As most people would probably agree with me, 2016 was fucking disappointing.
Although I wouldn’t say this year did nothing to help me grow as a person, it was still really a little shit.
Let us start off with the good things yea? Yea.
I turned 20.
I came out as pansexual and non-binary and I marched in the Pride Parade for the first time!!!
I’ve met people who I now consider to be a few of my best friends. I’m incredibly grateful to have such amazing people in my life.
I dyed my hair purple, then I cut it all off.
This year I began writing for my university’s newspaper “The Peak”. Learning to hone my non-academic writing skills has been fun, and having this blog has helped me grow in this aspect. So far, I have written only 4 articles for “The Peak”, and I hope to write at least one article every 2 weeks next term.
Over the break, I am working on the proposal for my new radio show. It will focus on discussing LGBTQ+ issues in the news, mental health problems in the LGBTQ+ community, and terminology to describe gender and sexuality.
This October, I got the chance to interview the lead singer of one of my favourite pop punk bands, “As It Is”. Honestly, interviewing Patty Walters was a dream come true. He was so nice and I actually felt incredibly cool really important. (In typical me fashion, I framed the photo pass).
My GPA has been slowly rising, and it will rise even more after I stop taking courses that fuck me up (french, economics…). I found out that I’m pretty decent at environmental courses, and I also really enjoy learning about all the different ways we’re fucking up our earth our impact on the environment.
Now onto the bad.
This year has been difficult for me mentally. The slight perpetual sadness I always feel morphed into full on depression in mid October. I didn’t know why I was crying every night and I didn’t know why I just couldn’t think anything positive no matter how hard I tried. I had suicidal thoughts whenever I stood in a high place, and being alone in my head was the worst thing ever.
I didn’t do much at the radio station this year. School got in the way, and the radio show I wanted to start producing got pushed back from March to now. Although my ideas are much better now than they were in March, so maybe that’s the silver lining eh?
I didn’t work on any music either. The EP I wanted to make is still only up in the air.
I’ve had periodical moments of sadness for a while. I don’t how severe those moments of sadness were, but I don’t think I’ve been truly happy.
In September, I learned the date of my friend’s suicide (which was 2.5 years ago), and it hurt a lot more than it should have. It scares me how easy it would be for the friends I love the most to leave me.
For over a month, I’ve been denying my depression. I put it off as “I’ve been kinda sad” “it’s just a phase, I’m okay.”
On Tuesday, I broke. I was attempting to do homework while listening to “Sick of Losing Soulmates” by Dodie Clark. I felt so weirded out by how empty I felt. It was like a raincloud was hanging over my head and I couldn’t get rid of it. I went to lecture, and halfway in, I completely broke. I started crying and I couldn’t stop. I went home that night and I cried again. And every day for the past 5 days, I’ve cried. I expect it now, to just come like clockwork every night. I’ve also been eating just to make my body not hate me, because my appetite is gone. Food doesn’t make me happy anymore.
When I’m not with friends, I don’t know how to laugh or how to be content. It doesn’t matter who makes me laugh until my sides burst or roasts me to an amused crisp, the second our conversation stops, I go back to feeling empty and alone.
I’ve realized that the emptiness I’ve been feeling has been consuming me for over a month. The cloud has been there for almost as long.
I no longer try to stand anywhere high enough for me to injure myself, because I’ll look down, and wonder what it would be like to jump. If the cars look like cats and the people look like ants, then how would I compare? Would it be nice?
I’m not suicidal. I value my life far too much to end it. I just want a break from all the shit that comes my way.
It doesn’t help that it’s Midterm season and I’m forced to push my mental health to the back of my mind. I’m worried. What if exams end and I don’t feel any happier? What if I don’t improve? What then?
Earlier today or late yesterday, the University of Chicago’s Dean said that they will not provide safe spaces and trigger warnings for its students. This is to promote free thinking, inclusion of all ideas, and free speech.
