Jesse J. Anderson


Surviving

Content warning: suicide, depressionIf you are in crisis, call 800-273-8255

 

Time stopped with the sharp sound of a rapid inhale.

My mom was holding the phone receiver to her ear, her free hand now covering her mouth. I could sense that death was on the line. Her eyes avoided mine.

She started to cry.

 

I've never been good with time. Days passed while my parents whispered behind a door, muffled voices leaking through. I heard my friend's name and sat frozen, suspended in that precise moment before everything would change.

Eventually, his voice broken, my dad told me that my friend was gone.

I fell through eternity, alone. Sixteen years of age, but I crawled under my bed like I was six and stayed there for hours. Time lost again.

The questions were a flood, but then nothing. I didn't actually want answers, I suddenly didn't want anything, it was all a black hole. I longed for silence and stillness and emptiness and nothing at all.

Joy sounded ugly, and the months got darker. I had always been a happy kid, but now I'd been robbed—I was drowning and I didn't care.

It seemed inevitable.

 

But then one day, the desire for hope returned. Not hope itself, but the feeling that I could hope again, that I wanted to hope again, that I was allowed to hope again.

It felt like a direction I could walk toward.

And so I walked.