I woke up to my alarm clock around 8:30am, the third of the five alarms I had set. I turned the alarm off and looked around my room. Nothing had changed in the three days I had been in bed. My fan continued to blow cold stale air in my direction, just hard enough to cause my hair to move. A heart shaped sandwich that my mother had made two days before sat untouched on my dresser. It was staring back at me, almost begging me to get out of bed to eat it. However, I knew I wasn’t getting up, not even if I wanted to. I had not been out of bed since I got back from the doctor’s office. I thought about the appointment I had as I glanced at the pill bottle I was given, which still sat unopened next to my bed. I thought about the bandages on my wrists as the doctor talked with my parents and I in her office. “Depression” is the only word I could hear before I tune the conversation out once again. I only remember feeling my mother and father each taking my hand and squeezing it, telling me “everything is going to be okay”.
As I was recalling these events I heard a knock at the door, it was my mother. She entered the room with a kind of forced smile on her face and walked over to my bed and sat down. I saw that she too made a glance toward the untouched pill bottle, and reached for it. I knew what she wanted me to do, but I wanted no part of it. She extended her hand towards me with a pill clenched in an almost fist. I stared at her for a while and saw as her eyes were almost pleading with me to take the pill. I did not want to take it but I did, for the sake of my mother. I opened my mouth and pretended to swallow the pill with a swig of water, my mother stared at me with a smile as if she expected it would take effect instantly. But I simply took the pill in my hand and threw it in the trash when she wasn’t looking. My mother gave me a hug and a smile and then left my room, closing the door carefully behind her. I didn’t like lying to my mother, but if I fake taking the pills we will both get what we want. She is taking this all especially hard because she has seen how bad it could get. So if it meant faking it for my mother’s sake, I would do it. I looked at the clock and saw that it was only 10am, I had been up for an hour and a half and I already needed a nap. So I grabbed my sheets and threw them over my head, as if I were trying to hide from reality, and went to sleep.
The next thing I knew I was being shaken awake by someone, but I couldn’t tell who. As I opened my eyes I saw a dark shadow over me and it sang the words “Good morning sunshine” right in my face. I shot up immediately and looked at my old friend standing in my dark room and I was so happy to see him. I had rejected everyone that had tried to come and see me since my incident, but it was good to see him. We both sat on the edge of my bed and talked as if nothing had ever happened. We talked about sports, girls, school, everything you can think of, we covered it. It reminded me of the times before I felt so low and helpless. Before I would even think about taking my own life. It was odd, but no matter how happy I seemed to him I knew he could tell I wasn’t doing well.
We were watching Sports Center when I heard him take a deep breath before he asked the question, “What happened to you?” I didn’t have the courage to look at him as my eyes began to fill with tears. So instead I shrugged my shoulders and whispered: “I don’t know; I just couldn’t do it anymore”. He looked at me with a slight frown and inhaled deeply. He opened his mouth but no words came out, almost like he was waiting for the words to come out on their own. “Why didn’t you ever tell anyone?” he finally asked. I sat quietly for a few seconds before I muttered: “I didn’t think anyone would care”. I could tell he was staring right at me without even looking at him. “That’s crazy!” he finally said, “You have plenty of people who care about you”. I shook my head slightly in disagreement. It was hard for me to hear that someone actually cared about me, no matter how much I wanted to believe it. He put his arm around me and said: “Everyone deals with this type of pain at some point, maybe not on a clinical level, but other people know how this feels too”. Again I remained silent. “I know things seem bad right now, but you have an opportunity to try and get back to the old you”, he said. I knew he was right, but I didn’t want to believe him. “You mean by taking those pills”, I mumbled, he just looked at me and said “Yes, a lot of people did not have the opportunity to make it as far as you have. They didn’t get the opportunity to get help with their problems. Do you realize you could be dead right now? Do you realize you have a chance to get better? You have the opportunity to get treatment and get yourself back to normal and be happy again. Even if you don’t believe it for yourself, believe it for the sake of the people that care about you. Your little brother doesn’t have anyone to play catch with, your mother cooks dinner by herself, and your father watches the games alone in the basement. Your classmates miss you, and your teachers worry about what happened to you.” I sat there in thought, for what seemed like an eternity, about everything I had just heard. I thought about how the people I love were suffering too. It never occurred to me that my presence had such an impact on so many people. It felt an odd feeling come over me that I had not felt in quite some time, and my friend could tell. “See, ” he said with a smile, “You know that everything I’ve said is true. You matter more than you will ever know to so many people. And they all want to have the old you back. But most importantly I want back the old you.” After he said that he ruffled my hair, stood up, and began to walk towards the door. Before he could open the door I let out a tearful “Thank you, I miss you too”. It was then that he turned and stepped into the sunlight and I saw myself, almost as if I were looking in a mirror. The old me. He looked so happy to see me smiling, and I began to feel happiness for the first time in a long time. “I’m looking forward to seeing you soon” he as he closed the door behind him.
Almost as soon as the door closed the door re-opened with my mother on the other side. “Who are you talking to, dear?” she questioned. I paused for a moment then looked at her with a smile and said “Oh nobody, just an old friend”. I rolled over to grab my pill bottle and inhaled deeply before popping it in my mouth and swallowing it. I knew nothing was going to happen instantly, but hey it’s a start. I knew that I was going to have to at least try and be happy because nothing can happen if I don’t make an effort. So with that, I got out of bed, for the first time in a few days, and went downstairs to have lunch with my family. My old friend was right, they did miss me.