Bits and Pieces of a Memoir

by Emily Kraushar

I remember when I first learned there was such a thing as invisible sadness in the world. See, to middle-school me everything was okay. I had parents who loved me. I had a big and spacious house that I could always go home to. I had plenty to eat, and I had plenty of friends who were just as weird and socially awkward as I was. Life was pretty good as far as I was concerned.

It’s second semester of my first year at high school. It’s March. A cold Wednesday. The day before I was with her in the lunchroom. She teased my friend about not sitting somewhere specific and I laughed. She was bold but she could be brash. She was loud but loud with laughter. Key word: was. We walked around with sadness so deep you could feel it in your bones. When I went to her memorial service with a blank face on, and my mother told me she wasn’t actually there, I understood how you could feel so overwhelmingly sad you were numb. It was really hard to keep up with my classes when that was constantly hanging over me. It was hard for everybody. I learned that sadness was not always shown, but kept away from the too-rough fingers of people who would judge you.

It’s my sophomore year. Full of infatuation towards one boy to another. This time it was a dark headed one who played ukelele in the hallways and smiled with a corner of his mouth. He was very sweet to me. He compared my eyes to vast oceans and pledged his heart to me, but he was very problematic and possibly the biggest drama queen I know. It ended messily. I knew I had to get out once he nearly took a whole bottle of pills and we had to call someone for him and he acted like he was fine the next day. I learned that that you could use this invisible sadness to manipulate people. But I also learned that was wrong.

It’s my junior year. I know one of the most beautiful girls in the world. She has really bad invisible sadness. She lets me read all of her poems and writings. She writes beautifully, it’s hard to find a single error even though she sometimes gets irritated at me when I have no criticism. She tried to drown herself in a bathtub when she was eleven. Severe chemical imbalance she said. She thought that was normal. She thought everyone felt that way. I learned you could get invisible sadness at a young age.
I’m almost afraid of what I’ll learn my senior year. There’s beauty in not knowing some things but terrrifying to not know the outcome of others. I have enough optimism in me to hope everything will be alright. I don’t want anymore of my friends to leave like that. There’s enough sadness in the world without them leaving behind a trail of trial and error medications and eventually being a part of some statistic.

But it’s okay. Despite being surrounded by all the invisible sadness, it’s been kind enough to not make a home in the dusty corners of my mind. I have parents who love me, I have a big and spacious house that I can always go home to and I have plenty to eat. I have plenty of friends who are just as weird and socially awkward as I am. Life is pretty good. And I’m happy. I’m happy.