I want to thank you for your time, your comfort, your peace, for you have saved me from my demons. When I struggled with my depression and anxiety, I always knew I had you to count on. When I couldn’t get the conflicting thoughts of ending my life out of my head I would turn to you. My depression suffocated me; it filled me with a certain type of darkness that I didn’t know existed. All depression is different, depending on the person, and mine took control over my whole body. My depression told me to die when I was at my happiest; to be sad when I was surrounded by positivity. It drained me of all my energy when I had no reason to be tired. My anxiety taunted me; it repeated the same stressful situations over and over again. When they both worked together they became my demons, and the only way to escape was to hide with you.
Depression and anxiety were the monsters inside of me; things I had to battle every day, trying to live and continue towards the next day. My depression controls everything, it started all the painful thoughts and brought them all together as one. My anxiety may have been the most painful part about it because anxiety is confusing and so strong. I would become stressed about one thing, but my anxiety will amplify it and make me anxious about things that don’t exist.
Sitting in the four walls of my dark room, shaking, I tried to get the painful, confusing thoughts out of my body. As I sat there, not understanding why I was happy one second and sad the next, I heard my mom knocking on the door. I didn’t care to hear her yell; I knew she couldn’t help me. I was with you at the time, silence, and you were all I needed. You were my best friend, the only one who truly understood what I was going through. My mom and I have always had such a strong relationship, she has always had such a strong understanding of the space I needed. She has seen me at my darkest times; she has seen me in a way no one else has seen me; she has seen me broken, she has seen me weak. I was so vulnerable, but you nurtured me. But, sometimes you wouldn’t be there when I needed you, when the thoughts were too strong to fight, when my body was killing me from the inside out, you couldn’t find your way to me. My depression destroyed me. It was like a voice saying, “You’re not good enough; you’re not wanted; you have no purpose.”
I’ve heard some people say silence is filled with emptiness and sadness, but you provided me with answers. I would lie with you late at night and ask you questions like, “Why me?” and you would always respond with, “You’re not alone.” And in that moment, I wasn’t alone, because you were right there next to me.
Do you remember that time when I lost myself completely? When my fragile; body, full of emptiness and sorrow, was standing outside my bathroom door hugging my mom? Do you remember when she asked me, “What can I do to help you?” and I simply replied with, “Kill me, just kill me.” Where were you when I was this broken? Why did you let me do such a selfish act of telling my mother to kill me, which ultimately destroyed her? I could see the look in her eyes when I said those words; after hearing her daughter saying that, she was immediately broken. You weren’t there until after, when I collapsed on the shower floor, soaking wet and hyperventilating because I was crying so hard. Why was it that you would always come after the storm after I lost myself?
I depended on you; I needed you, but I knew I could only have you after I fought the demons. You knew I was capable of breaking through. It brings me back to that time on November 5, 2016, where I reached my lowest point. When I was desperately calling your name to tell me to stop myself from going past that twentieth pill. You weren’t there to help me stop taking them; I did that all on my own. I took one pill, then five at a time until I reached twenty. I knew to stop when I felt my body getting weak when I could no longer stand because I was light headed. At that moment, I knew I did not want to die, but it may have already been too late. I just needed a break from life; everything was becoming so stressful and I needed it all to stop.
Attempting suicide felt like it was the only answer.
My dad had to go to work, so his girlfriend took the initiative of bringing me to the hospital and my mother met us there. When I arrived at the emergency room they told my mom that the best decision would be to admit me for a week, and my mother and I agreed that would be for the best. My mother and I slept in the psych ward together; in a very plain room with no windows and plastic beds, from three o’clock in the morning to one o’clock in the afternoon. When they took me out of the room they put me on a stretcher and transported me by ambulance to Westchester Psych Ward, and my mom had met me there. As soon as they admitted me, they decided to immediately prescribe me Prozac.
That week in the hospital was an eye-opener. I knew right away I didn’t belong there, even the doctors told me so. It was clear I wasn’t like the other patients, I wasn’t there cause I wanted to die; I was there cause I was confused and wanted the pain to stop. When all the patients would go outside everyone would sit outside and enjoy the nice air, while I would play basketball an escape I had that most of them did not. When it was Wednesday, my third day there, I was woken by the girl screaming, threatening to kill herself. I knew that I wasn’t meant to be there because I never threatened anyone with my suicidal thoughts, except for myself. I remember looking at the white tiled wall, talking to you about how I needed to get better, how I needed to strengthen my mental health. But, I didn’t need you. I lived, and during my recovery, I realized you were always going to be a part of me because, in reality, you were always my own thoughts.
It was my senior year of high school when I finally realized the only person that can help me and fight my monsters is myself. High school tore me down, I lost who I was and it wasn’t until I graduated that I found out my true strength. I use to be filled with joy, a girl that when she felt happy was truly happy. As high school went on that part of me was slowly slipping away; my thoughts were conflicted. To everyone else, I portrayed this happy person, but internally I was numb. I needed to know that this fight wouldn’t be that hard for my entire life. I needed to know that my demons would become weaker and I would become stronger. I needed to know that they would not take over my body for the rest of my life and that I could take control. I used to ask myself, “Do I live or do I die? Do I give up and let the demons win while I forfeit? Or do I try to gain happiness and see what amazing things I can do for myself and for the rest of the world?”
When I graduated, I realized I already knew my answer. I chose hope. If I die I lose everything, all the potential I know I have. If there is anyone out there who knows me best it is you, silence, and I know that me and you both know there is happiness inside me that deserves to see the light. Not many people have to fight for their life, but I do. I do it every day. My demons tell me to quit, that it is easier to die but, I am stronger than that. I was a stronger person when I graduated; I was happier and more full of life, this is when I decided I found myself.
When I put that cap and gown on, less than half a year ago, I knew I made it to that point on my own. When the principal called my name, I knew I had strength. Through all the obstacles I faced, I still received that diploma. But, it wasn’t you who got me there. It was me. You were a friend when I needed one, but only to reflect on the hard times in life. You didn’t fight my battles; you provided support and someone to be there when I couldn’t stop the tears.
I guess what I am trying to say to you is I don’t need you anymore. I don’t mind visiting you late at night and reflecting on my day when I feel lost. Lost from myself and lost from society. But I know that you are not what saves me; I save me.
I have to say goodbye now. I am on to a new chapter, and I have to do this one without you. Thank you for being there when I was numb when I couldn’t breathe. But now I know how to calm myself down in certain situations where I am falling apart. I hope you understand and will be there when I call for a friend during my lonely hour at night, but for now, you are in the past. This is my new beginning, where I say goodbye to what broke me, and create a new, stronger version of myself. Goodbye, silence.