Sincerely Scarlett Eyler
Dear Mom, Dad, and Eliza,
I don’t know how to start this off. I guess something like “Goodbye” would be a good start, but that seems so cliché. It just feels like I have all these thoughts rattling in my head, but I don’t know how to get them down onto paper in such a small amount of time. These will be my last words. No revisions or clarifications. It’s weird to think that I won’t be on this earth by the time you’re reading this. It’s like this is a time capsule of my life and I don’t know what’s worth preserving.
I do know one thing. I love you guys. I really can’t stress enough how grateful I am that you guys worked so hard to give me a roof over my head and give me a good education, but now you won’t have to work as much. You can finally have free time to do what you want. Mom, you can finally become a painter with your very own studio. People will pay thousands for your artwork and money won’t be a concern anymore. Your paintings will be full of so much emotion and will bring critics to tears with how beautiful they are. Dad, you could finally open that restaurant. I can see your smiling face as you come up with new recipes every week. People would come from all around the world to try your dishes. Everyone will be so jealous of the Eylers and how famous they’ve become by doing what they love. I really think that you guys will do really well without a deadweight like me. You guys are both so talented, but your talents are wasted because you feel the need to give me a good education and feed and clothe me.
Eliza, thank you so much. You were so generous and a bright shining star in a pile of absolute shit. If everyone else in school was just a little like you then maybe you would all actually have a bright future for our generation. I can still remember the first time we met. It’s fine if you don’t. It wasn’t a very eventful day when we met. It was another boring school day that felt just like the last one and the one before that and the one before that. I wanted to talk to you for a while since you seemed to have no one to talk to, just like me, but I was so scared. It was the best day of my life when you accepted my request to sit with you. It took me a month of pep talks to ask you. We didn’t talk for weeks, but I still sat with you. We were so awkward, but it was worth it when I found out that you enjoyed manga and anime just like me. When we found that out we exploded into the conversation.
Now I guess I should end the reminiscing and move onto the more practical stuff like what to do with my stuff. I want you to sell it all. You may not get much from it, but as mom says “Every little bit helps.” Also, don’t feel bad about using my college funds. My education was a waste anyway. As for what happens to me, I don’t want a funeral or anything like that. I just want you to get rid of my body in the cheapest way possible. Discard me like a plastic bottle. I just don’t want to be a burden, even after death. I’ve already dragged you guys down with me into this ocean of depression. You guys can swim out now that I’ve sunk to the bottom.
Thank you. You guys really helped me bear what little time I had on this earth. I’m so sorry that you have to find me in whatever state I was in when I died. I read that when you take a bottle of Tylenol your skin doesn’t get too horribly discolored so I hope it isn’t too traumatizing. Use this as a stepping stone to achieving your dreams.
I hate the hospital. The white walls felt like they revoked any semblance of privacy that I had in my hospital gown. My bed was a cage that I couldn’t leave. No one said I couldn’t get up and walk around the premises, but it felt heavily implied. The needles felt so foreign in my arms. Watching the crimson red liquid gets sucked out of my arms felt like I was dreaming, but the pain in my stomach confirmed that this was real life. I never expected to end up in urgent care, but it happened and I hated it. When I was given food I couldn’t even use a spoon to eat. I had to use a piece of cardboard so I wouldn’t ‘hurt myself’ but how could I hurt myself with a spoon?
It feels like they were treating me like a temperamental child. They think I’m rash just because I tried to kill myself, but I actually thought it out. For something as big as taking a life you need to think it through for weeks. I did research and everything. I just didn’t account for mom getting home early. Also, hurting myself, somehow, with a spoon wouldn’t be very well thought out. I’m in a hospital. Any damage that I did to myself would be treated with great ease considering that I would be using a SPOON.
When mom brought me to the emergency room I expected her to be angry with me, but instead she just calmly took me to the car and drove.
The doctor asked me questions. I understand that it was probably a part of his job, but it was still annoying. The drugs were shutting down my cognitive thinking. I can’t really remember what the doctor looked like. I also don’t remember a lot about the two nurses that took care of me.
They had me pee in a cup, which was of gross and injected liquid back in my arm. They also gave me some black pills to swallow. I asked if it was charcoal powder and the nurse nodded and said: “Well, aren’t you a little doctor in the making.” I think I learned that from some dumb youtube video.
