TEDx: Depression, The Secret We Share


http://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_solomon_depression_the_secret_we_share?language=en

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All Blind


                I focus on the traffic lights. I can see easily which one is lit, my light perception was never damaged in the accident or the accidents after it or whatever I am allowed to call them nowadays, but paying attention is sometimes a problem. Sometimes I get confused. I ask why is everyone still moving?

                People move a lot.

                The worst is being the first car in line, when I’m supposed to be the first to go. I try to depend on the cars going the other way to slow down first, but even they don’t help much. Always one guy runs it and I get scared. And then there’s right-turn lanes. Fuck those up the ass.

                That is everything I am. Right now. Scared to go first. Scared to be alone. To have no one to get me out. I am the only one in the car now.

In theory, I suppose I could call my brother or my dad or even my best friend and someone wouldn’t hesitate to talk me through the whole drive from DC to Cocoa Beach. Take an Adderall and suffer through for me. Took all this mess of a business for them to realize they owe me one just one little favor- to help me find a whole new life. All I ask nowadays.

                My mother’s depression was always a very grey area for my family. Very grey. I was colorblind to it more than anything I had ever seen with my own eyes. I think Zayne being born was what set it all in a fast downward slope. Some sort of PTSD mothering thing. There’s a name for it somewhere. She lost herself. Drank. Picked up smoking. The pills. The men that weren’t Daddy.

Even dead and gone, I still don’t know what happened to her. I guess in a way, it kinda sits in me that I can die one day now and ask her why. That could make sense.

Right?

I think I really lost sympathy for her when Zayne turned three and I’d been illegally employed by a family friend since I was thirteen. She hadn’t hugged me since he was six months old. I’d been contemplating whether that bothered me or not.

                She caused the accidents, but I never really told people that. I didn’t want to believe it. I wanted her to be sick so bad. For her to not be in control of it. I would’ve given anything. She would go crazy, on medicated rampages, and Zayne and I would have to leave the house for days and hide in her friend’s spare bedroom until she cooled off and accused us of running away. Not like she had called the cops. I’m still contemplating if I ever wanted her to.

                But one of the accidents is the reason I went colorblind. And I went colorblind and now I’m afraid to drive. I’m afraid, period.

                When I was six, I had been doing dishes and standing on a kitchen chair. It was the last year Daddy lived with us.

My mom came home spitting mad after gambling (AKA losing), her clothes thrown up on and ripped and rumpled, and I could smell her from where she stood. I knew from that second nothing would go well that day.

My dad stood, said hello as if nothing had ever taken place and she looked positively lovely. She told him to piss off.

I forget all of what happened in the next few minutes, but I do know my mother shattered one of the glasses in the sink so hard that shards flew into my corneas. It’s a miracle I didn’t bleed to death just from that, a doctor had told me. Damage to my retinas or whatever they were was irreparable. I was lucky I wasn’t blind.

I don’t ever call it lucky. I call that God made a mistake in letting the condom break. I’m contemplating forgiving Him.

I can’t afford to hate my mom for everything she’s done, particularly her being turned to a fine powder now and all. It’s a waste of time and space and energy. I don’t have enough energy in me to waste it hating her for living an effing talkie film, for just now returning to a normal weight, for the scoliosis and yeah, yeah, yeahs. It would depress me too much to count.

 I think I can live with Daddy. If I want it to work then it can, right? Things are supposed to work like that. Anyway, Zayne’s fifteen now, it’s only three more years and then we can leave and never see Daddy again, either. We can still be better than them. We still have time, kiddo. Don’t give up yet.

“Please don’t give up on me, sweetie.” I whisper to the steering wheel. “You and I are it. It’s just part of the adventure.” That kid did not cry once when he came home. He did not shrug, did not whimper, he did not give a crap. It was like he didn’t have a mother to start with, and this was some rodent hanging from the shower curtain.

Jesus Christ, I love that boy. God, protect him. I’m doing a shitty job. He never loved his mom. Help me.

