I Didn't

April 10, 2011
I hate “emo” jokes. Well, really, I don’t even like that word. I once read somewhere that “Depression and suicide are not emo or teen issues -- they are simply people issues.” I guess that quote wouldn’t even mean anything if that moment had never occurred.

She said she had no words to describe her reasons. “Don’t ask me why,” she said.

So I didn’t.

She told me she doesn’t understand why depression and addiction are seen as two different things. Even when she was having a good day, a little event could make her come close to crying. The following day, there would be three more cuts on her arm.

As she spoke, I had to bite my tongue to keep from bursting into tears. I felt the sting of the blade as if the pain were my own. I wanted to shake her, so scream in her face, “It’s not over!”

But I didn’t.

Eventually, reasons started to spill out. Loneliness was part of the problem. No matter who she was with, somehow she always ended up excluded and ignored. Always. Even her friends forgot about her.

But I didn’t.

Fear played a role, too, though it seemed to me that it was a consequence rather than a catalyst. As simple as being scared of wearing short-sleeved shirts, yet as complex as being terrified of not being… perfect. She always remembered her tiniest mistakes. She thought that death would be the only way to forget.

But I didn’t.

I asked her if there was someone at church she could talk to. She laughed. Her church, as she had mentioned before, was the popular kids’ hangout. She had three or four friends there, but they often chose to sleep in on Sunday mornings. She didn’t want to talk about that anymore.

So we didn’t.

Now, I will never again laugh at a suicide joke. I used to, but after that moment…

I didn’t.

Every time I saw her, I asked how she was doing. Eventually, she seemed genuinely happy. She said she still thought about the pain every day, though. I like to think I helped. Even though I meant to tell someone about it – I didn’t – I think just talking through it helped her.

We don’t talk anymore. I often think about calling and asking how she’s doing.

But I don’t.

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massacre said...
Apr. 18, 2011 at 9:01 am
Thanks for writing this... It's something that happens a lot... and I agree with you. I hate "Emo" jokes too. And the last two lines, that's reality. Eventually, you do all that you can and you just need to let go.
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