Trigger Warning: This short story is based on true events. This piece talks through Depression, Suicide, and social stigmas. If you feel that this piece may upset you, please skip or proceed to read with caution.
He is diseased, plagued by an illness that no one can see but him. It pulls him apart on the inside, feeding each bit of himself to the hungry animal that is the sickness of his brain.
He walks around, day to day, smiling as if he’ll survive while inside he knows he’s on borrowed time.
Most ignore his illness – they say it’s all fake, he’s just attention seeking. How is that so? He doesn’t talk about it; he doesn’t have days off work for it; he hasn’t even asked for help for it because even the doctors look at him strangely.
How could he have this illness? He’s well off; he’s married and a high paying job.
None of these things stop him from being ill. No one wishes themselves ill, no one wishes themselves cancer so why would he wish himself sick when he has everything to live for, as you suggest?
But that is what it is like, he’s ill – with a ticking time bomb in his head waiting to explode and engulf him.
He’s running out of time. He has minutes. In situations like these, most would give the dying words of comfort, telling them I love you or goodbye, old friend. For this man, he’s faced with verbal abuse before his death.
You’re pathetic! Why can’t you just do this right?
The time bomb goes off, it engulfs him so perfectly that there is no chance of survival.
The illness had spread from one part of his life to the rest, all because he couldn’t get help and everyone ignored his struggle as it was all in his head.
His name was Ray – he was driving home from work when his mother drew the last straw. While talking to her on the phone, he committed suicide by driving his car off a bridge and into a canyon. He was twenty-one years old. His wife found out that day, after his death, that she was expecting.
In the end, the illness didn’t just affect Ray.
It left a wife without her husband, a daughter without her father, and a mother without her son.
But depression isn’t real, is it?