It’s been awhile since I’ve last wrote. I’ve been struggling, quite a bit. I’m not sure what started this all, maybe its because it’s almost been 2 years, maybe it’s because it’s still so raw to me, like it happened just yesterday.
I realized and I continue to tell myself, I don’t need an explanation of why I feel a certain way. I don’t know need a reason. No one knows what I’ve been going through, no one can understand my struggle.
I’m broken. I will always be. My heart is completely different. I used to care so much about what others truly thought of me, my appearance, my life, my values and habits. That doesn’t matter to me anymore. Only a few things truly do.
My dreams never seem to stop. I always dream about you Austin. It’s so hard. I had a dream months ago, that I want to share. Austin and I were outside, and he was walking in front of me. He was carrying some girl on his shoulders. He started walking into a lake, I screamed and asked what he was doing. He was fully submerged, but the girl he was carrying on his shoulders was fine. She was smiling and acting normal.
Then I heard his voice. He told me he had put on a fake face for everyone; for us, for you, for me.
He was so deeply in pain and miserable, but no one saw. It was a metaphor. The girl on his shoulders was him pretending to be happy, but when you looked underneath the water there was Austin struggling to breath, struggling to live. No one knew. He was my own brother and I never knew he felt that way. I knew had serious depression, serious anxiety. He hated being social, and was a loner like me. Maybe my mind wouldn’t allow me to think about him taking his own life, maybe I blocked it out because I didn’t think it would ever happen. Well, I was wrong.
I had reached that point before, well almost. I was starting 8th grade. I had had brain surgery a year earlier, I had a chunk of my hair missing from the operation. My parents just went through horrific divorce. Kids were mean to me at school, I was being teased. The guy I had a crush on didn’t like me. I was overweight. I had thought about doing something to myself, and I was really lost. I was fortunate enough to have sports, basketball was always one of my biggest stress relievers. If I was upset, angry, happy or whatever emotion I could be I would always go play and become ok again.
Everyone goes through a hard time in their life, if not multiple occasions. I get it. Life isn’t easy. How we survive is what makes us who we are. That was one of Austin’s favorite quotes, and it’s tattooed on my back. I’m surviving – dangling by a string, going through the motions, pretending this isn’t my life.
This last week was extremely rough for me. I didn’t want to live. I felt that way, the instant I found out Austin wasn’t alive. I felt that way months after he was gone. That slowly went away. And now its back.
I’ve been watching a show on Netflix, and I suggest everyone watches it. It’s called 13 Reasons Why. It’s about a girl who commits suicide in high school due to bullying, not fitting in, having no friends and depression. I thought it would be hard for me to watch this, but it’s been really eye opening.
My brother was bullied so badly, and his high school did NOTHING about it. Having a mental illness was never on anyone’s radar. Depression or anxiety was never talked about or addressed. It was something people avoided, like a plague that would spread.
13 Reasons Why actually shows the affects bullying has on someone, and how things can get turned and twisted so easily. It shows how awful it is to feel alone, to not have any friends and to be isolated. Kids are mean. People are mean. I never understood why you would make fun of someone, or bully them. This world can be a very dark place. Why when you reach a certain point, nothing helps. I’ve realized that no matter how many therapists, how much medication you take, how many friends and family reach out to you – that this is your struggle and only you can help yourself.
Human beings thrive on praise, acknowledgement, and interaction. Even if you want to be alone the rest of your life, you need human contact with others to survive. If I could I would live alone with Rufus, and not interact with anyone else. I could tell myself I would be content, but I couldn’t survive that way. No one could.
Once you reach that place, everything is black. You don’t want to interact with anyone, not even the people who you truly love and who are closet to you. That doesn’t matter, nothing does. Words are just words. People are just people. Life is just life.
This last week, I was at one of my lowest points I’ve ever been in my whole life. I didn’t eat, I didn’t talk, I just slept. I went to work, came home and crawled in bed. I couldn’t think about anything but Austin. About how he felt. How alone he was, how isolated and sad he was. How miserable each day was and how people around didn’t even notice. People just went on, self absorbed and detached from other’s.
I’ve never felt more detached and disconnected from the world this past week. I understand finally, Austin. I maybe didn’t understand to the extent of your pain, but I got a glimpse of it and it’s hell. I always revert back to a Twilight move quote, “Death is easy, life is harder.” Austin knew this.
In 13 Reasons Why, people assumed if you ask someone to “talk about it” everything will be ok. Austin talked to numerous people. Numerous therapists, friends, family and it didn’t help him. That’s another stereotype. If someone is depressed, you should “talk about it.” Talking can help to a certain extent, but it doesn’t heal the wounds.
You can talk to someone till they are blue in the face, and they may never understand how you actually feel. Why are people so scared to talk about suicide? They don’t know unless they walk in your shoes, unless they live your life. No one can understand your own personal pain but you. I’ve been to therapists, yet I still am struggling. It’s a constant battle.
That’s a big thing I struggle with. Our society. How twisted and unrealistic it is. How people can live in this bubble and pretend everything’s ok. When someone asks you if you’re okay, do you just say yes? What if you’re not ok? I’m not ok. I haven’t been ok for a long time. Why should I lie? I’m miserable. I lost my brother to suicide and I’m not ok. That is my answer.
The next time I’m feeling down, and someone asks me if “I’m ok” that’s going to be my response. Whether a friend or family member asks me, or a stranger on the street. People don’t like talking about it. If someone asks if you’re ok, it’s not usually genuine. It’s the stigmatism. They are just asking you because they feel obligated to do so. Majority of them don’t care about your personal struggles, and just are asking because its the “right thing to do.” Even if you lie and say I’m fine, that person usually drops the subject.
I always asked Austin if he was ok, and he would just say yes and then I would move on. I would never push past that stupid question, and I wouldn’t try to pry. Maybe I should have. Then again I will never know. I sound bitter, and that’s because I am. My life has changed forever, and I’m realizing how hard the rest of my life is going to be. It’s a hard pill to swallow, one I have to everyday. Sorry this was a dark post, but not everything is always rainbows and sunshines.
That’s all for now.
- So it goes.