Category Archives: Trigger Warning: Depression

Death was my “friend”

If you are reading this, then I hope Death was never your friend. That was one persuasive, enabling son of a bitch.

But damn, he used to be a “friend.” He was the bad influence “friend.” He was the one who always urged me to drive a little faster down winding canyons roads and a little closer to freeway dividers, to walk on the street-side of the sidewalk, to cross at the very last second, to jay-walk, to hold my breath just a little longer underwater, to swim a little farther out into the ocean, to run down steep stairs a little too quickly, to leave my inhaler at home, to drink just a little more.

He was always there in those moments, skeletal face in the barest of glimpses of my peripheral vision, ghostly whisper in my ear. And when I listened, he was there with a bony hand on my shoulder and frosty air on my neck. And if I obeyed even further, if I grasped sharp edges and pressed them to soft skin, then his cloak of shadows would threaten to envelop me oh so softly.

Death is dangerous. He was there when I wanted him most, and he was there when I didn’t want him at all. His presence was invasive, his whispers infiltrated every nook and cranny of my mind, and I was stuck in his grasp, and his shadows hid any escape route, and all I could see was Death and every single path leading towards him. At the time, it made sense to follow those dark roads.

But once I escaped his hold, I realized how close I was to falling into his realm, how near I was to saying goodbye to Life forever. And I hadn’t even met her yet.

So I turned around and walked away, even now I can’t help but glance back and see his inviting arms, but I push onwards in search of Life and her musical laughter and bright face and shining smile and scarf made of knitted flowers and leaves.

I am always one step behind her, and Death is always one step behind me. But like you should with any toxic “friend,” I cut him out of my life and do my best not to look back.

I cannot deny that he was there in my darkest of times, but for reasons far more sinister than solace and comfort (which is what it seemed like at the time). But Death is no longer a “friend” of mine, not that he ever really was.

I said goodbye to Death, and I hope not to say hello to that bastard for a long, long time.


When did it start?

It was just a bad day. It was just a bad week, a bad month, a bad phase. I would not let sadness pull me down, but before I knew it, where had the time gone, why did I not feel better, when did I lose so much weight, when did the dark bags form under my eyes, when was the last time I did not stay awake all night, when was the last time I did not feel so tired?

When did the depression start?

I cannot pinpoint the moment when I drew away from my friends, pushed them away, pushed everyone away, locked myself in my room, curtains closed, covers over my head, homework forgotten, school did not matter anyway when I was too tired to even think.

I cannot pinpoint the moment when I stopped caring about going outside and seeing the sky and doing my schoolwork and going to dance practice and seeing my friends and talking to my family, I cannot remember when I stopped caring about who I was and what I did and what I looked like and who I talked to and who missed me.

I cannot remember when I started to feel that maybe I was useless and worthless and unwanted and stupid and a bother and a burden, and I cannot remember when I started to believe my own head, and I cannot remember when I became so stuck in that negative head space that all I could believe was my mind’s own lies, and they weren’t really lies if I believed them, right?

And so I believed them and I internalized them, and I crumpled up any sense of self-confidence and I threw away any sense of self-worth and I destroyed any sense of self-value, and I truly hated myself, and I hated myself so much that I didn’t care, and I found that the worst hatred is really apathy. And I was so apathetic, I didn’t care.

But that was a lie because I did care because I wasn’t enough, and no matter what anyone told me at that time, I wasn’t enough, I didn’t deserve their words, I didn’t deserve anything, I didn’t deserve happiness or safety or stability or peace and quiet or anything at all except more darkness and more pain.

I remember when the darkness became too much and I needed more pain so I took sharp edges to skin and painted my own skin with my own life-giving ink and it was destructive and dangerous and stupid and I knew all of that even though I was so numb and uncaring but at least it made me feel something, anything, because I had forgotten how to feel, and the physical sensations of pain were better than nothing at all.

I remember when even the sensations of cold and hot and dull and sharp and pain were no longer enough, I needed more because I had nothing left, nothing in my heart, nothing to look forward to. But what is more when you are empty and everything around you is empty?