When my father came in the… Well, he wasn’t bawling or anything, but tears were still falling down his face. That’s the most vivid thing I can remember. I’ve never seen him cry before. He seemed like a superhuman that never experienced emotion, but that was wrong. I made my father cry. I made my parents worry about me and spend money on a hospital trip. They also should have been in work now that I think about it. I was costing them money in more than one way.
My father brought me my phone because mom didn’t think about bringing my phone. Right, when I got it I texted Eliza, “I’m in the hospital rn.” We never lied to each other and not telling someone close to you something as big as this is the same as lying to them. Eliza replied immediately, “OMFG WTF WHYYYYY ARE YOU OKAY???”
“I’m coming over.” I was scared of that. I didn’t want Eliza to see me the way I was, lying in bed like I was going to die any minute, but I was sure that they wouldn’t let her in since she wasn’t immediate family.
I started to get tired so I decided that I should sleep through today. My plan was suddenly interrupted when Eliza came bursting through the doors, louder than she probably should have in a hospital, “Scarlett! Are you going to get a cool cast? Am I gonna get to sign it?”
“Eliza! You know this is a hospital right? You shouldn’t be so loud.” I tried to get her to calm down so that her volume wouldn’t be on max. She tends to do that when she gets nervous or excited.
Eliza looked at my arm, seeing the needles. She started to open her mouth, but I cut her off, “Took a whole bottle of Tylenol.” I looked down, suddenly feeling extremely guilty.
Eliza fell into the seat next to my bed with her mouth still open. She took a deep breath and then tried to look me in the eyes, “Why?” She sounded oddly intense.
“Because…” I trailed off, hoping that Eliza would drop the subject, but she patiently waited for me to finish, “I w-wanted to.”
“Are you saying you’re… suicidal?” Eliza seemed to hurt. I hurt her. I nodded meekly and Eliza shot up from her seat, “You didn’t tell me?!”
I suddenly felt weaker and quietly begged, “I’m sorry… Don’t be mad.”
Eliza sat back down and silently look at her lap for what felt like an hour. Her face was concentrated. She suddenly spoke, “I’m not mad at you. I’m mad at me. I wish that it was easier to talk to and that I paid more attention to you. If I looked up from my books then I would have noticed that you weren’t happy. Maybe then I could’ve been an outlet for you, but I wasn’t. Best friends are supposed to be there for each other, but you clearly didn’t feel like you could talk to me. That’s my fault.”
I gulped, wishing I had a glass of water “It really isn’t your fault. You did nothing wrong.”
I finally looked up at Eliza with very little courage. I hadn’t noticed before, but she was crying. I just seem to be making everyone cry today. I hate this.
“You don’t have to feel bad for me, I’m doing fine, really,” I smiled.
“Says the person laying in a hospital bed.” I always loved Eliza’s quips.
“I love you,” I put my hand on her shoulder, “Never change.”
“Only if you promise to tell me next time you even think of doing something like this again.”
I started replying, but a nurse came into the room, “Hello Miss. Tyler,” she turned towards Eliza, “I need to talk to Miss Eyler alone.” Eliza complied with the nurse and waved good-bye as she left.
“We’ve decided to omit you from the hospital, under the grounds that you take Prozac daily.”
I agreed. I wanted to leave as soon as possible. My parents took me home after I got my clothes, shoes, and coat back.
I took the Prozac daily. I still do, but it doesn’t seem to make me feel any better. I just feel so helpless. Maybe if I were normal all of this wouldn’t have happened.
I don’t know if I can take this anymore. I’ve been taking my Prozac religiously, but I just feel worse and worse as the days go on. I can’t recall a day in the last month where I haven’t been thinking that I want to die, but the whole hospital thing has made me scared to try anything again. My parents have been smothering me in attention and I feel like I’m drowning.
I’ve noticed that my parents have been home more ever since the incident happened. They used to both be out working, but now one of them is always home, almost as if they are taking shifts.
Eliza also tried finishing the conversation that we started in the hospital during lunch, but I really didn’t want to do that in school where people could easily hear us. People were all around us in the lunchroom, but Eliza wasn’t having any of it.
“You have to promise me that you’ll talk to me next time you want to do something super drastic,” Eliza murmured to me, trying to be vague and keep others from hearing us, but I really didn’t want to talk about this in school. I just shook my head.
“Scar, please” Eliza begged, but her phrasing made me flinch a little, “I’m just really worried.”
