I was thirteen when the Voice started talking to me. It told me a good many things.
I would never have friends.
No one liked me. Not really.
I was fat.
I was ugly.
I wasn’t good at anything.
I was stupid.
I was worthless.
No one loved me.
I would die alone.
It showed me a good many things, too. Namely; my bleeding and broken body on the bathroom floor, one leg propped on the rim of the bath tub. Sometimes the shower is running, sometimes it isn’t.
I’m always conscious, the life bleeding out of me. I’m always hoping someone will walk in and finally notice me. Finally notice the pain that I’m in. And will finally help me because I can’t help myself anymore.
I’ve known how I was going to take my own life, if it ever came to that.
I told my mother about the Voice once, and the look on her face told me I should never mention it again. Not that she was angry, but the mixture of fear and disbelief on her, even then, wizened features told me I should never, ever mention it again. My mom could deal with a lot, but not what her daughter was going through.
So, I told the voice to shut up.
It got quiet. It got smart.
I was the loud kid in school, the one looking for attention any way I could get it, looking for someone to like me because I needed that external validation of my character, someone needed to like me to make the Voice shut up.
Robin Williams’ death hit me like a punch in the gut. I’ve cried, and I can’t stop crying because I know, I know that the belt he wrapped around his neck could just as easily be that fall I take from the bath tub.
I grew up with his movies, I dreamed of working with him on an animated film when I got to draw for a living. I admire the man, I love all of his movies. Genie is at the top of my ‘favourite Disney character’ list, and there will never be another Peter Pan in the history of forever.
I don’t write this entry to look for sympathy. The Voice has given me a martyr complex; a desperation to be the victim so I can then have validation for everything that goes wrong from an outside source.
The Voice says “It’s not you’re fault, but it really is all your fault.”
I write this entry because a great man was taken from us by the Voice; the monster inside that no amount of therapy, medication, couch/pillow forts can overcome. It’s a darkness that is always inside, always waiting for that one moment of absolute weakness to swoop in and show us everything that is wrong, to validate every bad feeling and thought we’ve ever had and to make it a million times worse until we are left feeling absolutely alone, though we can be surrounded by those who are closest to us.
I write this entry because, sometimes it’s the loudest people who are hurting the most. I write this entry because all of us are fighting an unseen battle. I write this entry in the hopes that it will let someone know that you are not alone.
I know the Voice. It’s been my companion for many, many years.
If you know someone who is struggling, or someone who was once loud and who has gone silent, please for the love of everything you hold dearest to your heart; reach out to that person, build them a pillow fort and stay in there with them and let them know that everything will be okay. Even if they don’t believe you.
When you’re fighting the Voice, you want to be alone, but you can’t be alone because being alone is scary and full of dark things.
Call this number if you know someone who is at risk: 1-800-273-8255
Don’t let them fight alone.