                Tears run down my cheeks again, and I wipe them away nervously. They get even blurrier. Sometimes I wish to all hell I really were blind. Like now, so I wouldn’t have to make this drive all alone. But I had to go and be all brave, now didn’t I?

                Finally I pull over right on the shoulder, not even far off Fredericksburg. I fold myself up into a ball in my seat and roll up the windows, turn off the car and go full blind a while. I’m still contemplating calling someone.

To Whomever


Today at around ten at my high school was a memorial for another sophomore who killed herself about a week ago. I was just pissed because the school news anchors, the bigoted assholes, didn’t bother to say anything until this past Friday. But no, I didn’t go. Her family and her had just moved here a month before school started, and I didn’t even know the girl’s name until I saw her picture on Facebook.

Then I was like……shit…she’s the same age as me. Does that ever hit anybody else? They become so selfish that they make it about them? I mean, hanging sounds like it hurts, I’m sorry. Not my style.

I feel like I also didn’t go to the memorial, just because then it’d bring my somewhat twisted view of death into question. My mother once called it psychopathic. My dad simply acknowledges that I have a ‘rare’ view. But it’s like……everybody, we are all going to die! OKAY? Do you understand that? You are not a living thing if you are unable to die, so congratulations! Deal with it. Bring it up with your parents if you’re really that dissatisfied. I sure have.

And I mean, would she be any happier now? Sleeping in a psychiatric ward with actual lunatics (sorry) while her parents just keep up that false hope that one day everyone’s going to feel so much better. I mean, now they can move on. I’m not upset with her for killing herself, sometimes it’s just there. I don’t hold it against her. Living is quite a harder occupation than people make it out to be, and being lonely couldn’t have helped. Now, I’m not going to go on some self-loathing rant how if I had only spoken to her one time maybe I of all people could’ve saved her, because that’s crap, man. But timing is fucking everything.

Sick of Watching Pain


Even as old as I am
Entailing all the years left 
In my sentence
I'm sick of watching Pain
Written by the people
For the people 
On a loop 
Because I swear the angels that
Save also cause migraines
And every other side effect war wound 
We seem to suffer from
See, being alive is just as common a
Disease as
The plague

Keeping The Peace & All That Means


They’re always bitching about
Keeping the peace
Whatever that means
Like we’re supposed to close our
Eyes
And hold 
Hands
In the dark
Juliet
And Romeo
In our matching black and white
Caskets
We don’t want to be those martyrs
Those surrenders, defenders, horrenders, 
Dead-enders.
Because that’s farther and farther from 
The real thing
Than you’ve really ever seen
Romeo
Oh Romeo
They’re always bitching about
Keeping the peace
I don’t think
They really know

All that means

How ELSE Not To Help A Suicidal Friend


Okay……..stolen from a blogger I may have developed a slight crush on in the past two days, Bipolar Bear, he wrote a piece on how not to help a suicidal friend. It reminded me exactly of a friend of…..well, not even my friend, really. My ex-boyfriend’s best friend.

Anyways- I was talking to my boyfriend, and he said he had to go because he was talking to his friend, and of course (because I am the nosiest bitch EVER) I had to ask what was going on. He said his friend had been having issues with depression.

See, this is what happens when you don’t tell me not to do anything about something. Because I will do something. Oh my God.

So I found this guy coming out of school the next day when he was walking to his car (I was only fresh meat and he was a senior, by some sort of law we weren’t supposed to be seen together) and I just walked on up to him and asked how he was doing. He knew I knew right away. Didn’t’ bother asking. Just kinda knew I got it. And we weren’t comparing war stories, we weren’t trying to beat each other, because if we dug all the way probably we’d just be more depressed, and things would just suck more, and it wouldn’t get us shit anywhere. Things just suck sometimes, we both could tell. I mean SUCK! It did for my ex, it did for me, it definitely did for this kid, does for a lot of people. So there is no point in comparing here and now. Because now is going to be a different now in a week. In two weeks. In ten years. In our funeral guest books.

I mean, coming from the most cynical high-schooler alive, I can’t promise it’ll be much better, but at least it’ll be different.