I looked down at my arms that were resting on the lunch table, trying to avoid the subject. Eliza continued to talk, “It’s just, ever since… that day you seem more distant and I’m scared and I just want to be a better outlet for you. I don’t want to lose you.” Her last sentence made me bite my lip as I subconsciously played with my long sleeves. I took a deep breath and looked at her, silently begging her to stop. Anxiety shook my shoulders. My hands became cold and my lungs felt restricted. I had become far too familiar with this feeling, but despite this Eliza continued, “It’s just, you don’t talk with me anymore and it feels like you’re getting worse and I thought I was just noticing it because I knew, but then you continued to get worse. I want you to feel better and know that I care about you. You’re not alone Scar-“
Something inside me snapped. I stood up abruptly, attempting to leave without Eliza or anyone else in the lunchroom seeing me cry, but Eliza wasn’t done with our conversation so when I turned she grabbed my forearm closest to her, which so happened to be my left arm. I yelped at the unexpected pain. She didn’t grab that hard, but I really didn’t expect it to hurt that much. Eliza’s eyes lit up with surprise like a firework, but like a firework disappeared as fast as it came and was replaced with a look of concern and maybe even disbelief, “Scarle-“
I cut off Eliza, worried about what her next words would be, “Let go of my arm.” My voice was colder than I expected and I flinched. Eliza didn’t though, instead, she stood up, drawing the attention of some of the kids that sat around us. She started talking, but this time with as much intensity as she had in the hospital. I was too scared to cut her off again. “Scarlett. Your arm. Show me.” I shook my head. Everything went slow motion as Eliza grabbed the hem of my sleeve and slid it up, exposing my arm. Small red slits stood out on my pale skin. After the whole incident, I had felt awful and trapped and I read somewhere that cutting releases some chemical akin to dopamine, making you feel better. It had worked, for a bit.
Eliza’s serious expression softened into sadness, “Why didn’t you tell me?” The kids around us that were staring saw my arm, then turned away in courtesy. Their loud tones had shifted to quiet whispers. I yanked my arm out of Eliza’s hand and winced at the sudden pain. Eliza stared at me wordlessly. Her gaze froze my feet to the ground. After what felt like an eternity Eliza spoke up in a matter of fact tone, “I’m telling your parents.”
Anger flared up inside me, breaking the constraints on my lungs, causing me to yell, “No! I’ve already worried them enough!”
“You not telling them will worry them more!”
“Get off my fucking case!” My rage burned in my hand as I slapped Eliza across the face in attempts to get her to shut up or get my point or something. I can’t even remember anymore. Shame instantly punched my gut and took the air out of me. Eliza just stood there, staring at me, along with every other kid within earshot. “I-I’m sorry…” My apology was barely audible.
Eliza gripped my hand and led me out of the cafeteria. “Let’s go to your place to discuss this. You’ll tell me everything I opened my mouth to object. We still had classes, but Eliza read my thoughts, “This is more important than school.”
I was dragged to her car and we drove off.
Dear Mom, Dad, and Eliza,
Just like the last ‘letter’ I wrote to you, I don’t know how to start this off. I’ll just say “Thank you.”
Thank you, Eliza, so much. You stuck through all these hard times with me like a stubborn tick, but instead of Lyme disease, you infected me with a better future. I know I got pissed when you told my parents I was getting worse emotionally. I didn’t even realize I had a problem at the time and I felt like you betrayed me. You didn’t betray me. You protected me. You made sure that I didn’t hurt anymore. I really am thankful. You are my life-saving tick.
Mom and dad, thank you, for taking initiative and talking to my doctor. I was glad when you said that I didn’t have to take Prozac anymore, but I thought that going to a therapist wasn’t necessary, but I was ignorant. I’m sorry that I acted so difficult during my meetings with my first three therapists, but you tried your best to try to make me happy. You succeeded. I still feel bad though, because it still feels like you guys blame yourselves for my depression even though depression is sometimes just a genetic thing that happens. Please stop blaming yourselves.
Ronan, my current therapist, thank you for leading me in the right direction. You proved that all of my negative thoughts were just tiny parasites feeding off of my emotions and helped me exterminate them. Now I can finally wear short sleeve shirts without feeling self-conscious. Also, thank you for the idea to write this letter, although I’m having a hard time expressing to everyone my emotions. I’m still not very good at doing that at least I’m trying, right?
I know this letter is short, but I feel like if I wrote anymore then I would just write forever. Thank you all for saving me from the ocean of depression by teaching me to swim on my own.