-deps for about a year and feeling pretty optimistic about things. And now I’m sad. There are so many feelings, all wild and confusing and I don’t know what to do with them all. Nights are long. Sleep is difficult. 

And I don’t need anyone to feel sorry for it, because of course we’re all sorry and of course it hurt a lot of people. And I’m not sure what happens to you when you kill yourself, but I have some idea about what happens to the people you leave behind. 

I. There’s this kind of pain I still don’t understand. I’ve never felt so hurt in my life, and yet I still love her the most a person can. I’m functioning but I'm buggy. Like something's missing. Like something's been missing. I want to be home. But home was where you were. Where is home now

II. You were the only person on earth who understood me without me having to say anything. I never felt incomplete despite my imperfections, my incurable shyness, my intense awkwardness, because I had you. You could do everything I couldn’t do: you had more friends, laughed as hard as you liked, danced without music, hugged the people you cared about. Now I feel like I lost my other half. The half that could

III. I miss our inside jokes. I miss when we would laugh and we were the only ones who understood why. I miss having a sister. Us against the world, and I love you. I love you. I love you. And I don’t know if you believed in God towards the end, but the first prayer after you left— I’ve never prayed harder in my life

IV. Now my brother and mother hold me so close. Like I’m going to disappear. And I can’t help but feel like they’re trying to hold on to you. But I’m not You! I understand as much as anyone the void you left. And I feel such pressure to fill it for them, because our family is hurting, and they have so many questions about you. What have you done

V. I hope it didn’t hurt. The tabloids got your name wrong. It would have been me if you didn’t go first

VI. I am a different person. You were such a big part of who I was that I don’t even know who I am trying to be now

VII. You had the rest of your life. Things would’ve been different in 3 years

VIII.  You hurt a lot of people. What about all the things we were supposed to do? You would’ve been a good part of a lot of people’s lives. They won’t be able to meet you now. The best sister in the world. It was so dumb to think we could be together forever. I can’t stop thinking about you. The day keeps playing over and over. I didn’t know it was our last conversation, our last game of cards, the last time I would hear you laugh. (Why can’t I remember what it sounds like)

IX. It’s so difficult seeing people so happy when you are so sad. You’re still the same in my dreams, and one day I might be 80 and old and bent and wrinkly and you’ll still be 18. Your hair will never change, you’ll never graduate, never fall in love. You won’t have any new stories to tell

X. Who are you now? I haven’t seen you in 3 years

XI.  Ways to Say I Love You:
“Why do you look like a foot”

Me at 3am: Why didn’t you pick up when mom called?
“I don’t know. I would have answered if it was you.”

Drunk, walking/stumbling to a McDonald’s with our school bags: “You’re the best sister in the world.”

XII. People are going to miss you. They will be different after. Scared. Those who celebrated your birthday every year will dread it when it comes. Why didn't you ask for help

XIII. You were never your body. You were so much more. You were so smart. You could have done anything you wanted to. (Why didn’t you want to get better)

We need to have more conversations about mental illness. We are a long way from being able to say the words "I am depressed" and have people understand why you can't work or be out when you have a functioning body. There is so much more to learn even if you are suffering from one yourself. Be patient with yourself. Be kind even when you don't have to be. There's not enough of that in the world. 

(June 26, 1996 - August 3, 2014)

Love always ;

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