Sarah’s Window


Click the pic for the original challenge. Written for Ermilia’s Picture It & Write.

Friday, September 18, 1998
by Anonymous
for her school newspaper

Loneliness sucks. You know loneliness. It’s that big hollow pit you imagine at the top of your stomach. Only it’s real, and it hurts so bad rubbing your diaphragm actually makes you feel better. And why should anyone be so lonely it hurts, you ask? That’s easy. They don’t fit in.

In high school, everything’s about fitting in. It’s about making sure you wear the right clothes, see all the right movies, hang with the right people. When you don’t fit in, you’re outcast and ignored. You become a kind of Bad Luck Schleprock and people are afraid of you, like your uncoolness is going to rub off on them.

Maybe you know someone like that. You see her sitting at a table by herself at lunch because no one will talk to her. There’s something about her that stops you from saying hi. She’s funny-looking, or her parents won’t let her wear makeup or streak her hair or whatever. Maybe she just spends too much time reading books, or everyone thinks she’s fat. Maybe you’re one of those people who won’t talk to her. Maybe you’re her.

I know what it’s like to be that girl, to not fit in. At school, I don’t have any friends. I get why. I’m no fun to hang around. I have to take medication for depression and it takes away my desire for fun. I don’t laugh at jokes. I don’t start conversations. And I don’t get to see all the right movies or listen to the right music, and so I don’t really get the conversations I overhear. I don’t fit in at home either. I don’t have any brothers or sisters, and my parents never let me go anywhere or have friends over.

Sarah, is my only real friend. Sarah is my journal.

Writing helps me cope with loneliness and so I write a lot. At home, at school, on the bus, pretty much everywhere I go, Sarah goes with me and I write. At home, I like to sit or lie in front of the mirror when I write. When I look up, I imagine my reflection is Sarah. She’s the one writing and stopping to look up at me, and so I think of my mirror as Sarah’s window.

I used to have a real best friend. Something changed when her dad died. It was like I still had a dad and she didn’t and so she suddenly resented me. We’d been best friends since kindergarten. That’s when the depression started. I’m not sick. I’m sad. It seems ironic… that the reason I’m no fun to be around is because I was lonely in the first place.

The medication I have to take is called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. That’s a fancy name for if I have a mood, it kills it. It’s a baby-with-the-bathwater thing though, because it kills my good moods the same as my bad ones. It makes me feel like I’d be better off dead and I think about killing myself a lot. As if that wasn’t a bad enough problem already. Last year, nearly 4,000 high school students took their own lives.

There are lots of reasons for teen depression and suicide. Drug abuse; issues with sex or sexuality; bullying; family problems; just being a big epic fail can drive kids to kill themselves. But one of the reasons is loneliness. And that’s one you can do something about. So when you see that girl sitting alone at lunch, stop and say hi. When you see that boy watching you play hoops from the sidelines because he’s too small, invite him to play. Schleprock’s little black rain cloud probably isn’t going to strike you with lightning, and you might just save someone’s life.

© 2013 Anne Schilde

About Anne Schilde

Image "Webster's Kiss" © 2011 Anne Schilde Thanks always for reading! ♥
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32 Responses to Sarah’s Window

  1. joetwo says:

    A true enough statement! Well said!

  2. Full of insight and awareness… A winsome Annie-torial 🙂

  3. deanabo says:

    I think everyone should read this. There is so much truth in it.

  4. I think everyone can relate to this, an amazing piece!

  5. Adam Drake says:

    This is great. I think the beauty of it is that it has the power to speak to both sides.

  6. Ermilia says:

    This hits really close to home. Someone I knew was that girl on the sidelines,bipolar disorder. No one understood how she could be happy one moment then crying the next. I wish more people had reached out to her, thankfully there were at least some that did.

  7. kz says:

    it’s a great piece.. very sad, but very real.

  8. So many girls/boys we have all known through our school years that are like this, the outsiders, the outcasts. Not fitting in for the most inane reasons. You described so many in this, that I sat here letting out a ‘sigh’. Anne you wrote this very well, casting your thoughts and words around that of a young troubled girl.

  9. Anna says:

    I fucking love this. I’m so sorry I’ve been away for a while, Anne. Coming back here feels just like home though, and every word you write makes my aching soul feel just a little bit brighter.

    • Anne Schilde says:

      Yay! Are you writing something this week? I have to admit eating a few kittens making sure I wasn’t just missing your posts. Oh, and click my Kate link and check out the awesome book cover Ermisenda made!!

  10. Nanda says:

    Annie, Annie…
    You always hit the spot! I wish we could spread this as some kind of awareness… It’s so real, so close to home too. To feel isolated is the worse feeling ever… as if you have no one to talk, no one to understand your feelings. You did a great job in this one! ❤

  11. nightlake says:

    this is very touching, Anne. Your deep understanding for the lonely people comes out here..and I’ll never be able to forget your last three sentences..Thank you for sharing this story

  12. II says:

    :finger snaps:
    Indeed. Very true PSA. I had a friend take her life because of the loneliness she felt from a breakup, and not being able to tell anyone about it, for fear of being a burden. No one knew there was anything wrong until she passed. It made me very depressed thinking I could have checked up on her and reached out.
    I also knew of people a couple years younger than I am, that decided dying was better than living a lie, hiding their true social identities.
    Their stories are heartbreaking.

    • Anne Schilde says:

      I’m so sorry, Thu. I’ve lost four people close to me and the sister of a friend to suicide, three teenage. The two adults were both the result of alcoholism. Loneliness is very real for me. I never mean to hurt anyone… only to try to stop the hurt for others.

  13. A girl after my own heart…! Very well written, Anne….
    There is altogether much to much loneliness in the world…

  14. The ‘right’ music or the ‘right’ movies… this kind of thinking really sucks, to tell you the truth and sadly it is true that many are left apart because of their uniqueness… At school there are gangs and cliques, where the child has to belong to one of them, but if he doesn’t… It’s so so sad to stereotype everyone. And it’s so sad that those children who suffer depression and all because of this outsider feeling are also often bullied…
    A touching contribution!

    • Anne Schilde says:

      You know how it is though. If you’re the girl whose parents wouldn’t let you watch Harry Potter or Twilight, you’re socially retarded. You don’t get what the other girls are talking about and if you try to “fit in”, you end up saying something stupid and getting laughed at. Don’t even get me started on bullies. Worst. Kind. Of. People.

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