Those Holes We Dig

It’s not like we mean to dig ourselves a hole. And it’s not like they tell us to. But we’re teens, and teens are different. We’re crazy, insane, unpredictable, and everything means something, everything is significant. It’s like we have tools. That’s why there are more depressed teens than adults.
They don’t tell you to dig, really, the happy world. But they hand you a shovel and say “Go crazy.” So you do what people generally do with shovels. You dig. And dig. And dig. And it never stops. There comes a point when you’re so far in this hole you’ve dug for yourself that you can’t get out, that you’re in too deep, and it’s cold, and it’s dark, and you’re all alone, and there’s nothing to talk to but yourself. And you’re scared and you start doubting everything because you’re trapped and it feels like you’re going to die, and you wonder how you can possibly go on for another day. Your family’s at the edge of the hole, peering down at you with puzzled expressions, but not the slightest idea that you could be down there. To them, it’s just another hole; meanwhile, they wonder where their daughter, sister, friend has gone to.
And then you’re angry at yourself because it’s all your fault. First you took the shovel. Then you started digging. And you were never any good anyway. You’ve always been stupid, always been lazy and fat and moronic. But now you’re in this hole and you just realized it, so now everything is so much clearer. You’re so used to the darkness that you can see things in such shadow that nobody else could ever see. You’re eyes have adjusted. And sometimes you don’t even notice the cold anymore, and you convince yourself that it’s better alone, that you didn’t ever like anyone anyway, that they would just betray you in the end. So you keep digging, because you have the shovel, and you want to get as far away from the rest of the world as possible. But you don’t understand, part of you, way deep down, why you hurt so bad.
I speak from experience. Believe me when I say that I have had my shovel, that I have dug my hole. I’ve been there. And I still remember those terrible words as they escaped my mouth in a dry panic, when I called to my mother to throw down a ladder. And I still remember the pain, the sorrow, the dark, dark days that followed that. Nothing had changed, it seemed. Only now everyone knew that I was a freak. So it was even worse.
Suffice it to say that, after several months and a lot of pain, hugs, and renewed friendships, I found myself standing at the edge of the hole, peering in to see how far I’ve come.
It’s a long fall down, and even today I am standing at the edge of that hole, on the brink. And now that I am above my hole, I am seeing them all over, dots in the landscape that lead to nowhere. I see boys whose heads are still above ground, girls who are in holes even deeper and darker than mine. I see people in every stage of digging, all stages of pain, of torment, every age, race, gender, height, girth. They’re all there, digging themselves holes.
And I still have my shovel.
So it is with tentative steps and a firm grip that I find my way over to the nearest hole and, as the woman beside me digs, I take up my shovel, and begin to fill that hole in.
So maybe the fall won’t kill her.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback