The Blanket

Depression is a blanket. It wraps you up on those cold, winter nights and leaves you feeling secure and safe in the blanket’s soothing familiarity. You love the midnight black folds and the pain as the fur. You secretly love the feeling of cinderblocks on your chest, making it hard to breathe until that crush finally snaps your ribs, makes your heart explode. Your heart no longer exists.You feel nothing anymore and you find yourself hoping and thinking you are dead. Black sludge fills your body, mends your ribs together, takes the place of your heart. If someone cut you, all they would find is black. You feel it in every cell of your body. Your chest is hollow now without a heart. You go to sleep at night feeling nothing and you wake up feeling nothing. You live your daily life in a state of apathy and mind-numbing emptiness. You become nothing. Your will to live disintegrates and so does your brain. You question everything: your family, your friends, your life, whether everything is worth it.

Then the voices come. They whisper at you. “You’re not worth it,” they say. They tell you to reach for the knife while you stand over the tile in your bathroom. They tell you to drag it along your skin, let the black ooze out. You listen to them and find yourself cradled and soothed in all the voices while chunks fall and splatter on the floor. You find yourself smiling and laughing. The voices congratulate you; they tell you that you’ve gone mad, and maybe you have. They take over your life as you stand in the same spot again. They whisper at you, “Do another one.” So you do, and you do another one, and another one, and another one, until all that’s left of your arm is bloody slabs of flesh. You find yourself wearing long sleeves all the time now, no matter what the weather is. One day, the voices finally decide to take over. Their soothing begins to SCREAM at you. “KILL YOURSELF!” You pick up that knife or maybe you pick up the gun your dad has by his bedside table, and you fill the chamber. You press it against your temple, while tears fall down your face, leaving you weeping and convulsing on the floor and you wonder how your life ever got to this point. Your hands shake violently. With a shaky hand, you press harder, but your hands can’t get a grip and somewhere out of you comes a need for survival. You SCREAM back to the voices; they turn into bumblebees violently buzzing around your head. They try to overpower you, squash the voice telling you to fight. It becomes a bloody battle: the voices telling you to end it all, while every atom inside of your body tells you to fight with every single ounce of will you have. Your hands shake until your arms go numb and the gun falls out of your hand. You continue to scream; the voices deafen you to the point where you can’t hear your own screams. You think that the voices win, but something comes out of you: an animalistic, primal noise that comes from somewhere you cannot describe.

You begin to press your hands on the ground with wobbly elbows. You begin to rise as the voices start to quell. You bring yourself to your knees and you begin to push up with your legs. You rise, as the voices leave you and you stand there, looking at yourself in the mirror. You look exhausted. Tear-streaked cheeks, puffy eyes, white and red scars all over your arms. But you fought and you find comfort in something you never knew how to. A smile comes to your face. You begin to look at the good things in life. You reflect on all the things that you take for granted: the smell of rain on wet pavement, the strike of a match, putting a smile on someone’s face. You wonder how you could ever do anything like that to the people that loved you. You begin to reevaluate your life, try to find a way to fight your voices. You pick up the gun from the floor, you put it back in the spot by your dad’s bed. You go to bed that night, everyone unaware of everything that happened. You find it in yourself to get help. You call a suicide hotline that night. You tell them everything that happened. They set you up with a counselor; they give you the school district number to help you with the bullying. You keep going, going on with life. You find the good things in life. You appreciate everything more. Life gets better for you. The voices return sometimes, but they go away shortly thereafter. After all, depression is a blanket. On those summer nights, that blanket seems to suffocate you but you find a way to kick it off, even if it takes everything from you.

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