I was going through more files, and found another old one that seems worth talking about. This one I remember. This is something that I wrote during college after my next door neighbor jumped out of her 7th story window and died. I know that was a really abrupt intro, and I’m sorry, but there is something about death that makes it difficult to justify small talk.
The silence is deafening. She wasn’t in this class. I’m not sure if these people actually knew her, but it is still quiet. Like her voice echoed through the halls. Like it was her heartbeat that kept the people alive. She was never in this room with us, but she is missing. We know it. We feel it.
This was a very difficult time for me. I have had depression for the bulk of my life, so it has been very difficult to recognize what is “normal” in many situations. I don’t have a “before depression” period to look back on for comparison. Consequently, when I come into rough patches, like active suicidal thoughts, my perspective is markedly different than most people’s. Or it was; I’ve been in process for several years now, and I’m closer to normal than I have ever been before.
Now, in the aforementioned instance, my previous experience with suicide was all theoretical- I was considering it, and I was surrounded by pain, low self-esteem, my failures, and more isolating factors that kept me from connecting with others… at all. So, the viewpoint from within my festering, stagnant pool of insight was: “If I die, no one will even notice, and everyone will just be subtly happier as a result of my absence, but they won’t even realize why.” As I just mentioned, I did not have meaningful social connections, so there was absolutely no contradictory evidence. I wasn’t “selfish.”
I was alone. Terribly, anguishingly alone.
But I digress. We were going to talk about my neighbor. I don’t know her name, honestly. Living in a depression-based stupor does not permit time for socializing. It doesn’t provide time for survival, even. I just fought to get up, to bathe fairly often, to use hygiene products, to put on clean clothes, to eat more than once a day, to go to class, and if I was really feeling energetic on a given day- to do a little homework. And then I fought through that again. And again. And again in a horrible drudging war of attrition against the minimal requirements placed in my life.
I was not her friend. I never learned her name. I only shared the left wall of my dorm room with her. So, when they brought up counselors and stuff for my floor, I didn’t talk to them. I wasn’t mourning, not really. How can you lose something that you never had?
I’m sorry guys. I need a break.