What a low feels like

If you’re hoping to read a post poignant with meaning and sprinkled with metaphors and hope, look away. This is probably going to be a bare and raw write up with no artistic value or literary merit of any kind. You see, I’m at that low in a trough where you lie at the deepest point in the pit wishing you didn’t exist because you’re so tired of trying to dig your way out. But that’s the problem. You try to dig yourself out but only fall deeper and deeper. There’s no escape.

I’ve dealt with depression and dark days throughout most of my life, and honestly I thought it would get easier as I got older. It’s quite the opposite actually. And now that all I see is darkness around me because things have gone south, it just makes it all the more worse. I feel so uncomfortable in my own body, like the wind’s been knocked out of me and I’m gasping for air. My tears have found a permanent place right behind my eyes, just waiting for the slightest sign to cause a tsunami. Everything just feels so wrong and I have no idea what to do to make it right. In fact, it feel like I shouldn’t even bother trying because I’m not worth it. It’s my own fault that I am suffering the way that I am, so I probably deserve it.

There’s also an enormous sea of guilt, because my pain in the vast degree of suffering in the world is as insignificant as my existence in the universe. It makes me feel worse than I already do. I can’t remember a time in my life when I’ve experienced pure happiness. It could be because I’ve stayed in the blackness for so long, and it just keeps getting worse with every passing year. How do I make it stop. How do I make it okay. Will it ever be okay? Is that even possible? I’m scared, so so scared it’s only going to get worse, that next year this time, this pit would feel like heaven.

I want to cross my arms and fall backwards into a pool. When I’m completely submerged, I want to hold my knees so that I sink right to the bottom. And then I want to scream my lungs out.

© That Girl in the Fray, 2017. All rights reserved.

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Dear Chester

 

This is my second attempt at this. When I tried writing this before, I was so overwhelmed and out of words that this post turned out to be a mesh and I dumped it in my drafts folder until I could muster the strength to revisit it.

I don’t want to reiterate how amazing and talented Chester was and how much he influenced the world; that has been said before along with numerous things and I’m not going to get into any of it. Despite the title and the tags, this post is about me.

I’ve been depressed throughout most of my teenage and adult life. And as any book or movie about teenage depression will tell you, I have contemplated killing myself on numerous occasions. I remember the one time I even attempted it; I walked on the ledge of the roof of my house with my eyes closed, praying to God to kill me, because I was too chicken to do it myself. And I’m thankful I was.

The things that happened to me were neither too tragic nor too painful if you compare it to the sorrows enveloping the rest of the world. But they were too much for me to handle; they seemed like the end of the world to me and I just wanted the pain to end. The thing about depression is that it gives you a tunnel vision; your view of the world shrinks and it is as if you are in solitary confinement in a tiny cell, thinking you matter to no one and, in fact, the world would be a better place without you because no one cares. You start finding reasons why everyone hates you, adding to your own resentment and the million reasons you hate yourself. It’s a deep maze there seems to be no way out of. I’ve been there, stuck in the middle of it, with darkness engulfing every inch of my body while my screams drowned in the bottomless void of my soul. And I got out of it. It is this experience that has defined me for rest of my life, because I knew if I could come out of this hell, I could pretty much handle life.

Music helped me a lot. Numb by Linkin Park kept me alive and breathing. Every time I sang along to it, at the top of my voice, I felt my pain mattered. That I mattered. That I wasn’t alone in going through this. Iridescent got me through some horrible times as well, as I tried to hold on to hope and let go of my pain, failures and tears. As it did hundreds who swear by the band and its epicness. Leave Out All the Rest, In the End, What I’ve Done, Crawl and dozens of other songs defined a whole generation. It made us who we are.

The reason why I’m so broken by Chester’s death is that he died because of the same thing he saved me from. And no one could help him out of it, like he helped me. It is the irony of this twisted fate that brings me to the brink of tears every time I think about it. It’s wrong and it hurts.

Music and words helped me get out of my labyrinth and it has made me all the more strong. It has made me independent and suppressed my need to depend on other people in times when I’m going through things. Which has in turn improved my relationships because I’m not let down by them anymore; I have no expectations because I know I’m enough for me. I still feel a little unhinged at times and I’m still on the path of discovering who I am but I’m happy with where I am in life. All because I didn’t end my life on the ledge that day. I have a goal and I’m trying my best to work a path towards it, failing and flailing all along the way. I still get depressed at times, but I know how to pull myself out of it now.

If you think that you don’t matter, you are wrong. Talk to someone if you’re going through something that is too much for you to handle. Get help. Read as much as you can about people who are going through the same things. Meditate. Let go of the pain. Let it rebuild you from the core. Listening to music. Read books that speak to your soul. Paint. Dance. Sing. Do whatever that makes you feel alive. You don’t really need to care about the rest of the world. All you need to do is repair your soul, because you are made of the same cosmic dust that floats through the sun and stars.

You are the sun and stars.

You are strong enough.

I will miss Chester with all my heart. He saved my life and I will forever love him for it.

© That Girl in the Fray, 2017. All rights reserved.