Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

“I feel too much. That’s what’s going on.’ ‘Do you think one can feel too much? Or just feel in the wrong ways?’ ‘My insides don’t match up with my outsides.’ ‘Do anyone’s insides and outsides match up?’ ‘I don’t know. I’m only me.’ ‘Maybe that’s what a person’s personality is: the difference between the inside and outside.’ ‘But it’s worse for me.’ ‘I wonder if everyone thinks it’s worse for him.’ ‘Probably. But it really is worse for me.”

― Jonathan Safran Foer

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The Morning After I Killed Myself

I woke up.

I made myself breakfast in bed. I added salt and pepper to my eggs and used my toast for a cheese and bacon sandwich. I squeezed a grapefruit into a juice glass. I scraped the ashes from the frying pan and rinsed the butter off the counter. I washed the dishes and folded the towels.

The morning after I killed myself, I fell in love. Not with the boy down the street or the middle school principal. Not with the everyday jogger or the grocer who always left the avocados out of the bag. I fell in love with my mother and the way she sat on the floor of my room holding each rock from my collection in her palms until they grew dark with sweat. I fell in love with my father down at the river as he placed my note into a bottle and sent it into the current. With my brother who once believed in unicorns but who now sat in his desk at school trying desperately to believe I still existed.

The morning after I killed myself, I walked the dog. I watched the way her tail twitched when a bird flew by or how her pace quickened at the sight of a cat. I saw the empty space in her eyes when she reached a stick and turned around to greet me so we could play catch but saw nothing but sky in my place. I stood by as strangers stroked her muzzle and she wilted beneath their touch like she did once for mine.

The morning after I killed myself, I went back to the neighbors’ yard where I left my footprints in concrete as a two-year-old and examined how they were already fading. I picked a few daylilies and pulled a few weeds and watched the elderly woman through her window as she read the paper with the news of my death. I saw her husband spit tobacco into the kitchen sink and bring her her daily medication.

The morning after I killed myself, I watched the sun come up. Each orange tree opened like a hand and the kid down the street pointed out a single red cloud to his mother.

The morning after I killed myself, I went back to that body in the morgue and tried to talk some sense into her. I told her about the avocados and the stepping stones, the river, and her parents. I told her about the sunsets and the dog and the beach.

The morning after I killed myself, I tried to unkill myself, but couldn’t finish what I started.

—Meggie Royer

Suicide-new

Depression

In a strange way, I had fallen in love with my depression. I loved it because it was all I had. I thought depression was the part of my character that made me worthwhile. I thought so little of myself, felt that I had such scant offerings to give to the world, that the one thing that justified my existence at all was my pain.

— Elizabeth Wurtze

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My Home Found A New Owner

He was the man I loved for so many years. He held up my universe inside his pocket and picked up the stars so he could light up my night. I wanted to believe that he loved me too. Because he said so, in whispers, in screams, in his sleep, in his songs, in his eyes. For so many years, I let him invade my heart. He let me love him in my own selfish ways. We have so many misunderstandings we took a few days to settle and solve. And we have past mistakes that came up whenever we argue. He barely understood my own language but he studied it so he could see which part of me was vulnerable to hold.

If we are going to talk about endings, then probably that thing has been overused and was scratched too hard I felt numb. We broke up and we got back again. We stopped yet we started again. We paused yet we decided to keep going.

Yet, all endings always had its own severe ending. The one that makes you realize that it won’t come back. The one that makes you ache for silence because you know he won’t reach out. The ending that we all fear.

But I tried to move out and tried new places, without him. Without his shadow. Without his smile and grips and his voice that calms me down. I tried moving out and started collecting scattered dust until I could have my new universe again. I searched for him in someone else’s eyes and voice. I looked for him in someone else’s skin and smell. But I realized he was the only one. He was one of a kind that no matter how many times he hurts me, I could still take it. No matter how many times he forced me to leave, I’d still run as fast as I could in his snap of wave and flash of a smile.

I realized he never holds my universe rather he became my universe. That every time I hear the words love and pain, his face will appear crystallized.

Yet he found his new world.
He found it in you.
Now that you’re with him, you got to understand that he’s unpredictable and changes so often. But as long you could stay, please do.

I might be the girl he had as his dreams form. I might be the girl he got to watch his all-time favorite movies and the first who heard the songs he wrote as he strummed his guitar. I might be his first love as what he called it but you’re with him now.

And you will have him in ways I could never have. I am now a part of the past that will one day be forgotten.

Yet here you are, the one he sees spending the future with and the rest of his life with. The woman he sees growing a family with and pajama cuddles and morning coffees and the hand he’ll hold while traveling the world. The woman he sees sharing the same water bottle and beer-stained kisses, and teases under blankets or the hair he’ll play in his finger and the head that rests upon his chest when you sleep.

