The Way Out

I know how it feels. Somehow.

In my 19 years of existence, there were many times when I was pushed to the very edge. Many things and even people were there to challenge me, to hinder me, to stop me, to break me. And I admit that there were instances when I let them win. Yes, there were moments when I truly gave up, when all I wanted was to be gone. I even got to the point when I was actually thinking of doing “it”. Thank God that I never really did.

It is hard to keep on going through everyday when you know that everything’s going to be just the same- empty, wearisome, pointless. Hope is nothing more than a silly word. You are the biggest failure you know. The whole world seems to be against you. Nobody cares.

That’s all there is to it, you’d say. But, dear friend, that isn’t true. Change is constant, and nothing is forever. You cannot always be happy, and, likewise, you cannot always be sad. All good things come to an end, and so do the bad ones. Everyone- irregardless of gender, race, age, status, background- suffers from something. We are all facing our own set of demons, and it isn’t always easy.

Some people choose to take their own lives because they see it as a form of escape- the only way they can free themselves from the bondage of pain and loneliness. Yet, there are also people who do it because they are sick. Clinical depression can enter and ruin the life of anyone, even the most successful and those who seem to be the happiest.

This month, one of the films I was lucky to have seen at the tenth Cinemalaya film festival was #Y. In a nutshell, it was a retrospect of the last few days of Miles before he killed himself. I didn’t expect the film to be that good. It was a true gem, and it made me understand clinical depression a lot better. It was utterly heartbreaking to follow the story of a young and beautiful soul who tried yet failed to find something worth living for.

Just two days after I saw the film, Robin Williams was reported to have committed suicide. When I first heard the news, it was difficult for me to digest the fact that the great actor who gave life to the character that truly inspired me (O captain, my captain) lost his life because he himself wasn’t able to find an inspiration to keep on fighting. It is another clinical depression case, and it is another battle lost to this sickness many people find hard to understand.

Being sick isn’t confined to the physical. And sometimes, trying to overcome what’s in your head is more difficult than dealing with some sort of physical affliction.

There may have been instances when suicide was a choice, but never always. I believe that some people have succumbed to doing it because it seemed to be not simply the easy way out but the only way out. And it isn’t.

The journey is tough not only for the one suffering but also for the one trying to save him. When a person is already too deep into his suffering, getting him out is nowhere near easy. And really, there’s nobody to blame. Depression is real, and it is happening to many people.

I am hoping that those who have chosen what they saw as their only way out have already found peace. It isn’t always their fault that they did it. Maybe everything’s  just too much, or maybe was never enough. Maybe they were pushed to the edge with nowhere else to go. Maybe they had nothing and nobody to hold on to. I guess we just can never know.

Throughout my life, I’ve experienced feeling helpless and hopeless, alone and abandoned. I’ve already felt like I don’t matter to anyone at all. And you know what? I’d like to believe that in those moments that I did, I thought wrong. No, I know that I was wrong. Nobody can ever be truly hopeless and helpless, and alone and abandoned. And I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t matter. The night may be too dark and too long, but the dawn will always come.

For some, it was the easy way out. For others, it was the only way out. In life, the truth is you don’t always need a way out.

Keep holding on. There would be times when it’s not going to be easy, but it would always be worth it.

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