My Invisible Friend

Hello darkness, my old friend

I’ve come to talk with you again

Because a vision softly creeping

Left its seeds while I was sleeping

And the vision that was planted in my brain

Still remains

Within the sound of silence… – Lyrics for The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel

I have an invisible friend that likes to visit from time to time. Simon and Garfunkel know who he is, he is ‘darkness’.

Depression takes many forms and shapes, for me he is this invisible friend I often call, ‘darkness’. He creeps in leaving seeds in my mind as I sleep that grow into my dreams and following me as I wake and into my day.

Today, he left me with the song “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel. This song triggers thoughts and memories. The memories are of movies, like Watchmen when it was played at the funeral, places, people and things. My boyfriend calls these things ‘triggers’, because it leads to an emotional response within me.

I am an introvert, the weird kind that can talk to complete strangers about absolutely nothing because I know I am of no consequence to them and they are of no consequence to me. BUT… I struggle around my family and my boyfriends family. I struggle around people I know. I want to hide at family and social gatherings, either in a book, in my art, my phone or iPad. It gives my boyfriend great pain that I struggle so and he wants me to become the extrovert I just cannot be in those situations… but that’s not my point. My point is that I am an introvert and music effects me deeply.

Music touches my soul in a way that no other media can. It can make me happy, it can make me sad, and it can take me away to places I’ve never been.

When I first got divorced, there was music I could listen to that seemed to feed into the depression that I felt from the open wound I was carrying around. If I hear some of those songs now, I find that I have to change the station or track to get away from it. If I listen to some of those songs, then all of the feelings of that open gaping wound come back to me.

There are songs that can be triggered in my mind from events or my urges. Recently, a local police officer committed suicide while on duty in his patrol Tahoe with his side arm. It hit me differently from how it hit other people, but my anti-suicide song popped into my head.

My anti-suicide song is “Jumper” by Third Eyed Blind. That song sings out to all of us who are struggling with our not so imaginary friends. That friend that takes us over to the edge of the cliff, the knife in the drawer, the bottle of pills, or that pistol. This song is about brining someone back from that place. Back to reality, away from that edge or that jagged, sharp rock bottom.

It’s not easy to step back from that ledge when your old friend ‘darkness’ has you convinced that is the answer. That killing yourself is the ultimate answer to end all of the pain.

I have been told before, by my boyfriend, that it is selfish for someone to commit suicide. But in your mind or that person’s mind, it may not be. That person may be convinced that he/she is a burden on their loved ones, because of their health issues or mental health issues. They feel like if they end, then their loved ones no longer have to suffer because of them. I know, because that was the conclusion I came to when I was 13 years old.

I struggle every day telling my invisible friend to go away. Going to therapy and processing my thoughts and feelings have helped me tremendously. It’s still hard to tell my friend to take a hike. Some days are easier than others, but there will always be a struggle and I just have to be prepared and ready for it.

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