And he still has me,
more like a memory,
a past,
a lesson,
a told story,
an ending example.

But he has you,
more like a dream,
a vision of wedding aisle,
a wedding dress,
a mother to his children,
a body he comes home for,
a rocking chair,
a future.

He looks at you
the same way

I see him.

So please,
take care of him.

-Mica Meñez 

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Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind

I took everything too seriously. I analyzed things to death. I turned every word, and the intonation of every word over in my mind trying to decide exactly what it meant, whether there was a subtext or an implied criticism. I tried to recall the expressions on people’s faces, how those expressions changed, what they meant, whether what they said and the look on their faces matched and were therefore genuine or whether it was a sham, the kind word touched by irony or sarcasm, the smile that means pity. That is what I would often be thinking and such thoughts ate away at the façade of self-confidence I was constantly raising and repairing.

― Alice Jamieson

writing

Today I’m Alice

“When the black thing was at its worst, when the illicit cocktails and the ten-mile runs stopped working, I would feel numb as if dead to the world. I moved unconsciously, with heavy limbs, like a zombie from a horror film. I felt a pain so fierce and persistent deep inside me, I was tempted to take the chopping knife in the kitchen and cut the black thing out. I would lie on my bed staring at the ceiling thinking about that knife and using all my limited powers of self-control to stop myself from going downstairs to get it.” 

~ Alice Jamieson

insomnia

 

A Luxury I Cannot Afford

“I’ve always envied people who sleep easily. Their brains must be cleaner, the floorboards of the skull well swept, all the little monsters closed up in a steamer trunk at the foot of the bed.” 

― David Benioff

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110+ Pain of Depression

1. “Depression is a battle between a body that fights with all its might to survive and a mind that wants to die.”

2. “People ask me what depression is like. I tell them it’s a lot like walking down a dark hallway, never really knowing when the light turn goes on.”

3. “Remember this: You weren’t put here to be depressed. To feel guilty, ashamed, unworthy or condemned. You were put here to be victorious.”

4. “I honestly don’t know what I want in life. I don’t even know what I want right now. All I know is that it hurts so much inside, and it’s eating me alive. One day, there won’t be anything left of me.”

5. “I honestly don’t like getting close to people. In my mind, they’re just going to walk out of my life anyway no matter how close we were.”

6. “Depression is an overwhelming feeling of numbness, and the endless desire for something – anything – to take you from one day to the next.”

7. “I smile to make everyone’s day, but the truth is that I’m crying on the inside.”

8. “I hate feeling like I’m here, but I’m really not; like someone cares, but they really don’t; like I belong anywhere but here.”

9. “Sometimes, you just need that one person to tell you that you aren’t as bad as you think you are.”

10. “Depression makes you feel like you want to just disappear from the world, but in reality, all you truly want is to be found.”

11. “I really wish that I could go back to a time when I would smile, and it didn’t take every fiber of my being to do it.”

12. “In my mind, depression is comparing your current reality to a fantasy about how you think your life should really be.”

13. “Sometimes, you just don’t know the true weight of what you’re carrying until the day you feel its release.”

14. “I just don’t want to hurt anymore. Is that so much to ask?”

15. “The very worst kind of sadness is the kind that doesn’t have an explanation.”

16. “When words can’t express the pain you’re feeling, you cry. That’s the heart’s way of expressing the pain.”

17. “You never want people to see you cry because you want to be strong. But you hate how nobody seems to notice that you’re completely broken and torn apart inside.”

18. “It’s hard to answer the question “what’s wrong?” when nothing is right.”

19. “Depression is that feeling when you’re not really sad – you just feel empty inside.”

20. “That’s the scary thing about depression: humans can survive just about anything as long as we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But depression is sneaky and it continues to build up each day. Ultimately, it becomes impossible to see the light. The fog is like being trapped in a cage without a key.”

31. “Depression is like drowning and you can see everyone around you breathing.”

32. “I’m really tired of feeling hopeless and worthless. But above everything else, I’m just tired of being so tired.”

33. “My fingers text “I’m good”. My lips say “I’m okay”. My heart says “I’m shattered to pieces”.”

34. “Sometimes it’s better to be alone. That way, no one can hurt me.”

35. “I already know what it feels like to give up. Now, I want to see what it feels like not to.”

36. “Don’t ever allow your loneliness and pain to drive you into the arms of someone you know you shouldn’t be with.”

37. “I really want to be happy, but there’s something inside me that screams “you don’t deserve it!””

38. “This life was given to you because you’re strong enough to live it.”

39. “Flowers always grow back – even if someone stomps on them. So will I.”

40. “She’s just like the moon – part of her has always hidden away.”

41. “Sometimes, the sadness makes it hard to breathe. It gets hard to talk about your demons when they’re sitting on your lungs.”

