I remember the first time I heard the word depression. I was in sixth grade I was sitting with my best friend Christian at the very back of the field against the fence while the other kids played soccer. We never played with the other kids because they always made us feel different or weird so we usually just hung out with a few of our other friends by the fence. Our other friends weren’t there that day so we were sitting alone and talking quietly no one usually approached us so when two girls came walking by I noticed almost imeadelty.

“what about that guy? He’s kind of cute?” One of the girls whispered behind her hands, they both looked up at us for a moment before the other girl dragged their heads back down giggling.

“Who Christian? No way, he’s depressed.” They both abruptly burst into giggles as they walked quickly away. I had no idea what the word meant except that it had something to do with being sad, so when Christian looked ashamed and wouldn’t look at me I did not know how to respond. It was clear that we had both heard it but he didn’t say anything. He made a joke to brush it off and it worked for a second but I had to be the one to bring reality crashing back down over our heads. I asked Christian if he was depressed because I was naïve, stupid and depression seemed like such a foreign thing to me besides the snippets I had heard about it from my mother.

Sure I mean I had heard things from other kids at school about some of the people I knew or had passed by in the hallway but I never really understood what all the whispering was about.  You’d see the kids, the people I hung out with mostly, the one’s deemed ’emo’ or ‘goth’. You’d hear everyone talking about them behind their backs, whispering as if they couldn’t hear them when really they could all along.

“Do you know Jason? The really quite boy who dresses like a girl, sometimes? Well, I hear that he hurts himself.”

“like, on purpose?”

“Yeah with razors or whatever. It’s weired right?”

But then suddenly it’s not just the weird kid that hide in the shadows and never talks while they’re at school or the freaks with strangely colored hair or the outcasts, suddenly it’s your best friend. Suddenly it’s the cheerleader with the perfect life, perfect boyfriend, perfect everything but the scars on her thighs say differently. Suddenly it’s that nerdy kid with the perfect grades and the intelligence to get himself out of anything. It’s the star basketball boy who has to stop playing because someone noticed the cuts around his wrists when the cover up was sweated off. It’s the know it all, confident, criminal who smokes weed in class and talks back to the teachers like he owns the classroom and not them. Suddenly it’s not just the bullied with the cut, burnt, torn up skin but the bully’s as well. Suddenly it’s that girl who smiles every day and helps everyone out with their problems, she laughs so much and she’s so happy. No one’s ever seen her cry, so how could she be it? A cutter, a burner, a binge eater, an anorexic, a self-harmer.

So know one knows what to do anymore, they don’t understand how to help. So they talk behind their friend’s back to try and figure out what to do and debate about if they’re really depressed or just doing it for attention. But what a sick thing it is if someone is harming themselves just to get some attention, if they need attention that badly their still must be something wrong with them. But no one knows how to fix it because no one’s ever taught us how to so we go about with our normal lives and forget about it. Because if you can’t fix something it will make you uncomfortable in till it is fixed so you allow it to become invisible. You do the only thing you’ve been told to do. Just pretend like everything’s normal. Ignore it. So life can go on. I’ve seen these things happen, I’ve noticed the scars on some of my own friend’s wrists but I’ve never understood why, not exactly.

So I asked Christian that day in sixth grade, I asked him to describe what being depressed felt like. He didn’t answer me that day or the next, he didn’t answer for an entire year but on the last day of school before he moved to some different state off somewhere new he did. He got real quite and then answered me after months of waiting. I don’t remember what he said word for word but it was something real close to this he said:

“When I’m depressed it feels like walking in the middle of the street when it rains. It’s raining so hard I can barely hear the world going on around me. That should scare me because if a car rounds the corner to fast I might get hit but it doesn’t scare me because I don’t really care anymore. A lot of cars will swerve around me so they won’t hit me but once in while one will stop and the person inside will offer me a ride, they look kind enough and I might actually think about accepting this time but instead I shake my head and just smile back. I tell them that I’m fine and I actually like walking through the rain it makes me feel calm, I lie to them. There’s not a right answer for that because there isn’t a list of instructions set aside for when you come across a stranger walking in the pouring rain. The person in the car will want to respect my decision and be polite even though they’ll ask again anyways only to get the same answer. As they drive away I think that some of them are secretly happy because if I had agreed I would’ve gotten their car all wet, ruined their perfection and they might have to have gone out of their way to get me home safely. That is what it feels like.”

We still talk today, but never in person he lives to far away. I just wanted everyone to know that I don’t care if you get my car wet or if I have to drive all night to get you home safely. I don’t care that you are a stranger standing in the rain and it’s soaking, I want to drive you home. Please don’t let the rain drown you out, I’ve been where your standing before. For fucks sake I’m in the middle of a rainstorm right now with crackling lightning and hail but I have an umbrella meant for any of you, don’t stand by yourself. Stay strong ❤

Drop me and email if you want someone to listen, I give crappy advice and I don’t talk much but it’s not because I don’t like having conversations I’m just a much better listener. My email is: Rbelblue@gmail.com

“Depression is a prison where you both the suffering prisoner and the cruel jailer.” ~Dorothy Rowe.

(Alice in the pouring rain)


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