I remember when I started thinking of ending it all


I want a tattoo

Stranger: “It’s your birthday? What are you wishing for?”

Me: “I don’t know. Maybe to finally get the tattoo that I want?”

Stranger: “Oh, what tattoo do you want?”

Me: “An awareness ribbon with butterfly wings.”

Stranger: “I get the awareness ribbon, but why the butterfly wings?”

Me: “Butterfly wings usually represent rebirth, new life, change, and transformation.”

Stranger: “So, let me guess, you overcame some adversity?”

Me: “Something like that hahaha.”

I laughed it off because I had no desire to explain further. I did not want to explain that the awareness ribbon I wanted to get would be half-yellow and half-orange because those are the colors of self-harm awareness and suicide prevention. I did not want to explain the butterfly wings as representative of overcoming self-harm and surviving suicide.

“Adversity”? Accurate, but my god, what an understatement. I overcame years of severe depression. I have self-harm scars and mental scars (from all the thoughts of suicide plans).

I want this tattoo to remind myself of where I’ve been and of how far I’ve come. I want the world to see that I am one of so many survivors, and you would not think it just by looking at my face. I want a permanent mark on my skin that will last long after all those self-harm scars have faded.

I want a reminder to myself that my story still has a long way to go.


Nightmare-Dreamers

In the deepest, darkest recesses of your mind, do you have a dreamer? And I am not referring to the stereotypical dreamer, the dreamer that imagines happy futures and wonderful events and accomplished goals and an almost perfect world. No, I am talking about a nightmare-dreamer, the part of your mind that is hidden away at all times because it thinks only of nightmares, of terrible events that no one would ever wish on anyone. It is the part of your mind that wonders what it would be like to cut yourself, to have a sharp blade run across the skin of your wrist. It is the part of your mind that wonders what it would be like to starve yourself, to see your stomach concave because you can’t remember the last time you’ve eaten. It is the part of your mind that wonders what it would be like to break your knuckles and wrists from punching walls and smashing mirrors. It is the part of your mind that wonders how much it would hurt to get hit by a car (either by accident or by stepping into the street), to feel your broken body sliding across the asphalt. It is the part of your mind that wonders how terrifying your life would be if you got a fatal diagnosis of something, if you had to deal with impending death at any moment. It is the part of your mind that wonders how you would manage to drown yourself in your shower, how you would suffocate yourself in your pillow. It is the part of your mind that wonders if the feeling of flying as you jump off a building is worthy of being your last feeling ever, if the pain at impact will even register in your mind.

(It is the part of your mind that wonders what would happen if you stopped taking your asthma medication and stopped carrying your inhaler around, if it would be as bad as it was before the medication or even worse.)

It is the part of your mind that asks if anyone would care if any of those were to happen. It is the part of your mind that does not dare to hope that your loved ones will care for you if any of those were to happen. It is the part of your mind that wonders if your loved ones even love you at all (even though you know that they do).

This nightmare-dreamer is a terrifying thing. It’s not that you wish any of these on yourself or anyone else. It’s just that you wonder, in those hidden recesses of your mind. You wonder about these dark things when you lie in bed, staring at the ceiling at night. You try not to wonder too much at those times, though, because you worry you will spiral into an ever deeper part of your mind, a part that terrifies you to the point of a pounding heart and gasping breaths. No, you avoid thinking these things when you’re alone. Except that you don’t. When you have an idle moment, when you’re walking to and from somewhere, you find yourself imaging yet another terrible scenario- maybe a variation or even a continuation of an older one. And then you have to tell yourself to stop. Because you’ll be with people soon, and you can’t drift off into those dark places when you’re with people.

Except that you can. Even when you’re sitting in the same room as your loved ones, you can still clearly picture the darkness within your mind. (Even when you’re sitting next to a good friend, you can imagine showing him the still bleeding cuts on your wrists, calling her to tell her that you’ve been starving yourself and can’t stop, asking him if he has briefly considered suicide too.) And you have to wonder, is there something deeply wrong with you? Is it normal to imagine all these horrific things? It can’t be. Are you depressed then? No, that doesn’t fit. Are you crazy then? But you don’t actually do any of these things. And you haven’t experienced anything particularly traumatic, nothing that had the capability to break your mind (at least you don’t think so). So then what? Do you just continue imagining these things until they no longer worry you?