I’m all about free speech (to a degree, hate speech should not be promoted) and free thinking and inclusion, but to not provide safe spaces and trigger warnings is problematic.
For one, these two things are not there solely for “special snowflakes”to use when they feel offended by the smallest things.
Safe spaces and trigger warnings are there for students who feel oppressed, mentally not okay or targeted, to use as an aid. For those with depression and anxiety or are mentally not healthy, trigger warnings are especially necessary. If the content showed in class will/might make a person suffer a panic attack, think of traumatizing experiences, or cry, then what good does that do? For veterans, if showing a clip about the war in Iraq, Afghanistan or any other place will trigger their PTSD, what’s the good? You’re making them suffer when they don’t have to. For a student who has either witnessed suicide, or has a friend who has committed suicide, then discussing suicide rates or discussing the topic will only make them think about their traumatic experience.
Safe spaces are places where students who feel targeted can eat lunch, take a nap, study or do whatever without constantly being on the lookout for hate and abuse. If a LGBTQ+ student is getting shit because of their gender or sexual orientation, why can’t they have a place to be themselves? If a POC is being targeted for their skin colour, why don’t they deserve a place to call home while at school? By not providing safe spaces, you’re giving their bullies the upper hand.
Obviously, safe spaces and trigger warnings aren’t the solution. They’re merely stepping stones to better mental health counselling and better education that deals with issues regarding oppression. More funding needs to be allocated to these issues, and less for building a new stadium or hiring a famous professor when there are already numerous teaching the same subject.
I’ve accepted the fact, ever since my friend back in high school committed suicide three months before graduation.
I’ve become somebody who puts everyone else’s happiness before their own. Most of the time, no matter how tired and how fed up I am with helping others, I do it anyways. I’d rather have someone I care about be alive than for me to be my happiest.
I don’t want to feel the same guilt with the people I currently care about that I’ve been feeling for the last 2 and 1/2 years. I’m making up for all those times I was ignorant and unobservant of others’ emotions by being overzealous now.
Is it healthy? No. Will I keep being this way? Yea.
I wondered about how long it would take for me to stop feeling guilt for your death. Even though everyone else have said that there was nothing I could have done, that you would have killed yourself anyways.
Your lips curved upwards but your eyes were so sad, and even though I credit myself to be incredibly observant, I couldn’t see that. What was wrong with me? For over a year and a half, we would wave to each other when passing by and say “hi” when close enough. Not a single encounter went any further than that.
I know I shouldn’t, but I constantly beat myself up inside wondering how much longer you could have lived if I stopped to ask you what was wrong. Would you have graduated high school? Would I have seen you walk across that stage to accept your diploma?
I was flipping through my yearbook a few days ago to find my yearbook quote, and I found your picture. You looked so happy. Your smiled reached your eyes.
Maybe we didn’t end up very close, and I shouldn’t be feeling this awful, but once you get close to someone, no matter how far you drift apart, they’re always a part of your life.
This is a poem that I wrote regarding a line my best friend said. This poem might be triggering to some, so TRIGGER WARNING. And yes, this poem is about suicide.
I don’t want you to be a ticking time bomb.
But when I finally realize it,
it’s always too late.
Counting down the days,
counting down the minutes,
counting down the seconds.
How many times has the fuse been blown out?
It’s only getting shorter.
Who will give you the lighter next time?
Would you search for your own?
“Can’t I be selfish one last time?”
Well, can you?
What do we say to a question like that?
Doesn’t matter how we answer it,
It’ll only cause destruction.
“Can’t I be selfish one last time?”
Well, can you?
Doesn’t it all depend on you?
Your bank account has run dry,
because your problems have taken you places
you didn’t even know existed.
The deepest crevices of your mind,
don’t return your deposit,
so you fill it with your fears,
and the emotions you’d never visit with company,
before you seal it with your tears.
So when you ask “can’t I be selfish one last time?”
the answer should be YES
because you’ve been too selfless,
why else would your emotions never see the light of day?