BY ADA-MARIE GUTIERREZ
More than anything else, writing is my passion. But sometimes it hurts. And writing this hurts. But sometimes, we need to do things that hurt. We need to acknowledge the pain to move on to something better or to learn something about ourselves. I hope this is one of those times.
It’s not always sadness. Sometimes it’s just emptiness. It’s the lack of emotion. It’s blowing people off and cursing them out. It’s not feeling hurt when people ditch you. It’s forgetting to say I love you.
And it’s not even conscious choices. Being suicidal is not the always decision to die.
It’s the decision to stop trying to live.
It’s days in a row only eating when I can’t get out of it. It’s avoiding friends for weeks and purposefully missing their texts. It’s not doing homework and sometimes skipping school. It’s making bad decisions and knowing they’re the wrong decision and not caring. It’s lying about everything. It’s sleeping at 8 pm and not showering. It’s showing up somewhere twenty minutes late in sweats and a pullover.
But it can be far direr. It’s not looking before I cross the street. It’s picking up a knife and holding the open blade. It’s leaning too far off a roof. It’s falling down stairs without telling anyone. It’s playing with a lighter. It’s almost cutting off my hair. It’s seeing how much water I can breathe before I stop breathing. It’s inhaling gasoline fumes in the garage for hours.
And I want to be happy. I’m trying. But I can’t find it. Being lost from my happy place is so sapping.
It’s listening to music and hearing only the lies behind the lyrics. It’s creating things and wondering what the point is. It’s doing things I love and hating every second. It’s ruining things for myself.
But worst of all, it’s knowing I’m ruining something and not being able to stop.
And when I finally come back, my life is hell. Obsessive Me needs to step in and fix every single thing that Depressed Me ruined. I have to apologize to everyone I blew off. I have to make plans. I have to tell people I love them.
And I become hyper aware. I have to eat every meal. I have to answer my phone. I have to catch up on work. I almost fail to make decisions, because I’m afraid of making the bad ones. I make sure I’m telling the truth. I stay up until 11 and only then can I even begin to shower. I’m ridiculously early for everything and I dress like I have a uniform.
I triple check the crosswalks. I lock my knife and my lighter away in a box. I avoid high places. I step carefully down the stairs. I tie my hair up. I drink lots of water and plug my noise in showers. I gag at the intoxicating and toxic smell of gas.
I listen to happy songs and feel the song, not the emptiness. I prize everything I do with my hands. And I go back to doing things I love and loving them.
I obsess. And it works. Everything goes back to the way it was, and I watch every step I take.
And once it’s alright, Happy Me comes back. I have fun, I feel normal, and I enjoy even the most mundane tasks.
But then I stop watching myself. I get careless. I misstep.
So I definitely enjoy being happy.
Happy Me has a ton of fun. Happy Me has friends and makes things and has fun. Happy Me can enjoy life and gets good grades again. Happy Me is what many people call “normal.”
But at least one week a month, usually one and half (and sometimes as many as three), I can’t be happy. I am depressed and then obsessive and only after a few days of stability can I go back to being Happy Me.
And then one day something happens.
A lot of people make assumptions when I say I’m depressed. But most of them aren’t true for me. It’s hard for me to explain this whole cycle every time, and the little things I do that my friends can see sometimes are almost invisible. But it’s the little things that make the difference. It’s the little things that push me over.
And then it all starts over.