On Wallowing Alone in our Respective Pits of Despair.

I haven’t precisely been doing this lately, but I’ve gotten pretty close.  Recently, one of my friends attempted to commit suicide.  It was a big shock to me, as well as many of my classmates.  This event had a huge effect on our class.  Let me explain about our class: it has basically been all of the same people together since sixth grade (we are now in eighth).  Many of us have grown very close with each other.

Soon after the news, the wallowing began.  This was okay, because when one of your friends tries to commit suicide, you are expected to wallow a little.  Maybe even a lot.  But the problem came with the reasons we were wallowing.  Several girls were blaming themselves for what had happened.  This is not okay.  Do not ever blame yourself for events that were not yours to control.  I kept on thinking to the night before, and of something the person (no names for the sake of no names) said.  Could I have prevented it if I hadn’t ignored this comment?  Probably not.  Therefore, I have decided I cannot blame myself.

The other girls and boys in my class cannot blame themselves either.  Even if they had a part in it, it was the person’s decision in the end.  I’m not saying it was a good decision to make, and I keep on thinking how much worse it could have been if the person had succeeded.  That is coming close to wallowing again, which is no longer allowed in my mind.

But why is wallowing so bad?  Other than the kind of wallowing where you’re blaming yourself, it it really that terrible?  Answer: Yes.

The Pit of Despair from "The Princess Bride". Not a pleasant place.

Why?  Think about it.  Wallowing is a kind of numb state where you are just thinking.  This thinking mainly consists of what-ifs.  What-ifs make you think of what might have happened if just one thing had turned out differently.  The thing is, you cannot go back in time.  None of these what-ifs are going to happen, because their opportunity passed a little while ago.  If your mind stays on a what-if diet for too long, you get out of touch, start living in the past.  Dwelling on the past helps no one, especially not our young, teenage selves.  We have so much future ahead of us.  Our pasts are too short to look back on for long.

Not to mention this: you’re all alone.  There is no friend to fall back on, to get you thinking straight.  There is no way to fight off dark thoughts if you can’t get a second opinion.  So if you are going to wallow, wallow in a pit with your friend(s).  Support each other, and you can get through whatever you’re going through.

So no matter how tempting your respective pit of despair is, promise me this: Don’t stay there for too long.  Even better, don’t go in at all.  Because once you stick a toe in, it’s hard not to slip.

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