Monday, 15 May 2017

Dear Friend

Every few weeks or so, we'll have the same talk.

You'll complain about feeling empty inside. About being depressed. About not understanding why you're feeling this way, and not being able to even describe your pain. We know that something happened last year which was the catalyst for this. But even so, the situation has evolved so far beyond what transpired that surely, what you're experiencing now is a matter concerning something else entirely.

I try to understand you. But more importantly, I try to just be there for you. Emptiness and loneliness are killers. I've known its miasmic grasps, felt its tendrils clutch me and pull me towards a fucked up emotional black hole when nobody, not even I, expected it. So this is why I'm trying so hard to keep you from feeling the same way. It's difficult. I'm probably already too late, which is what makes me sad.

Because even though you can be damn frustrating, quite unscrupulous, and have hurt others gratuitously, you are also to me, irreplaceable. You are incredible. You have directly and indirectly brought me so much joy in my day to day life. And you don't even know.

When you complain about feeling empty, I think about all the accumulated hours we spent laughing together, bonding over our elitist yet puerile sense of dark humour.
When you say you have no-one who understands you, I think about our almost exact same tastes in movies, books, authors, prose, and even moral-philosophical leanings. The time I finished your sentence when you were quoting Oscar Wilde at my favourite bar. And all the other times we've agreed on the same things, sometimes to others' chagrin.
When you joke that you have nothing to live for, I joke that you're not allowed to kill yourself until I return from my work overseas, but truthfully, I worry about how ironic (or unironic) you're being.

And I think about me, and all the other people who still consider themselves your friends, who keep wanting to hang out with you despite your flaws. I think about your family. Your cats. Your sister.

I think about your excellent Chinese skills, your extensive general knowledge about the world, your insatiable hunger for good books, and proactive extracurricular life. Not to brag, but you're basically me, and I'm pretty amazing. Except there's the fact that your soul is being corroded by a deep-seated, inexplicable depression, which makes you lash out or act against your better interests.

I feel kind of helpless. I don't know what to do to make you feel better about yourself and the way life is for you right now. I want to help, but it's hard to help somebody who doesn't seem to want help in the first place. Who isn't willing to commit to their own future and wellbeing. When you isolate yourself, it hurts. And I didn't even knew it would hurt until you did it.

That's when I realised how much I love you as a friend. We don't need to have deep discussions about life or know every little thing about each other's childhoods and families. I just feel happy when I talk to you. I enjoy every minute we spend together, whether in person or online. And I'm so extremely grateful for all these little experiences, not to mention the incredible people you've introduced me to as well.

I guess in writing this, I just want to let you know in the strongest and clearest way possible, what you mean to me. I really care about you, and it would break me to observe you receding from the world, feeling unhappy, and depriving the rest of us of the wonderful person that you are. You're still floating above it all, but please don't get worse.

Anyway. Unless you really want to push me away, I will always be here for you. No matter where I am, what I'm doing, and how many years have passed, I'm still your friend. So try not to nihilistically torture yourself. Give yourself a bit of hope, because I have so much hope for you.

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