It was 2000 and conceptual knowledge of certain things was culturally non-existent. There was no Facebook, no Twitter, no blogging, not yet anyways. Pretty much we had closed chat rooms and AIM hangouts. The internet was a place to run and hide, to have secret conversations with whomever was on the other end of the line (of course, none of that was even possible with out a computer and phone line for dial-up). The very thought of teenage rebellion was just that.
She wants to wear all black, she’s just a teenager; he wants to drink, he’s just a teenager; she wants to shave her head and colour it a new colour every month, she’s just a teenager; he wants to take needles and stick them through his fingers and tongue in class, he’s just trying to get attention; she starts adding piercings to her ears, she’s just trying to define her style and stand out; she starts wearing long sleeves all the time despite the humid southern summers, she must just be protecting her flawless porcelain complexion.
It can’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that she feels like wearing the shadows will keep her hidden from view; that drinking will give his mind reprieve and maybe even stop it all together; that literally changing her appearance can change who she is as a person merely by changing the way she sees herself; that causing himself the even slightest amount of physical pain makes him feel alive and real; by adding permanent accessories on the outside distances herself physically from those she sees no hope of being able to relate to anyways; and if it weren’t for the long sleeve shirts and his favourite leather jacket, everyone would be able to see just how hard he had to try to not hate every single atom of his being.
From the outside looking in it must have all looked quite ridiculous, like a scream for attention, to be different, to stand out. It must be so nice to be able to see and feel things to plainly; to have control and understanding of yourself, of your feelings and actions. From the inside looking out it did all seem pointless and trivial, but at least it was something to do; something that was a little fun while it lasted, before going right back to the monotony of the day-to-day, and offered a break in the mind-numbing pain.
Even this post, or talking about how you actually feel about something, or why you do what you do may seem excessive and maybe even whiny. They don’t understand what it’s like to feel these things, not the way some people do. They may get sad sometimes, or have random morbid thoughts, but they will never feel the overwhelming sinking feeling that takes over your every sense. They literally can’t even imagine what it would be like to have no control over your thoughts and feelings.
That is why it’s so important to talk about things with others, whether family or friends or even getting professional help. The more you talk about it the easier it is to distinguish what thoughts are the depression/anxiety/mania/OCD/etc and which are your own. Talking openly about things makes it easier for those around you to understand why you do what you do and say what you say, and helps them to better recognize and understand what you’re going through so that they may be able to help instead of exacerbate a situation.
Open up and be honest friends; love you awesome nerds!