Update: 2nd of September, 2020
I was in a very dark place the first time I wrote this open letter. I was angry and felt like being vile and sad and honest with the people who would come across this and find some sort of relation, all the while being somewhat (?) subliminal to those I was clearly directing it to. I felt neglected. I understand now that there were many times when I succumbed to bouts of depression and episodes where things felt overwhelming. I haven’t had that in a while. I’m freer now, I could even say happier. Anywho, I just felt like updating this letter by reflecting on all that I have gone through and survived (I guess?).
The last time I referenced a blog I wrote on my opinions towards the Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why, and how it wasn’t the best thing to watch for people dealing with a mental illness. I do not believe I have a mental illness, for I have never been diagnosed and such things cannot be taken so lightly. I experienced anxiety the first time watching the final season of this very series a very while back.
First published: 7th of August 2018
People fail to be there for you during your hardest of times and come up speaking of signs when they find out that you have taken your own life. It vexes me up, breaks my heart entirely, whenever I see such tweets and status updates on Socials – about how the signs and hints were missed. No Felicia, you didn’t miss anything; you just weren’t there at all.
Dying is so easy. I would know because I have, quite a number of times and very passionately at that, searched online for the quickest and easiest ways to end my life; the one word that never goes unsearched is ‘painless’. I think that’s one of the true reasons why I’m still alive. I once wrote on my old blog how watching 13 REASONS WHY wasn’t the best decision of my life. That was all me; I get it, there were trigger warnings given at the beginning of the series, but still I went ahead and watched it. Not being in control of your own emotions is the worst pain, feeling like you’re constantly at war with yourself, your mind convincing you that it can only get worse; and yes, it does. I’ve tried to kill myself once. Okay, no, the intention wasn’t to die. I don’t think it’s ever about dying. At least, not for me. My biggest fear is that I will never amount to anything. Failure and mediocrity are the two fucked-up cunts that fuel my anxiety and make everything unbearable for me. The far of pain and not amounting to anything are what makes me take deep breathes, sit in my dark corner and wallow there. My boyfriend doesn’t seem to understand it, and I am sorry. Sometimes it is not easy finding practical solutions to problems and breathing easily afterwards. Sometimes it feels like all the odds are against you – they do not have to be, and sometimes it’s just your mind messing with you. But because we are so used to going with the wind, broke inside; we cave at the first of many blows.
Check on your friends. Call them up. Go visit them. My mental health need not be in shambles for you to start calling me and ask if I’m okay. I do not need to tweet that tonight I feel like my depression is getting the worst of me, that it’s so unbearable I don’t think I will survive throughout the night. There is something that Lupi Ngcayisa posted on his Facebook page; that when ‘you care enough about others you don’t wait for them to even ask for help. You impose help on them. You impose your support. You hold them by the hand only to let go once they are on their feet. Doing so is being human.’ There shouldn’t be any signs to miss if you check up on your friends regularly.
Another thing I have realised is that we die right in front of our parents. If the tragedy with Khensani has taught me anything, it is that we are under so much pressure to be brave and strong that people cannot see that we are dying inside. We put up a brave front for our friends and loved ones, casually speak out a bit through retweets and comments on Socials. We play this brave front so perfectly that it becomes a shocker when we can longer bear to carry the load and put it down. Oh, what a loud bang it makes when we put it down. Some of us will even trend for the first time ever. That’s just how fucked up society is; the only time we are seen is when we no longer care to be seen. it must be nice, to be so well adjusted with yourself and mental health, to be privileged enough to be detached from the pains that people suffering from depression and anxiety go through that the only time depression appears real to you is when someone kills themselves and your timeline is flooded with hashtags and pretentious posts about how we need to do better, how we need to be better. and a week later, when we've mourned and shared just about all that we can share on the matter, we move on to the next topic worth our retweets and depression is not so real anymore. it doesn't have a face anymore, no one has died. at least, not yet.
There is so much we could do, and it cannot happen overnight. God forbid, people have lives and cannot baby you while you go through your issues. I know I could be projecting my own anger right now; but you can never go wrong with checking on a loved ones, and it doesn’t matter if you feel like you’re pestering them.
This could be my suicide letter, and everyone would still miss it.