The Girl In The Blue Dress.

Posted by Tanisha Tyagi in #LetsTalk
April 5, 2017
This story is in response to Youth Ki Awaaz’s topic for this week – #LetsTalk to start a conversation on the stigma around depression. If you have an opinion or personal story of dealing with or helping someone else deal with depression or suicidal thoughts, write to us here.

I watch her stride boldly across the corridors of the university, making a click-clack noise with her high heels. The expression on her face was the kind that looked angry and sad at the same time. But apart from that, she looked absolutely beautiful in the bright blue dress, wearing maroon lipstick and making no efforts to hide her well contoured face.

I admired her fearless personality. She wore thick eyeliner on her eyes which made her eyes seem striking and sharp. I think I did smile at her a time or two, just to let her know that I admired her persona and the way she carried herself so outstandingly.

“She broke up with her boyfriend again.” My friend tells me as the girl disappears round the corridor.

“Knowing him, I have to say, I don’t really get why she has to be with him at all.”  I sigh.

“I know. It’s a mystery to me how she could let this person get to her at all.”

After giving the subject just two minutes, we stop talking about them. Knowing that this is all it’ll get from us – two minutes. Because I know, even if we try to explain it to her, she won’t understand. We knew. We knew she won’t understand. We knew we can’t precisely explain it all to her because she’ll say that we don’t understand and plus, we hardly knew her.

But, we could tell she was falling into a sea of depression, drifting far away from both herself and the ones around her, as every day was a new sadness on her face. We seldom saw her smile.

The day when I decide not to be at the university, just so I could sleep a little more, my phone decides to ping the most. I grunt at each ping and wonder if people have mistaken this day to be my birthday. So I finally grab my phone to see what is going on, scroll down the notification page and they all had to say the same thing – the irony of the moment. It was the complete opposite of what I’d thought it ought to be.

She had jumped.

I gasp. Put down my phone and fall back on the bed, incessantly searching for answers in my head. Suddenly, nothing makes sense. Suddenly, I am filled with regrets. This time I don’t give her just two minutes, this time I don’t give her just half my mind. This time I don’t analyze but empathize; with all my heart. Suddenly, I can feel her pain. Suddenly, I am condemned to self-reproach.

I don’t even know why she did it; it’s hard to put your finger on just one reason. But somehow I know that I couldn’t have done anything. I wasn’t a close friend.

Close friend, why didn’t you do something?

Were the signs of her depression oblivious to you?

Was her perfectly dressed body and her perfectly done hair deceptive of the murkiness of her life?

Tell me, how many times did you tell her that you loved her?

Tell me, when she cried you told her to hold on – just for one more day and that her life is important to you?

I know she was brave but our willpower is not so strong when everything seems to be falling apart in our world, so we need a close friend at our disposal. Tell me that you understood this.

Tell me that you told her about her strengths.

I am not blaming you, close friend.  For there is just so much you could’ve done, but the question is not just about that moment or a few moments before it. It’s a question of a hundred thousand moments which led to it. I know now you wish to have lessened her pain just as much as how I wish to have told her how much I admired her, we’re two different people associated to her differently, but the impact of how we use our associations towards the benefit of others is the same.

I wish for the both of us, to realize this now, to help people fighting depression know how much we love and admire them. How much we empathize with them and how much we wish for them to be stronger and live one day at a time.

To all close friends who think or have an “inkling” about their friends going through depression, please don’t hesitate to talk to them. Talk openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings; you could save more than one life. Don’t join them in the depression but pull them out of it, having said that, don’t ever ask them to get over it. Help them get over it.

Actions speak louder than words.

This is to people fighting depression, from all the close friends, and all the admirers. We love you and admire you for the qualities that make you, you. And there probably isn’t any feeling which is more important than your life.

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