Lost Words

Losing my words was a slow, and unmarked process. There weren’t long pages of diary notes, where I wrote myself dry, or even one major work of fiction, where I poured every ounce of my being, into the words that left my soul. Instead, when I climbed out through the last of my heaviest depressive phase, I found that there were no more feelings. I no longer depended on friends to distract me from the processes that went on within my own mind. I moved away from secretly expecting the people I cared about, to offer me the same kind of giddy, unequivocal affection and love–although, it must be said, my kind of love was not the healthiest, so perhaps it was good that I no longer held those expectations. In the place of my lost words, I gained a nothingness I still struggle to explain. There is a nothingness I still struggle to explain. It was unlike the numbness that had swallowed me, until I almost hurt myself to feel again. This nothingness held all the words I no longer felt enthusiastic enough to write. It contained the thoughts I found too self-pitying, or too morose to take note of. This nothingness was filled with dreams I never knew I had, that had withered away, and it showed me all the feelings I once took for granted, when I thought I loved too much. After I discovered the nothingness, I tried to speak again. Strangely enough, my voice had finally returned to me, but there were no words to use it with. Somehow, I had divorced myself from my emotions, and my words.

Knowing that I could finally speak without as much self-consciousness, and laugh with total abandon was an altogether alarming knowledge. I felt betrayed by the newly abrupt, and serrated Rhythm that had replaced my lyricism. My poetry was sharp, and blunt. It hit me in the face, and made me wince when I recalled it, and all I really wanted, was the girl who could write stanza, upon stanza of poetry, in ode to love, and life, and loss. Still, that discovery, was not as disconcerting as my inability to speak, although I’d regained my voice. For in place of my newly gained voice, I’d earned a tongue that stumbled over words that were once a reminder of the music I loved to play. I choked on chapters the way I’d once hurt my brain with musical notes I could not play quite right. In short, the depression’s fog had settled on, and poisoned parts of myself, I never knew I could lose, that is to say, I lost interest in everything that had been so important to me. My writing. My music. My poetry. My unguarded ability to love.

Through all of this, what finally struck the death blow, was not the depression that had created a shell of myself. Neither was it the regression to a place where speaking was hard because I could not remember the feel of words on my tongue; rather, it was “Correction.” That one short story that I forced myself to complete, so it would not fall prey to the works-in-progress pile that distresses so many writers. Writing “Correction.” had taken a very influential piece of my writing away, because I had finally wielded my words the way I wanted to. There were no allusions, no euphemisms, no eloquent lines marked by lyricism, and musicality. All that existed in its cathartic creation, was a plain image of a girl that could be me, in a world that could have been mine, with a story that was unlike mine in so many ways, but a truth that was mine. It was not my fault.

For Sara


Dear Sara,

It’s been two years, two months, and approximately seven days since we first heard the news. We weren’t best friends, or even particularly close friends. What I do know though, is that being on an online platform–where a few lines of html, SQL scripts, and code, become a diary, and a way out–creates a space where strangers know more about us than the people in our lives. If you were still here today, if you could still hug your son, or speak to your husband, I would tell you that in this space many of us have created for ourselves, there will come a time when we can slowly go through each post. And with each post, we will find a piece of ourselves that we have lost, or one that we have yet to find. From those short lines, or that one verbose, sordid post where we laid bare our souls, we will look at it, and think, “I cannot believe I made it this far.” Then, in time to come, we will even say that we can not fathom how we moved from the world where pain, and darkness were everything, to one where we understood that they are only a fraction of what we could feel.

Since I’ve last known you, and read your words, I’ve lost my own words, but lately, things that remind me of you, have been showing up in my life. So, I thought I would wrestle with my word loss for a few minutes, to say that I wish you had made it into this year. I wish you were still here to realise how many miles you’d travelled in this journey, and how much of that journey would slowly become something you once hoped for. No, I will not, and I would not have said that the journey would get easier, or that it would fail to hold its power over you, but I would have said, that you did have the strength to move through it. Sometimes, it is a matter of making it through every second, and then every minute, and finally every hour, until the days begin to move at a regular pace again.

I don’t know why I chose to address this post to you, or why, when I first heard of your death, I chose to address that post to you–for my beliefs teach me that death is a sweet sleep, one in which you feel and know nothing until the time to wake has come again. Yet, I do not think that this post could have been complete without me writing it to you–for it is yours.

There were many things that influenced your choice, and we will never really know which one was the straw that broke the camel’s back. What we do know, those of us that cared about you, is that at each step of the way, you fought it all tooth and nail, and to those that secretly called you a coward for your choice, I hope in time they put away the shell that covers their hearts, and take time to understand. Understanding is what saves lives. Companionship is what keeps those of us who are drifting, grounded. Not big gestures. Not fancy words. Just knowing that there is one person who we can talk to without talking, that will grasp at least a minute amount of the whirlpool that swirls within us. True, it cannot stop everything, for the final decision rests with us, but often, a bit of flotsam floating nearby, is all that’s needed to keep our heads above water.

To you, and the many parts that were a part of you,
From the unfragmented, but many parts that are a part of me.

Yours truly,
The Honorary Member of the Sugar Clouds Club.

To laughter, and Cotton Candy.

Originally posted on Deenakdrowaln:

You tried. 

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