But they will always worry you. They will never stop. Maybe you need to be fixed. But how? And are you even broken? But you must be. Why else would you imagine all these things? And it’s just a spiral of questions and worries and nightmares that lead no where, and you wish you could just stop.

But that’s one of the hardest things. Stopping. You don’t know how to stop. You don’t even know how you started. Sometimes, you wish you could tell someone these things. But who? Do you tell your loved ones and have them worry about you all the time? They worry about you enough, and it’s not like you’re actually suicidal anyway. There’s no point in bothering them with even more of your problems, especially since you don’t think they could fix you even if they tried. So what do you do? What can you do? Your problem isn’t even that big. Your nightmares are not even actual issues. They exist, yes, but only in your mind. And so what if there’s darkness in your mind? There’s darkness in everyone’s mind. You just have to move past it, or at least let the light in the rest of your life push the darkness back more often.

But until the light in your life, no, until the dreamer that is in the light of your mind can conquer and squish/kill/delete the nightmare-dreamer out of existence, you’ll just have to deal with your darkness on your own. And that’s scary.

(But at least you have this blog to write on. Maybe someone out there can relate to you?)


Dark nights and Dark thoughts

Sometimes, when it’s nighttime and you have nothing to occupy your time, you get these dark thoughts. They rise from deep within your mind, unbidden, and you don’t know how to handle them. You don’t know where they’re from or how they came to being in the first place, but you know you have them and don’t know how to get rid of them. Because they shouldn’t be there. They have no reason to be there. They are too dark for you, too dark for anyone. They are unnecessary and unwanted and unneeded, and you just want them to go away. What is so terrible in your life to warrant them anyway? Nothing. You have had a good life, and you have a bright future ahead of you. You have friends and family and loved ones, and you know you’re precious to all of them. You don’t have depression or anything like that, and besides, these thoughts don’t even rise up on the days that were particularly terrible. No, they rise up when you’re even the slightest bit melancholy, and yet they don’t when you’re actually feeling terrible.  They don’t make sense, and you just want to stop thinking them. How many times do you have to wish that they’ll go away until they do?

Because you shouldn’t be wondering what it would be like to stop. To stop getting out of bed in the morning and just lie there and stare at the ceiling and wonder what you’re doing in life and cry brokenly. To stop trying so hard in school. To stop making an effort to be social all the time. To stop eating. To stop resisting. To stop everything.

And then you wonder what it would be like to start. To start letting the dark thoughts conquer you. To start acting on those thoughts. To start looking for a small silver blade that you can hide easily. To start holding that blade in your hand and testing its sharpness on your finger. To try sliding that blade across the skin of your upper thigh (where no one will ever see). To experiment with how much pressure you should apply to get the depth that you want. To start harming yourself. To start harming your loved ones around you (regardless of whether or not they know). To start doing the unthinkable. To start letting your blood flow from your skin willingly.

And then you pause because your thoughts are now too dark. How dare you think of harming yourself? You’re okay. You honestly are. You don’t need to harm yourself. You don’t need to harm those around you by harming yourself. You don’t need to scar your skin. You don’t need to do this. You are happy. You are living a happy life. You have no reason to do this. So you slowly begin to put those thoughts away. You crush them into pieces as much as you can and shove them away into a box. You lock the box and hide it as far away in your mind as possible. You know that won’t actually do anything, that those thoughts won’t just disappear.

But that’s the best that you can do, so that’s what you do. And then you hope that you won’t get these dark thoughts ever again (a futile hope, but an existent hope nonetheless). And that’s that. You stop punishing yourself (for now) and try to have more of a presence with your friends (because you’re with them right now, and just, what are you doing?).

And they are here, and you want to be with them and involved with them and as happy as them. Because they’re happy, right? And oh my goodness, so are you. So stop.

