I’ve been sitting on this for the past few weeks, just mentally outlining how to write this while not making myself look like I’m exploiting a tragedy to push my own agenda or look more uneducated than I already am.
I want to talk about depression.
Now to repeat, I do not know everything about this subject. I don’t have the answer to what exactly depression is, nor how to solve it. This is just my experience with dealing with anxiety and depression and how I describe it as being a monster sitting on my chest.
Growing up, I was an asshole. And I know people say that a lot about themselves when they were kids, but I’m not going to lie to anybody; I was an asshole. Making fun of others, getting into fights, taking advantage of others, doing stupid shit just to get my way, etc. I had a big bunch of friends. Not to say I was Mr. Popular, no. But it was big ans I had a lot.
Then, I repeated my freshman year of High School.
I wasn’t the best student then, nor am I one now. Back then, I just lazed around watching whatever and magically expecting good grades to pop up in front of me. Well, the most obvious thing to happen did happen and I flunked First Year High School. I was being delayed a year while the rest of my batch moved up to Sophomore Year. You could say this was karma coming back to bite me, and boy did it sink its teeth in. No more bragging rights, no more ego, no more horseshit. And most of all, no more friends. Just about everyone left me in the dirt save for one or two, and even they would turn out to be too busy to give me the time of day.
This was the birth of the monster. A little infant, barely noticeable but it was there.
Being back to Square 1, I couldn’t handle being humbled the way I was. So what did I do? I turned my grief into anger. Anger at the world. The world screwed me, and it owed me. I developed trust issues. I pushed everyone away, even those who just wanted to extend an arm or a hand of friendship. “I don’t need people,” I’d say, “They’ll just leave me behind the minute I stumble. They’re just like everyone else.”
That little monster? He’s grown a little, and keeps growing.
As the weeks, months, and years went by and I climbed my way through High School, I developed a small group of, who I would describe as “acquaintances”. I didn’t want to call them friends, I hated the title. Because I gave it to people who blew me off when I was at my lowest. I developed social anxiety, becoming uncomfortable around groups of people. I grew accustomed to isolating myself from people, which has led to my being an introvert. Something that I do enjoy, but wish it didn’t start from such an awful place. Forward to my first year in college. The environment had changed, but the victim mentality I had didn’t. The world still owed me, everyone is out to get me, and I’m fighting phantoms and assumptions.
This monster had bloomed. It was a full-bore abomination now. Constricting my senses, making me comfortable with living in a constant state of paranoia and bombarding sadness. A Hell of my own making.
“There are people around you who care!” I don’t see it, because this monster has tunneled my vision, making me see those who sneer at me.
“Talk to someone!” I can’t speak, because this monster has his hand around my neck, rendering me speechless.
“Listen to those who love you!” I can’t hear them. All I hear is a monster, whispering in my ear. Telling me I’m nothing special, that no one really needs me. That they’d be better off without me and that I should kill myself, then saying that no one would miss me when I’m dead.
24 years on this Earth, about a decade-plus of dealing with this monster, I’ve come to learn something about the other side of the coin. The people who call it “selfish”: They’re right.
I know it may come as a surprise after all I’ve typed on here, but it’s true. It’s a selfish and inconsiderate thing to do. Because there are people who care. Human beings aren’t mind readers, most of them can’t just take one look at a depressed person who’s hiding the fact and immediately figure out what’s wrong. They need to be clued in. I’ve had 3 people in my life commit suicide (Will not be named). Every time I think about them I think to myself, “How could I have not figured it out?”, “What could I have done to save them?”
A lot of times I hear the “selfish” argument from people who have lost family and/or friends to suicide. And it’s an argument that isn’t made from ignorance, it’s because they’re grieving. They’re grieving and mostly mad at themselves for not being able to read their deceased loved one’s mind and seeing the problem that killed them. This is why, no matter how much I want to end it all when I’m in the pit, I don’t. Because I think about my parents, my relatives. Or at most my friends, few in number as they may be.
Then I soldier on, monster and all. It’s a hard thing to live for the sake of others.
I’m not trying to invalidate the reasons a person may have for wanting the permanent solution, I’m just pointing out my mindset about the topic and that there is a point on both sides. Yeah, anxiety and depression sucks. And no one wants them nor to feel either of them. But I’ve also learned that not everyone who is on the other side of the fence and claims it as selfish is an automatic ignoramus. They’re probably dealing with their own struggle too and may need the open ear of a friend or a compassionate stranger just as much.
For a list of suicide hotlines all over the world, visit: International Suicide Hotlines