Sunday, 20 October 2019

Of depression, loneliness and death

‘Funny when you're dead how people start listening.’
-       The Band Perry

She was born in 1994. The same year that I was born. I don’t know much about her, apart from the fact that she was part of a K-pop girl group that I used to follow, that she had the beauty of an angel and that she struggled with depression (like many of her fellow colleagues in the same industry) before finally giving in – no – having the courage to put an end to it.

Her name was Sulli. Sul for snow and Li for flower. I don’t know when she fell into depression but perhaps it was when she started receiving waves of criticisms for dating a significantly older man – a complete no-go in the K-pop industry, considering that dating itself was equivalent to sabotaging your own career. Or perhaps it was when people who knew her about as little as I did started leaving nasty comments on her Instagram page about how attention-seeking she was. She probably tried to take those comments with a pinch of salt initially; tried to be who they wanted her to be. But she soon realised that she was not being true to herself.

She was found dead on 14 October 2019 in her apartment. The cause of death has yet to be confirmed but everyone knows it was suicide.

Nobody speaks up about issues of depression, loneliness and death but I’m sure that in some way or another, we all can empathise with Sulli – some more than the others. We work hard to earn our keep; we eat, drink and be merry, but we are all so damn lonely on the inside. We constantly feel that no one understands us but the fact is that everyone has to carry their own bags of shit. A part of us wants to be true to ourselves, wants to do whatever the hell we want without being judged, but society is so messed up that we have to either deny that ‘too loud’, ‘too shy’, ‘too confident’, ‘too insecure’, ‘too uptight’ or ‘too free-spirited’ parts of ourselves, or live with constant judgement. But you know what?

Society is not just a noun or a matter-of-fact that has nothing to do with us. Society constitutes each and every individual one of us; and it has a heart, whether warm or cold. So why don’t, why don’t we for once stop putting up our fences and judging each other according to standards that none of us can uphold? Why don’t we stop isolating ourselves and breeding loneliness with our superficial conversations? Why don’t we stop contributing to the brutal murder of one another?

I hope that poor girl is finally out of her misery, and somehow – just somehow – know that we are all sorry.

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