Tuesday, May 31, 2011

9th grade: The days and weeks after State

You will want to read this first--9th grade: The day before State-- as this post is the 2nd part of a 3 part series.

I obviously made it through. Our jr. high cheer squad won 3rd…I think? Maybe even 4th…? Funny how things that were so important at one point—are clearly not important in the long run. My co-ed club cheer squad probably got 1st…? At that point in time AZ Heat was the #1 competitive cheer program in the state, so we usually won by sheer difficulty of our routines. That sounds arrogant, but I say that to say that I could’ve performed pretty poorly and we probably would have still won…no thanks to me at all.

The next week also consisted of a lot of tears. A lot of hard conversations. A few mixed CDs of sad songs that reminded me of my friend who had died {I still have these}. A nearly unbearable viewing. A funeral I wasn’t allowed to go to {Parents wouldn’t let me miss school and didn’t think it was right to let me wallow in that sadness anymore…probably for the better}.

Following Ryan’s suicide, I was introduced to new terms and ideas. Ryan had a chemical imbalance in his brain and they were trying new medication. Medications for this type of issue can have detrimental side effects—like pushing someone into deeper depression. I learned that what looked perfect on the outside of families is often not what it seems.

Every family has its issues and shortcomings. Things are not always what they seem. People are not always what they seem. People are not always as happy as they may seem. The idea that I could have done more as a friend to Ryan has not left me—even 8 years later.

I began to fear keeping anything to myself. I promised not to keep my negative thoughts to myself for fear I’d become depressed and then shut down and then not want to talk to anyone and maybe get so deep and dark that I’d want to commit suicide. I was terrified that would happen to me. I now realize this is irrational, but that’s just where I was at during that time.

I became an oversharer who gave everything in relationships with people. I gave up things at a split second if anyone needed me and stayed up way too late at night (when I should’ve done homework) to help friends solve their problems. I relied on others so much for my emotional wellbeing and expected people to know what to do with it. As you can imagine, this fed into a handful of difficult relationships, broken hearts, and lots of confusion. This process continued to change me in one way or another over the next few months and years.

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