Be happy. Live.

And don’t you dare ever act on those dark thoughts. Because no one ever should. And don’t think further either. Because no one ever should. No one should ever get even a little close to dying from brokenness. And I’m not broken. I’m not.


Dark thoughts and Darker desires

You don’t know what to do anymore. You have absolutely no clue. You started self-harming in an attempt to cope with the pain, but at best, it only provides a brief respite…and at worst, it makes you feel even more terrible than you did before. You told your best friend, but you and he both know that he doesn’t have the power to make all this darkness within you go away (even though you both wish he did). You agreed to go to a depression screening with a counselor, but there’s still some time before that. What do you do until then?

What do you do since you didn’t tell your best friend the whole truth?

Oh, you haven’t lied. You could never do that. But you didn’t tell him everything. You told him almost everything, but you kept the darkest part of you to yourself. Because you’re scared. You’re scared of that dark part. You’re scared of pushing him away because you’re too much. You’re scared that if your best friend leaves you (and he’s the only one knows), then you won’t be able to hide away that dark part anymore. And you’re absolutely terrified of that.

Because it’s darker than self-harm. As if that wasn’t bad enough. (As if scratching patterns onto your skin wasn’t bad enough. As if wanting to do it all the time wasn’t enough). You have to think even darker.

And you almost can’t put it into words because it’s so dark. (What if you threw yourself into the path of a moving vehicle? What if you suffocated yourself in your pillow at night? What if you slit your wrists in the shower?)

You don’t know if there’s anything scarier than the fact that you have these thoughts. But then you realize, that there is. There is something. That something is the fact that you have a detailed plan on how you would do it. How would you just stop everything. At your lowest of low moments, you sit there and you go through your plan. And every time there is a seed of doubt (but what about your family? what about your friends? your loved ones? your best friend? your boyfriend? your roommates?), you push it away. You ignore the knowledge of how much your loved ones love you. But it’s an ongoing struggle in your mind, and so far, that lighter part of you (the part that knows what it feels like to be happy and loved) has been able to beat away the darkness.

Except what happens when it takes longer to beat away that dark part? What happens when you open your drawer and stare at the objects you would use to do it?

And then you shake yourself out of it. You are going to be okay. You will be okay. You don’t know how long it will take. But you’ll be okay. So stop. Don’t do it. Don’t reach for any of those objects. Reach for your phone. Text a hotline. Call one. Call your best friend.

Please. Just do it.


Where do you go?

Sometimes, without meaning to, you zone out of the world you’re currently in and drift off to another one. Sometimes, you do this when you’re friends, and they usually don’t notice. But you wonder, if they did notice, what would they think? Where do they think you go? Where do you go?

It depends, really. Some days, you just daydream. You imagine a perfect day or an amazing future. You imagine stories set in distant, magical lands with dragons and  wizards. You imagine living the double life of a normal person by day and a superhero by night. You know, happy things. Fun things. But other days, it’s not daydreaming. Other days, it’s nightmare-dreaming. And these other days are becoming more and more frequent.

You think about going back to your room, alone, to find a sharp object and trace patterns on your skin. You think about jumping in front of a moving vehicle and waking up in a hospital. You think about writing farewell letters and ending everything. It’s these thoughts, these nightmares, that are darker than anything you could imagine otherwise.

On these other days, you don’t go into the land of magic and fantasy. Oh no, you go into the land of knives and blood and pain and death. You go into the land of goodbye and I’m sorry and it just hurts too much. You go into a deep dark place that you may or may not come out of again.

But you think, if you go into that place when you’re with your friends, then it’s not too bad. Because either they’ll bring you back to reality or you’ll realize yourself that they’re there. But when you’re alone? And you go there? That’s the scary part.

Because you only have yourself. And you have to pull yourself out of that dark place. And it’s not easy finding the motivation and willpower to do that. But you can do it. You can leave that place. You can stop going to that place. It won’t be easy (nothing important ever is), but it’s doable. You have to try.

So try. Please.