The Silent Killer

Even silence has a sound. Nothing sounds a whole lot like something when it’s just you and your thoughts alone in a room. Silence speaks greater volumes than words at times. Imagine coming home after a long day and it’s silence greeting you at the door. For some, that’s ideal, but when silence taunts you and you’re face-to-face with your unspoken truths, it’s another story.

I’m sure we’ve all experienced and even appreciated silence at some points in our lives, but I learned silence made a sound, a very unpleasant sound, roughly six years ago. I didn’t know how to communicate nor was I willing to learn. Like most people, I thought if I didn’t address things and ignored them, they would go away. And if they didn’t go away, I thought I could pretend until I convinced my own mind otherwise.

I tried to keep myself busy enough to avoid myself. Who has time to think when there’s so much to do? I tried to resist being alone at all costs because I didn’t want to be stuck in a room with just me, my thoughts and silence facilitating the unwanted meeting. As much as I hated these frequent unexpressed forums, I decided that suffering in silence was easier and less painful than speaking up. Thoughts of having to hear myself utter undesired words that actually pertained to my situation, the responses I would receive from others and even how I would cohabitate with these said truths were enough to keep me quiet. I didn’t want these things to be true about me and I was ashamed.

I allowed silence to hold my tongue hostage for two long years. That screaming quiet let me die a little every day until I could not contain myself any longer.

I was depressed and didn’t want anyone to know. However, I thought I could pull a fast one on depression by sleeping. I thought the only way I could avoid thinking and all my 19-year-old problems was to sleep them off. It might sound crazy, but I did and I’ve never wasted so much time in my life.

I slept two years away. It only took me several years later to realize how destructive my behavior was. Besides my relationships and grades, my emotional and physical health suffered more than anything. I look back now and know that it wasn’t worth it. I inflicted more stress and pain on myself all because I would not speak up about anything. I was a stone wall to the public eye and a coward to mine. To this day, my biggest regret is those two years I’ll never get back and the spiraling damage they caused.

I know I’m speaking rather vaguely right now, but please understand this is a process. Baring your soul isn’t easy and words can’t be unsaid once they’re out there. I’m still learning how to summarize and verbalize all that I’ve endured. I’m still learning to be comfortable in my truths. No matter how ugly they are, they’re mine and I need to own them so they don’t own me.

There’s still life in my voice, even when I thought we got separated in the darkness. And while there’s still life in this body, I want to use this voice to be heard for someone else and to help someone else. I’m probably not the best example, so hell, if you have to, look at me as what not to do. Take what you can from these posts, be better than me and go be the example for someone else! I’m telling you, there’s someone who needs it who won’t say so.


*Photo Credit: K. Lashay

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  1. Yes yes yes!!! I felt the last two years of my own life in those post. Without details or elaboration, I can understand exactly how you feel. Exposing your own truths is definitely a process and should be taken at ones own speed. This post is very touching and dear to my heart as I look back on my own depression and sufferings. You’re words will touch many, inspire them, motivate them and give them courage; they have most definitely touched mine.

    1. Thank you! There’s so many issues that are not discussed enough in the black community and depression is definitely one of them. One of the worse things I’ve ever done is keeping quiet about things I should have spoke up about, but it’s never too late! I’m happy I can share my experiences that others can relate to and learn from. I wish you all the healing, peace and joy your heart can handle! Thank you again.

  2. This is such a pure, honest and beautifully written post! I think anyone that has dealt with depression can relate to sleeping your life away. I pray that soon you can become fully comfortable in your truth, no matter how ugly it is as you’ve said- it’s the most liberating feeling! Wishing you the best💙

    1. I can’t imagine anyone enjoying this. It’s something I’ve dreaded for years. Let’s just claim it now: you will find clarity in the midst of that confusion and joy! And the silence doesn’t last forever.

  3. I’m late but so happy to have read your post! You mentioned at the end that you should be an example of what not to do but I think it’s awfully courageous of you to speak your truth. I see it as extremely positive, inspirational and necessary for others who are struggling with similar issues to hear. I’ve struggled with depression for many years and could hear myself echoed in your words. If nothing else, I felt the comfort of knowing that I’m not alone and anyone who has struggled with depression knows how lonely that feeling can be. Thank you for being vulnerable and brave enough to show others that it’s ok to speak up! <3

    1. Thank you, Nichelle! It’s funny because I don’t think I’m brave at all and that’s exactly why I’m pushing myself to do this. I fight with myself all the time about opening up, but I have yet to regret it. Depression is miserable and feels inescapable sometimes. I’m glad to be reaching those who can relate. Thank you again!

  4. I wish we could’ve been supportive of each other over the years. Silence was my solace and conquest of an eternal completion. I do know throughout the year I find myself with bouts of melancholy and some extreme cases severe depression as recent as this past summer and last December. I can’t say I’ve only struggled with depression as that was only a symptom to a much larger misfortune, but from time to time I do find myself with mood swings daily, if not hourly, it depends. I was clinically diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder six years ago and ever since my life has never been the same. I can say that I have been striving towards healing since. I just wish it was with the support of family. But from being silent we’ve missed the opportunity to be each other’s rock. A significant reason I have failed so many times taking my own life is that I made a promise to my little sister that I shall always be there for her. I could not come to breaking that promise. Sound can only travel through air and as long as we breathe we should make noise and adjust the volume from time to time.

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