No Feeling is Final: A Short Story

TW: Themes of depression.


One day in elementary school I came home with watery eyes, pale skin, and bright red cheeks. I was on the verge of tears; no, not just tears... a meltdown. I had suppressed these feelings throughout most of my day AND my 20-minute bus ride. I pushed them right down to my stomach which of course caused me to feel sick, my temperature to rise and my head to pound to the point I thought I may faint. I stepped off the bus, each step knowing I was getting closer and closer to my ultimate doom, this making it harder and harder to keep my feelings (and my lunch) down. Finally, I reached the car and *click clack*, opened it. Why had I done it, I wondered. I could’ve stayed on the bus and gotten off at the next stop, hot wired a car, hopped on a plane to Disney World and all my troubles would be no more. But I hadn’t. I opened the door, so now I must face the music. I swallowed my tongue and immediately my mom knew I was upset. “What's up?” she said slightly consolingly. At that moment I erupted, I couldn’t even dictate my words. Just sobbing and a quivering lip with an occasional noise slipping out. “Pull it together dear, what’s wrong?” “In math class...” I whimpered, “on the times table test... I got a zero.... I’M SOORRY!” I balled and stuttered as I repeated, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” over and over. “Sweetie...” my mom said as she grabbed me by my shoulders and wrapped me in her arms, “It’s o-k.” “Really?” I said as I smiled, salty tears still running down my cheeks. I continued to sob, but now out of relief. “Stop crying, it’s ok. I promise.” But for some reason I wasn’t fully relieved. I still felt guilty for doing so poorly and I still felt like I could barf at any moment. I told this to my mother, and after pulling a napkin out of the dash and wiping the snot, tears, and sweat off my face, she looked me in the eye and softened (as my mother wasn’t always the softest person) and said to me in a voice I hadn’t heard much, “It’s ok to feel sometimes, it’s ok to be sad or stressed, but always remember whatever is wrong won’t be wrong forever. It might feel like the biggest problem anyone could be facing, but it won’t forever, and in a matter of time you’ll feel ok again. Somethings might take longer than others, but I promise, no feeling is forever.” And though, as she said, that didn’t immediately alleviate my stress, it certainly gave me something to think about rather than how my stomach was turning.

I still think about this a lot. When I lie in my room staring at the ceiling overwhelmed by the world; by schoolwork, sports, clubs, my dog, politics, the environment, my loved ones, my responsibilities and I just feel like I could cave in under the stress. Or when, in a similar way, I stare at the ceiling wishing I felt anything at all. I’ve tried looking back at pictures of when I was happy, time spent with my friends without a care in the world, but that only worsens the feeling of loneliness I exude at such times. Rather I’ve found thinking forward helps... only slightly... only enough to make it barely, but bearable it does indeed become. I come up with scenarios in my head of the future, when these feelings are over and new ones arise and I’m ok again.

Eventually, when these scenarios actualize, I like thinking back to when I was lying in my bed only dreaming of such things, because it reaffirms what my mom said way back when. No feeling is forever, even the good ones sadly. So then, I cherish that moment just a little bit more, and keep on.

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