Looking back | Teen Ink

Looking back

November 11, 2010
By Anonymous

I stare at the paper in front of me, trying to think of what to write. It's not like it normally is; the thoughts to come to me in a flood, unstoppable and easy to decipher. Today I am stuck. This is possibly the most difficult writing assignment I have ever had. And strangely enough, it's not the kind of assignment I am accustomed to.

My mom told me to describe what it's like here. The people, the things I learn, and how I feel. I told her I would love to, that it would make the day pass more easily, that it would cure the boredom I was constantly feeling in this place.

There's not much to do in a mental hospital. They don't allow computers, which are normally my only way of life. I am not permitted to call my friends, not that I normally do anyways. I spend my whole day with strangers, coloring pictures and staring at the walls. I try to engage in conversation, but I've never been a pro conversationalist. Even here, I mostly keep to myself.

Why am I in a mental hospital, you might be wondering. Well, ever since eighth grade, which almost seems like an eternity ago to me, I've had severe depression. Recently it's gotten worse, and I'm here for suicidal thoughts. Others here have attempted, but I don't think I'll ever be that brave.

Suddenly I start to think of what I'll tell the people at school, the few who actually notice my absences. First will be the annoying kid who sits next to me in Journalism, and my friend/acquaintance that I occasionally talk to in creative writing (as you can see, writing is sort of my passion). I suppose I could simply give them the explanation “I was sick,” but what if they pry? People aren't always respectful of one's privacy.

One of the other patients sits down beside me on the uncomfortable sofa, leaning in to see what I have written. This would ordinarily annoy me, but thankfully the page is still blank. “Striving to be a famous novelist?” She asks, and I can't help but laugh. One day...

Suddenly I'm reminded of what the paramedics said to me before they left me here, after the long ambulance ride. “You better write your story,” she'd told me, a smile on her face. “In ten years, you never know what will happen.”

Suddenly tears fill my eyes, and I miss the people that make up my life. My mom, my sister, my dog Emmett. I long for them to be beside me, and realize that their absence is what causes this lack of inspiration. How am I supposed to write about something meaningful when for this past week my life has been completely devoid of inspiration?

“Hey,” the girl beside me says, sympathy in her voice. “You never know what will happen in ten years. I can guarantee you that you won't be here.”

With that she gets up, and heads over to talk to another group of girls. I remember her distinctly. She's the one who attempted suicide because of a fight with her mother. I had felt so sorry for her while she told her story during group.

The pen feels heavy in my hands, and once again my eyes fixate on the blank piece of paper in front of me. Paper is not meant to remain empty. With that thought on my mind, I start to write.
Because in ten years... you never know.

The author's comments:
I wrote this while remembering the time I spent in the hospital for suicidal thoughts. It was hard for me to be there, but I think writing is what got me through.

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