Forget or Cope

I could either choose to ignore today, or I could not. I could either let today slip completely from my memory, or I could face it full on for what it really is. And since I’ve been hiding from it for, well, as long as I’ve been taking Spanish classes, I think it’s safe to say that it’s about time I finally sucked it up and took it on. Stop forgetting and start coping, Leah; it’s the only way anyone heals.

I’m just going to come out and say it: I hate May 5, el Cinco de Mayo, and I hate it for many reasons. I could keep it short and sweet by saying that it’s just my own personal Friday the Thirteenth (which I still will), but in all honesty, it’s much more than that. Much more than that, and the person who makes it so does not deserve to be sold short. So I will explain.

Public Service Announcement: I apologize now for none of this making sense, for when it comes to talking about these kinds of things, I’m just lousy at it. Sorry.

Okay, so the basic reason why I let May 5 slip from my mind every single year is because, as an almost life-long Spanish student, it’s always meant parties, fiestas, general days of goofing off and not learning. But that also always meant lots and lots of food…

Let me clarify: It’s not that I’m anorexic. I simply am insecure with myself and thus am always uncomfortable eating in front of other people. It bothers me so much that I even find it hard to eat in front of relatives and friends, so you can only imagine how awful school parties made me feel. Eating while not alone or with people I 100% love and trust is just something that weirds me out, and I have no idea why. I mean, it does involve slightly the fact that I’ve grown up hating the way I look due to probably suffering a little from body dysmorphia (based on what others have told me), but it’s also just one of those weird isms we all tend to have. So in the end, I don’t really know. But anyway, the moral of the story is that May 5 is el Cinco de Mayo, which means lots of food with lots of strangers, and since I hate eating in front of others, I don’t like that. So I’ve naturally always hated the day.

But that’s natural, and if it was left at that, I’d feel no need to stop forgetting and start coping. But then two years ago, the day was made superbly unnatural, and that’s why I can’t go on pretending like it never happened.

I’m for once actually going to keep it short and sweet here, for I just can’t talk about it. I don’t know why, because it really shouldn’t affect me like this, but it does. And because of that, I can’t talk about it. But I need to talk about if I’m ever going to be able to talk about it. Does that make sense? I hope so. Anyway, back to short and sweet. Here we go:

May 5, 2013, was the day the youngest of my now ex next door neighbors’ sons killed himself in their house. I don’t want to give details, for I don’t want to end up encouraging anyone to follow in his path, but it was horrifying. It was, by far, the worst day of my life, seeing this man I grew up with, this guy who taught me how to play basketball when I was only four years old, who gave me his old trampoline and taught me how to swing without getting pushed, laying lifeless on a stretcher without half of his head. There’s just no words to describe it, how truly awful it all was. And when the only thing he left behind was the stench of his blood, not even a $^&#^$& note, again, there’s just no words to describe it. It’s no wonder his parents moved away very soon after. I’d do so, too.

And what did he think that was going to accomplish? You know, I used to respect that man, my neighbor, but now I just can’t. I just can’t do anything but pity his wretched soul (not in a good way) and hate this day with all of my heart. Oh, and, every now and then, forget this day ever happened. Yes, I can most certainly do that, too.

But like I said, and as I’m sure you can see, forgetting, even though easy, isn’t how one heals. Forgetting only makes you, well, forget. What it does not do, however, is the whole “getting over” thing that we all so desperately need in order to stay sane. And even if remembering hurts, it’s the only way said “getting over” can be accomplished, the only way you can ever heal. Remembering, thinking, hurting–it’s all the same, it’s all not forgetting, and from it all you learn, learn to keep living.

So here I am, finally wanting to learn, finally done with pessimism. I want nothing more but to stop being so bitter and so remorseful and so resentful and to start healing, to actually learn something from this day and start moving on. Not forgetting, but moving on. Yeah, that would be nice, to, after all these years, let the baggage go. So I’m talking about it. For the first time ever, I’m really talking about it. And it doesn’t feel good. No, not by a long shot. But no pain, no gain. It’ll help me in the end.

Well, as much as I want to move on, I don’t want to talk about this any more. Haha, irony! Sorry for the abrupt stop, but this little exchange has been more than enough for me to take; I’m currently doing my nervous, cold sweat thing that happens when I get stage fright. That’s when you know it’s time to be done!

So I guess the only thing I have enough energy left to say is that if you’re even so much as thinking about suicide, even if it is just a glimmering star far away in the night sky that is your brain, stop. Stop it right now, and go get some help. You think no one cares? You think your life is that bad? Well I can tell you right now, from pure personal experience, that there are people who care and that nothing–I repeat nothing–in life is that bad. Again I say that people do love you and that there is more to life, so much more than whatever is going on now. You taking your own life away, well it’s just wrong, just plain unfair. Even if you say why, there is still absolutely nothing that gives you the right to be that selfish. Nothing! I don’t care who you are, what you’ve done, what’s going on, there is nothing. Life is precious. In and of itself, life is precious, and even if your life is bad, you should be thankful just for the fact that you’re even alive. Because you know what happens when you die, what happens when you take your own life? Things far, far worse than life on earth can ever be! I’m sorry, but you have no right to end it all, mostly because taking your life really ends nothing at all. It only opens up a whole other can of worms that no one is prepared to deal with, yourself included. So instead of getting down on yourself, thinking the absolute worst about everything and assuming no one will ever want to help you, go get some help. Life is beautiful, and you should choose to see it that way, even at its worst. Yes, life is beautiful even at its worst. That may be the artist in me talking, but I think it’s rather just personal experience.

Trust me on this one; taking your life only makes things worse. So don’t. Just don’t. Please.

If you need help or think you need help or don’t think you need help but have been told to get some, there’s lots of sites you can search that will provide forums and hotlines to get you through. The vast majority are anonymous, so if you really don’t want anyone to know your struggle–if you really do insist on trying to take care of it all on your own–they won’t hinder you in that endeavor. But please keep in mind that sharing what you’re going through with others, even if just anonymously with complete strangers on the internet, really does help. Like I said, there’s always someone out there who loves you. Always. So don’t be afraid to speak up. Someone somewhere cares and is listening, even if you don’t know it.

Especially me. Fun fact: I’ve never met a person I didn’t like. I don’t know what it is, but I just love everyone. Naturally, I don’t judge, and my favorite hobby is listening to others, so if you want some help, whether anonymous or not, please come to me. I’m always more than willing to lend an ear, to simply listen and advise. Even with my views on suicide being so strongly opposed (as they should be, ahem), I will never judge one who struggles with it. I simply want it to end, and so I will keep my heart open and listen fully no matter what. Even with other issues, I’m all ears like that; I just want the world to be a better place, and so I listen.

So talk to me. After all, talking is how we cope.

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