42. “Depression, panic attacks and anxiety are not signs of being weak. They are signs that a person has been too strong for too long.”

43. “I am my own worst enemy. I’m the one who beats me up. I am the one who creates the monsters. I am the one who strips away my own confidence.”

44. “The bravest, strongest thing I ever did was continue on with my life even though I wanted to die.”

45. “I am stronger because I had to be. I am smarter because I’ve made mistakes. I am happier because I’ve been sad. I am wiser now because I’ve learned.”

46. “Depression is almost like a reverse nightmare. Instead of waking up from a nightmare and feeling relieved, I woke up into a nightmare.”

47. “I keep things inside because that’s the safest place to hide.”

48. “They never told me that monsters don’t actually sleep under your bed; they live in your mind.”

49. “How did I go from being a happy, care-free, laughing six-year-old to this?”

50. “Depression has a way of sneaking up on me when I think I’m flying high. It clips my wing, but not both because I will not let it take over every single piece of me.”

51. “I’m only now just learning how to smile. It’s really not as easy as it sounds.”

52. “I’m heartbroken and sad. I’m hurt and depressed. All I want to do is cry, but I don’t want to let this ruin my life.”

53. “Pain is emotional. Depression and fear are always in company with chronic hurting.”

61. “I think it’s time to stop keeping track of all my mistakes, and just forgive myself.”

62. “I don’t mind being alone. It’s the loneliness that I hate.”

63. “I hate it when I get flashbacks of things I don’t want to remember.”

64. “Sometimes, this overwhelming feeling of sadness just washes over me out of nowhere. I get upset and I feel discouraged. I feel sad, hurt and hopeless. I feel numb to the world.”

65. “People always comment on how sad and tired I look. Of course, I look sad and tired. I am sad and tired.”

66. “Why does it always seem like it’s raining down on me?”

67. “I think I’m just afraid to be happy. Every time I get too happy, something bad happens.”

68. “This is my heart. Do you know where I can get it fixed?”

69. “Please stop asking if I’m okay. I’m really tired of lying.”

70. “Do you ever feel like the people of the world just forget you exist and still have feelings?”

71. “Someday, this pain will all make sense to you.”

72. “I’m pretty sure that no one else could ever criticize me as viciously as I criticize myself.”

73. “I feel like everyone else is busy living their lives while I’m stuck here inside of this hole I can’t climb out of.”

74. “My past is constantly haunting me, and I just can’t seem to figure out how to let it go.”

75. “I feel completely lost in my own mind. I bottle up my emotions until I burst. It’s a vicious cycle.”

76. “She could never really tell who would leave or stay, so she just pushed everyone away. It was much easier that way.”

77. “Although things may seem like they’re falling apart, they may actually be just falling into place.”

78. “Everyone is searching for that one person whose demons play nice with theirs.”

79. “The scars may have healed, but that doesn’t mean that the pain has.”

80. “To heal a wound, you have to stop touching it.”

81. “How do you run away from – escape – your own mind?”

82. “I can’t sleep at night. I can’t wake up in the morning either.”

83. “My life is a constant battle between wanting to be left alone, but not wanting to feel lonely.”

84. “When you’re depressed, sleep isn’t just sleeping; it’s an escape.”

85. “Sometimes, I’m really afraid to open up to my friends about my anxiety and sadness because they’ll think I’m just looking for attention.”

86. “Don’t think for a second that my bad days are a sign of weakness. Those are the days that I’m actually fighting the hardest.”

87. “I’ve reached a point where everything is incredibly overwhelming. Even the smallest of tasks make me feel like breaking down and crying my eyes out. It’s all just too much to bear right now.”

88. “I feel like, secretly, everyone around me hates me.”

89. “I always feel like everyone is prettier, funnier, skinnier, better than me.”

90. “Oh, there’s a hell. Trust me – I’ve been there.”

91. “You may smile, but you really want to cry. You may talk, but you really want to be silent. You pretend that you’re happy, but you really aren’t.”

92. “When you’re depressed, you just keep going and going until you finally crash and break down about anything and everything.”

93. “Depression is a kind of tired that no amount of sleep in the world can fix.”

94. “I’m really not sure if I’m depressed. I mean, I’m not really sad. But late at night when I’m alone, I just forget how to feel.”

95. “There are some days when I feel like I’m on top of the world. And then the next day, it’s falling down all around me.”

96. “I keep all the hurt and pain inside because I would rather have it destroy me than everyone else around me.”

97. “I think people really have a hard time understanding how stressful it can be to try and explain all the things going on in your head when you can’t even understand it yourself.”

98. “There are times when I feel like I’m getting better. I’ll eat normally. I’ll laugh more and talk more. I’ll sleep better. But then it’s like something happens – like a switch turns off in my mind. And all of sudden, I’m left with just the darkness of my mind.”

