*trigger warning* – this post will be discussing suicide and depression in depth
Okay, so as part of my book club that I created with Tiana (The Book Raven), we are each writing a blog post about suicide and depression as that is what we are focusing on for this month.
I want to say that I am in no way an expert when talking about suicide and depression. I can only speak from my own individual experiences and perspective. I, myself, have only felt depressed at one point in my life, but it never got far, and I pulled myself out of that state. I think it was kind of a phase thing where nothing really felt right anymore, and I became very bored and disinterested in all the things I loved doing. But once I realised that I’d been feeling down for way too long to be normal – I reached out to my dad and once I told someone it felt like a weight was lifted and I slowly came back to normal. But I also think that blogging might have helped as well, as I started my blog a little after that experience.
But that wasn’t my first experience with depression, as I had a friend that fell victim to that illness long before me.
It started all the way back in primary school. Year 6. My friend – Danika – who I wasn’t that close with at the time, was suffering from depression; she has inherited the illness from her mother. I remember the day I came to school, and these two girls were freaking out about something. So, obviously, being a curious twelve-year-old I asked them what they were talking about. They said that they were worried about Danika, and then they went to ask her little sister something. Apparently she’d been talking about cutting herself the day before, and thats what she’d done when she went home.
At the time I didn’t even know what cutting – or even self-harm – was. I was only vaguely familiar with what depression was.
After the two girls discovered that she had in fact self-harmed, they ran to tell everyone. And by the time Danika arrived at school? Everyone knew. I don’t really remember exactly what happened after that. I know the teachers talked to the girls that had spread it, and then talked to our whole year about what had happened. After that – for a while anyway – everyone looked out for Danika, and everyone wanted to sit with her. I didn’t do any of that, because I knew that if I were her, I wouldn’t want to be smothered with people always trying to talk to me.
I think a couple months later – maybe five? – long after everything had settled down I started to become friends with Danika. It’s kind of ironic really, because our mums were friends, and they introduced us her first day, yet we had never really connected. Then a couple months later we became friends anyway.
She told me lots of things – like why she cuts and how its hard not to – and honestly, little me didn’t fully understand what it all meant, but I listened anyway. I remember she showed me the cuts on her leg and I just didn’t really know why? But I think the reason we were such great friends is because I had a different reaction to most people.
When most people found out she was cutting again they’d get really mad and upset and they’d tell her she had to stop – like it was that easy. I, on the other hand, never said that. I cared, but I also knew that getting mad wasn’t going to do anyone any good. So instead, I listened, and I understood, and I tried to help as best I could, without making it seem like I was always disappointed in her for what she’d done.
The next year we were put into the same class for basically all our classes. And we became even better friends with many good times. Everything seemed to be going better, she didn’t seem that sad at all anymore – even though I knew that something like that wouldn’t just go away. Later, during that same year, I moved cities, and so I couldn’t look out for her so much anymore.
But only last year, after a lot of drama went down at her school where she was basically being attacked on the daily, she attempted suicide. I remember finding out from someone else that morning, and everyone was freaking out. Her little sister had found her – luckily in time – and she was rushed to the hospital. And then, a little later, Danika told me. It upset me to hear that I could have lost my best friend, but I again didn’t want to be mad at her like everyone else, so I told her that I’m always here, even if its not in person.
The worst thing about that was what people said. One girl I know said that she should have just died, and that she deserved it. Which really, no matter how mean or bad someone is, no one deserves to die, especially not like that.
She’s better now, at the moment anyway. But she’s had her struggles, and I only wish that I could have been there for her. That I should have been there for her. But I couldn’t be.
I believe she’s had a councillor for a while or at some points. I think she might have had counselling on and off over the years. And she’s talked to school councillors too, so she’s doing well, and she’s seeking help.
Danika is strong though. She’s still here, and from what I can tell, she seems really happy too. She’s still here, living, breathing. And that in itself is a victory. It’s shows how strong she has become. And I’m so proud of her for that.