Do you ever feel like you are so alone? That no matter how many people you’ve been with for the day, you’d still end up feeling that hopeless darkness inside you once you’re holed up in your room and retiring for the day? Like no matter how you surround yourself with the people who supposedly love you, you still feel kind of empty inside. You feel like a shell programmed to smile and laugh at the slightest of things to be deemed socially acceptable because inside, deep inside, you’re this dark empty person, as hollow and vacuum as that blackhole in space, and fuck society for not understanding you’re that so you find yourself fitting on a mask every time. You are this person with no insides left to break because you’ve long been broken, shattered beyond recognition. And yet, the weirdest thing is, you still feel the emptiness despite the ’emptiness’. You still feel the heartbreak despite the hollowed quality of your insides. And it hurts so much. It fucking hurts so much to feel this way.
*SPOILER ALERT: Discussions of some of the scenes were included below*
There are plenty of good books out there, even outstanding ones that leave its mark on you and changes you one way or another. My favorite authors like Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Nicholas Sparks and Gayle Forman make me want to be an author too. When you have read something so life-changing, you get the feeling that you want to affect others the way they have affected you too. And with just the use of words. For a long time I have struggled (and is still struggling) with writing for I couldn’t get past the feeling that what I am writing isn’t good enough. At first I get this overwhelming excitement and words just seem to flow from my hands without my brain even commanding it but after I have gone to that 10,000 or so words, I think about my story and suddenly, it just isn’t right enough. For years I read books of various genres ranging from hair-raising thrillers to finger-curling romances, and for years I have met the words of various authors and even added them to my list of favorites. In my search of the right book to inspire me and finally make me write that great book that would inspire others too, I have stumbled upon this great author that I have never even once heard of. Reading that first line “Theodore Finch is obsessed with death,” my mind perked up and begged me to find a copy of that book fast. Seeing that the bookstore doesn’t have that book I have resorted to downloading an illegal copy of the book online (I am so sorry for not buying your book, Ms. Niven. I promise I would get a copy when it becomes available in our place or when I have finally the money >_< ). Like how great stories should be read, I finished the book within 5 hours and spent a good deal of an hour just replaying all the scenes inside my head. It is true that I have read many books concerning depression and suicide before but never have I encountered a book depicting it the way Theodore Finch's character did. After reading the book, I actually cursed the storyline for how could such a perfect character meet such fate? I cried rivers of tears while reading the book because that book has captured all the thoughts, all the pain of a teenage who suffers from depression and no one just understands. Despite his pain, he found it in him to save and take care somebody else and when you meet such a character, your heart just goes to him. After I have read the book, it was as if I have gone through a break up and I just couldn't sleep properly. I kept asking myself why did it end that way? If a fictional character couldn’t survive such fate, then how could I? I asked myself that a dozen of times, trying to reconcile the fact that such a great character has met such ending. Only few characters in a book makes you feel that way and Theodore Finch surely did. But that book doesn’t tell us to follow Finch’s fate, and I am sure Ms. Niven doesn’t want us to do that too. If anything, I think that book teaches us to recognize other’s feelings and be sensitive enough to know that others around you need help already. If Finch have had help, then his character would’ve thrived and the book would still have given us the same lesson. But having the ending that way has made depression more real for the readers and I give my hands down congratulations and heart-felt thank you to Ms. Jennifer Niven for writing such a wonderful book. Thank you so much for letting me know how great Theodore Finch was.
***If any of you know anyone who suffers from depression, it’s still not too late to help that person. Don’t be embarassed to recognize that others are hurting, and don’t feel as if you’re less of a man if you show that you are sensitive to other’s feelings and show that you care. Contrary to what the society has let us believe that ‘gays and women’ are only the ones who cry or are in touch with their emotions, men who show their true emotions without feeling embarassed are much more manly and is deserving of everyone’s respect. So don’t feel embarassed to ask for help if you need one, or help another who needs one. Your mere presence or words could save a life. Or if you are the one suffering from depression, it isn’t too late. Reach out for help. Don’t feel discouraged if the few people you reach out first don’t take you for real. There are people out there who’s waiting to take care and help you. Don’t give up.
Read about depression and suicide: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/depression-signs-and-symptoms.htm
American Association of Suicidology (AAS)—suicidology.org
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)—afsp.org
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline—
National Adolescent Suicide Hotline- (1-800-621-4000)
Talk about any crisis and get nonjudgmental support: crisischat.org
There are many more support groups or online suupport groups and hotlines available online. You are not alone. Don’t give up now. Reach out. We are all here for you.
Love, Danna T.
P.S. If you feel like talking and no one is available, you could reach me here or at email@example.com
I’d be responding as soon as I can. Just don’t give up.
The things is, if you’re young and just beginning to discover the world around you, you think you already have it all figured out. You dream your way across the handful of miles you have uncovered, a smile spreading across your face with every step further. You love everything the world has to offer, but mostly you love the fact that a perfect stranger could mean so much to you. You think you have it all figured out because you’ve felt these emotions that were once just words on a book, a tickling of something inside your head that you so want to discover. Little did you know your idea of the world is so far from reality when in a glimpse, all that you’ve thought were once wonderful shatters into a thousand fragments of disappointment. Your heart bleeds from the pain that everyone causes you, your tears streaming in silent pleas for someone to understand you. You think no one understands, that no one cares, and your mind begins to wander into the abyss of desperation and depression, your once innocent mind beginning to contemplate the world beyond this painful existence. You try so hard to connect to other people, to know what it is that keeps you apart from them… To discover what it is that makes them smile when all you wanted to do was break down and cry because you feel so alone. So you try to reach out to the adults you call parents only to have them dismiss you like you don’t matter at all. They think a few bucks could ease the pain inside you but you only needed their embrace, you only needed the solace their arms could offer. Looking at their backs turned towards you as they live the life you feel you have no place into, you feel this great weight inside you, crushing your insides, turning everything inside you a dark empty hole of what you once were. You head back into the place that has offered you so much in the years of growing up, curl up in the corner and cry your heart out. How could this world be so cruel? You thought you have it all figured out but you discover you’re wrong, and now you wish not to know anymore. You form a plan inside your head to end the suffering because no one should be able to live through what you’re going through. You wish to end it all yourself now because no one else will, and frankly you think no one would care. Little did you know that there are more people suffering the same as you, their hearts breaking into a thousand pieces like you do. Little did you know that the people who smiled the brightest in your school have once been the victim of this pathetic place you call world. That the sweet smile they flash each other is the smile of understanding for having gone through what you’re going through now. You are not alone. There are plenty more people who suffers like you do, who have suffered like you do. Keep fighting the demons because we are all just here for you, waiting for you to win against this world and join us into living and discovering the world you knew as a child. Because like you, we have known the demons. We are still fighting them in the hopes that one day, they’d finally give up to let us have the life they almost took away from us. Like you, we are fighting alone for now, but not really alone because we have each other, no matter how many miles the gap between us. We are fighting and we will win… someday. Just don’t give up now. Don’t give up ever.