First Cry for Help
There are always signs to look for in others, signs that can tell us when a person is sad, angry, happy, sad, depressed, etc. Some people are able to see those signs in another person, for others, it is just a matter of opening our eyes to these signs. However, just opening our minds to these signs, isn’t quite enough. In situations where we can tell someone is feeling a negative emotion, not only should we be recognizing it, but have the courage to step forward and make sure that the person is ok. For reasons of our own, unless we know the person well, we usually don’t approach another person and ask if they are alright, ask if there is anything we can do to help. Unfortunately, sometimes that is all that is needed, is for someone to show that they noticed something was wrong and that they cared enough to check in. Sometimes, that can make all the difference for that person, even if the person says they are fine, just knowing that someone cared enough to ask can make a huge difference.
So why then, do we not act on things we see? Why do we have such a hard time approaching someone we don’t know, seeing that something is wrong, and asking if everything is alright? I myself am to blame for not approaching when I see something is wrong with someone. I too am at fault for this. For me, I feel that it is not my place only because I don’t know them and I am unsure of how they would react and if I can really do anything to help them, but deep down inside I know that I should at least make an effort to see if they are ok, and offer any help I can give them, especially if they just need someone to talk to for a little while. If I don’t know them, why not introduce myself and begin a friendship that way? Who’s to say in what way a friendship should be started, why can’t it be started by approaching a negative situation or emotion and turning it into a positive, at the very least I come away knowing that I tried to make a difference in that persons day.
How do we know what to look for in order to identify how a person is feeling? I certainly don’t know all the ways, but even by reading basic body language; usually the face will give the person away, maybe also by the way they walk or the tone of their voice. Sometimes by the way the person is dressed, are they dressed in a way that looks untidy, like they just threw something on because they didn’t care, is that out of norm for the person? Even, as my first cry for help was meant, the colors the person is wearing, is this a one day in several or is it something the same day after day that has suddenly just started? There are many things we can look for if we take the time to notice them. What’s two minutes out of your day to recognize how someone may be feeling, and maybe another five minutes to approach them and just check in real quick? Sometimes, that act of caring can stay any act of suicide the person may be thinking or planning at that moment. If anything you start a new friendship or strengthen an existing friendship or relationship. Sometimes, even words, whether spoken or written, can give a great indication that something is seriously wrong, but I’ll get to that one later.
My depression was getting worse, I felt alone, and sad most of the times. I still wasn’t sure what was wrong, but I had that feeling that something wasn’t right, I just didn’t know what to do. The only thing I could think of was to somehow let my parents and/or others know that something was wrong and hope they would help me in getting better. So my first cry for help was a change in my color of clothing. I started wearing all black all the time, even in the middle of summer in 98 degree Fahrenheit weather.
To me, black represented things that I was feeling on the inside, the black symbolized death and sadness; that was how I felt. I had hoped that that change would trigger my parents to look into and question me about what was wrong. I didn’t go straight to them because I didn’t know how to approach it or what to say, I couldn’t describe what was wrong, but hoped that they would identify it or take me to a doctor to find out what was wrong. Even when I walked, I almost always walked with my head down; I became very quiet and started having problems socializing.
No one at school questioned me if anything was wrong; I did not dress gothic, act gothic, or hang out in any gothic groups, so I don’t believe anyone thought that I was gothic. When no one approached me I felt empty, I tried to reach out in my own way but I had failed. I wasn’t direct enough that something was seriously wrong and my depression started getting worse. I began to lose contact with any type of emotion, I felt hollow inside and trapped. I wanted to cry many times, but the tears just wouldn’t come forward so I cried inside. I kept hiding everything that was going on and started to bottle it up inside, the first foundations of my wall had begun, but the walls hadn’t been built high enough, emotion still poured over the walls, and once again I didn’t know what to do.
So I began to seclude myself in my bedroom either by reading, sleeping, or sitting in front of the computer after school playing computer games. I didn’t feel like I was accepted or wanted by anyone, even those I thought were my friends. Things that happened that I should have clicked into but didn’t until later on. I had no one to turn to and no way to put words to what I was going through, to what was wrong with me.
I didn’t even know who to go to, I knew that I should tell my parents but didn’t know what to tell them, outside of my parents I didn’t know who could help me or how. So I went on trying to deal with everything going on inside of me, trying to sort it all out, and trying to figure out how I could let someone know that something was wrong, which led me to my second cry for help, which I will discuss in the next chapter.
I am sure that many noticed something was wrong by the way I was acting and the way I dressed, although it was normal clothing, it was all black all the time. However, no one ever approached me to see if anything was wrong, which led to stronger feelings that no one really cared, and only seemed to strengthen that feeling because no one ever asked. I started thinking that maybe I needed to be more direct, but how? Who do I go to and what do I say or do? At twelve years old I did not have the answers, I would soon be turning thirteen and things only seemed to be getting worse. I used to wonder why no one ever asked if I was ok. I started to feel worthless, unwanted, unnoticed, and forgotten; but I had to keep going forward, no matter how dark things were in my life, there has always been a small light of hope that I have been able to firmly take hold of to keep going.
I didn’t expect my friends to know what to do or to be able to do anything, for that I left to adults, but I had at least thought that they would ask if I was ok, I don’t think I can say I ever truly had a friend, at that time, excluding one that I had no contact with during that period. I began to do what I had to do to survive, and although it has had severe consequences currently, I was at least able to get by and continue to move forward with my life for a time, and do what I needed to do to complete my education. I had to learn how to do it myself, and this was the beginning of learning how and starting to put it into effect.