99. “You can’t change the things that are going on around you until you change the things that are going on within you.”

100. “I am just not me anymore. And that scares me.”

101. “I just never get my hopes up. That way, I can never be let down.”

102. “I’ve had people tell me that my depression is all in my head. But why would I ever want to feel this way?”

103. “When you feel like you’ve reached the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and keep holding on.”

104. “Sometimes, it’s the one person who tries to make everyone else happy that is the loneliest of all.”

105. “The strongest people in the world are not the ones who win battles in front of us, but the ones who win the battles we know nothing about.”

106. “You know that moment when you can physically feel the pain in your chest when something breaks your heart?”

107. “I think most people don’t realize that there are a lot of people out there who expend a tremendous amount of energy just trying to be normal.”

108. “I tend to be silent when I’m really screaming inside.”

109. “I knew who I was this morning, but since then, I’ve changed a few times.”

110. “Every person has their own secret sorrows that they hide from the world. Oftentimes, we call people cold when they’re just sad.”

111. “When I feel anxious, it’s because I’m living in the future. When I feel depressed, it’s because I’m still living in the past.”

112. “I’ve finally realized that I just have to accept things the way they are. Life gets much easier when you do this.”

113. “There are times when I just want to run away and see if anyone misses me.”

114. “I always compare myself to every person I see, and I lose every single time.”

115. “I know first-hand what it’s like to be completely terrified of your own mind.”

116. “Each day, you wake up just to fight the same demons that left you feeling utterly exhausted the day before.”

117. “Please – do not mock or poke fun at a pain that you’ve never personally endured.”

~via Awesoroo by David Gorkonel

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24/7

Some days, 24 hours is too much to stay put in, so I take the day hour by hour, moment by moment. I break the task, the challenge, the fear into small, bite-size pieces. I can handle a piece of fear, depression, anger, pain, sadness, loneliness, illness. I actually put my hands up to my face, one next to each eye, like blinders on a horse.

~Regina Brett

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Dim

That’s the word to describe everything that surrounds me these days. Let’s start with the weather. After it tricked the plants to sprout early and flowers to bloom outside the season, it decided to play a cruel joke of freezing them all back again. I wonder what spring will be like without the usual colorful arrays of the usual which signal the changes of season. Last year was bad enough when all of my spring flowers died before they even had a chance to open. I remember looking at my pergola laden from top to bottom with dead wisteria bloom. And my Hydrangea! I had to cut them to the ground, poor babies. Their leaves all turned brown after a few nights of freezing temperature. The last time I remember being this cold was 25- 30 years ago. It’s minus 17-21 degrees in the daytime for crying out loud. Could we still pretend global warming doesn’t exist?

And my fast declining health… that’s another dim prospect. Don’t worry I will not bore you with the details. Enough to say that between now and two years if it will not slow down I will be in a wheelchair. The only thing that keeps me standing still is sheer will. Most days I seriously considering to end it all because of unbearable pain. If I will not wake up one of these days preferably tomorrow, I will be grateful. That’s how bad it is.

And when your health is in jeopardy then everything is in question. It’s a snowball effect. A vicious circle. Your life as you know it will never be the same again. I’ve been through a lot from the moment I was born. Circumstances that most people will not even dare to imagine but I didn’t mind because I said to myself when the going gets tough that as long as I have myself and I’m more or less okay, I can crawl out from the deepest pit of hell and start all over again; which I did countless times but this time, how can I when I can’t even properly move. Not fair.

What else is dim in my life? 

I am still not on speaking terms with my daughter. My son, I didn’t hear for quite some time now. I refuse to talk to my best friend of more than 30 years despite her pleas to see me. She sent me letters and cards, there were phone calls too but I don’t want to saddle her with my troubles. In fact, I don’t want to see people these days. I am still not ready to show them my current status. I’m too proud. I rather they think that I’m a bad person than take pity from anyone. I’m crazy that way.

The only light in my fast becoming dark cold world is D. He goes out to work in freezing temperature without complaining even though he doesn’t have enough sleep most nights because of massaging me for hours. He shops food after work, clean the house on weekends and provide me within his means everything I need and a lot more. He said yes to everything I decided to do no matter how strange it may sounds, put up with my irks and quirks and look at me lovingly even though I must be a picture of a nightmare. Thank God for little mercies. Only I don’t believe in God. Not anymore. Without D, my universe will not be dim but dark. Pitch dark and I have no means and strength to crawl out.

They say life throws challenges and every challenge comes with rainbows and lights to conquer it. But then again they also say: 

All shadows of clouds the sun cannot hide
like the moon cannot stop oceanic tide;
but a hidden star can still be smiling
at night’s black spell on darkness, beguiling…

I think it’s enough for now. Till next time?

A woman participates in a candlelight vigil in support of women safety in Mumbai