This seems like a lifetime ago, to go back and think of what my life was before – while she was still here. To recall daily life within our household. When it came to Josie and I – our personalities were as comparable to black and white as they come. I was the mischievious one, who had to buck the system at every cost. My mentality was, tell me I can’t and I’ll show you I will! And there were always consequences to follow my actions, but I was willing to pay them. I’d forfeit a couple weeks of grounding to throw that killer party. Sleep in my car in December after getting locked out for breaking curfew just to say I attended that party? Suuure, why not! 😉 I was far more interested in where the next party was going to take place, where we were going to smoke on lunch hour and chatting it up with friends then I was about school. Aside from English and Psych classes – count me out. Working didn’t bother me, because shit, at least I could talk and socialize without deadlines and a different teacher every hour, reminding me that I failed to complete another assignment. ha Life was a blast for me – I was all about friends and excitement and just plain FUN!
Josie on the other hand, struggled on the daily with things such as this that came so easily for me. By the age of 11 she was diagnosed with clinical depression, which was the start of many years of ongoing counseling and medication. She worked hard at school, she was pretty quiet and kept to herself. She always had a hard time making friends, and the ones she did make, she clung too. She was as witty as they came, she always had great one liners, and a laugh that was contagious – but not many seen that side. She slept alot of her days away, she was always indecisive, never confident in her decisions. She was always reaching for temporary forms of satisfaction (which I think is fair to say we’re all plenty of guilty of). She thought a certain pair of shoes, an outfit, a concert, the next job, a certain school, or a trip away was the answer. But most of those were the thrill of the chase for her, she loved the idea behind it all, but once she had it, it wasn’t as grand as she had pictured in her head. It was as if everything was a disappointment. She’d make plans and be so excited, just to bail at the last minute.She couldn’t understand why she couldn’t be like everyone around her – just be free! She was most attracted to people that were, to those that were confident, spoke their mind, knew what they wanted (or thought they did), those that could make fun out of nothing, those that made her laugh, that tried to pushed her outside her comfort zone, that included her. She was drawn to it because she wanted it. She just didn’t know how to achieve it. I was one of those people, I made things look so easy – and they were easy for the most part, but they weren’t that important either. Smiling and laughing wasn’t an every day luxury for her. She worried about everyone and everything, like me and the kickbacks of my next soon to be ‘brilliant’ decision! She struggled with her weight, she struggled with fitting in, she struggled expressing herself in any form, she struggled with internalizing everything – she…..just plain struggled. Alot.
This was life behind closed doors – not life on Facebook, not life at work or school, not life in public – this was behind the scenes. This was behind the sweet smile and demeanor that everyone complimented her for. And it’s not that she wasn’t – it’s just that there was far more there that ran far deeper then any of us really knew. Perhaps more then she ever knew on many levels. As much as I couldn’t understand why she couldn’t just be happy – she didn’t understand how I could be. It wasn’t until after she left that I got a full dose of what her life consisted of. But I knew why I was depressed, she never did. To be lost in life, on a deeper level and to never know why – what a lonely feeling, especially at such a young age. I began to know that feeling – it was a scary one – it was a valley of it’s own and another one I could relate too, and another regret I had to live with. I could relate – but after the fact – that’s what I hated – that I finally got it all after it was too late. Past the chance of getting to intervene, past the chance of saving her, past the chance of alot of things. It’s not until you’re forced to walk in their shoes do you ever fully understand the capacity of the pain. The reasons behind their choices or actions. In today’s world it’s SO easy to look at everyone around us and say how we’d do it differently. To accuse, blame and hate. We live in a society that points fingers in every direction but our own. And I can’t help but think in a world so judging and harsh – in a society where insanely abnormal has become normal – would it have helped her to know and see it from this angle – that she really wasn’t as alone as she thought she was?
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