The things we’ve been afraid to say. #TTWBATS
i do not have a substantial clue where to start this post. i was talking with a friend of mine about the saddest book i have ever read which happens to be All the bright places by Niven. so i asked which character he thought i was between violet and finch. he said he thought of me as a strong violet. i do not agree with his assessment which is okay because we often see ourselves differently from how others see us. add a mental illness and the lenses of seeing the world including oneself gets darker and grimmer. anyway, i told my really good friend that i think i am a Finch. if you have read the book you will see why thinking i am a Finch is a sad conclusion. whether sad or not, i think it is a more of an accurate assessment. Finch takes his life in the end but when you think of it, it was coming was it not? i think he knew it too and that is why he kept pushing to remain in the Awake. but the thing with life, is that it is about cycles. day and night. life and death. the Awake and the Asleep. it was inevitable that the Asleep was going to come anyway. it matters that Finch had stayed pushing the whole while. he helped violet. he helped himself and even if the Asleep did him in the end, i think it matters that he fought back. that is not why i think i am more of a Finch though. no. it is the slow descending that i see in Finch that i see in myself sometimes that hits me. the way he was alive, full of passion and love, he was literally bursting with it. but beneath all that, he was getting worse. the black mood was bidding its time and he knew it. that he helped violet give life a second chance only for him to give it up. that is what makes me think i am a Finch. that i honestly love life and someone once said i am full of it to the brim. but i know there is the blue lake somewhere without a bottom that i have swum in more than once. and that i will swim in again. to know this does not scare me. not at all. but it hits me in the face like ” hey do not forget that this is a cycle. ” and it is easy to forget. so damn easy to forget that it is a cycle. in the past i hated it. i really did but i realized that hating it was not going to prevent the Asleep from coming. it is not a thing that seeks permission or approval to come, it just does. so i am quite apathetic towards it these days. so what if i have a good week or so in the Awake and i feel the ground in my mind shifting indicating the Asleep is coming. so what. this is not the first time we have been through this. it does not make me hate myself anymore. it does not make me wish others would understand. it does not make me wish i was okay. i feel nothing. it is not the first time. it might be the last but i am not sure about that. so it really does not matter.
today i was going through some of my old photographs. ones i took in high school. i decided to burn some of them just like i burned my journals from high school. i burned the journals because they were written evidence of my descending into this brief madness. and i use the term brief here very loosely considering it has been about six years now since this happened. i read the books first and it struck me how confused and desperate i was in the beginning. not having a clue why my mind snapped. because that is what really happened. i just snapped. there was no warning and if there was, then it was in a language that i could not decipher then and cannot decipher even now. how do you explain just suddenly being in darkness without any means of light whatsoever. just like that. in the light and suddenly in the dark. i say this and people tell me look closer there must have been something that triggered this. there must be something that happened to you in high school. there must be something because it is obviously more frightening to think there was nothing. no trigger. no explanation for the shift. i see how frightening it is to those i talk to but please imagine how more frightening it was to me. a vibrant teen full of life and blooming with potential who had joined the high school of her dreams just snapping. most of my journal entries shed light to how it all began. strange black moods from nowhere. i would be burning with sadness with no reason. sadness that hurt so bad it felt like i was literally dying. i would cry, lying on the floor under my bed. “The floor seemed wonderfully solid. It was comforting to know I had fallen and could fall no farther.” – from the Bell Jar. and after a while, the black mood would just leave. just like that. and i would be happy me again. full of passion and life. as if nothing had happened. no one noticed for years except a friend of mine who is still in my life even now ( you nerdess!). but i noticed these shifts and they scared the hell out of me. at least according to my journal entries, i was not only scared by them but also really confused. i did not know who to tell or who to go to. so i just wrote about them trying to make sense, trying to get a pattern but all my efforts brought up nothing. i was convinced of two things then. one, i was obviously losing my mind even though no one else seemed to notice which made me think i was delusional but no, i could see what was happening. two, i was going to die soon. soon which meant to me any time without warning just like the moods. die by my own hand or whatever was now residing in my mind beside myself. so i decided to keep documenting these shifts and changes so that in case something fatal happened, there at least would be some evidence. i was being a witness for myself. the shifts were getting worse, more frequent, which meant more emotional instability for me. i participated in a couple of school clubs though. i was even a captain. lol. but the shifts did not really give a damn, not that they do now anyway. i still excelled in my papers which surprised me to be honest because i was increasingly more concerned about my short life and quick death than the grades i was getting. i remember my mum telling me with all her love about some of my, at the time, unused potential and i remember feeling nothing. she was unknowingly pointing out to me something i had just noticed. i was not putting in so much effort in my books because i cared less. and i cared less because i was going to die soon and no grade would guarantee me another couple of years on earth. and even if there existed such a miracle grade, i did not want it because it meant continuing that confused despereate miserable life which i was beginning to really hate. i wanted out then. i want out even now. i went through all those journals, about four of them, one for each year. i was desperate then to get relief and answers. i prayed for the end of my torment but nothing changed. things were escalating to the point where i was having physical symptoms. my body was showing me how bad things were in my mind. but i still did not have anyone to talk to. i could not imagine going to my mum ( who is the sweetest person i know) and break her heart by telling her i was losing my mind and by extension my life as well. it was around that time that i really discovered my undying love for art especially music, poetry and writing. this helped me excel in english literature because i had started learning how to hide behind words. to use words to express turmoil within but somehow still manage to look graceful on the outside. i got to know how to die on paper but still live on this side with others. i wrote and wrote. tried to channel all the blackest of moods and the darkest thoughts onto paper. nothing changed except this time i had art with me. i burned the journals because i thought i would be burning the moods and shifts and spirals into oblivion. i thought that i was casting them out of my mind but i was wrong. because years later, here i am. here they are. here we are.
Ps. There’s definitely a part two. For continuation. It’s ready. Waiting to be published.
The title of this series comes from an EP from one of my favourite bands in the world, namely Tenth Avenue North.
The things we’ve been afraid to say. #TTWBATS