Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UNCC chapter.

The curtains remained closed like always. The bedroom door was locked. And he didn’t know for sure whether he was losing his mind or connecting to a certain past version of himself. He closed his eyes and remembered.

Five years ago, there he had been, standing at that very same spot, feeling numb. He hadn’t cried or shouted. Just stared blankly at the white walls while his entire life seemed to have come crashing down.

Each day is different, they say. But sometimes some feelings remain the same forever. And although we cannot make peace with our situation or accept reality as it comes, we somehow manage to live with it. It burns our soul, tears us apart from deep within, and yet, we are not socially allowed to express our anguish. We are forced to portray the more so-called acceptable side of our personality, that is, our happy self, that makes us smile and laugh and chat with everyone merrily all day long.

But what about that demon inside? The one that is the voice inside our head telling us to give up, reminding us of our inadequacies, suggesting that we should maybe quit after all? When that demon cannot be contained within us, what do we do? Some of us still hide behind our laughs, while others decide to end it once and for all because it’s too much to handle. Others yet, decide to refrain from their “acceptable behavior” and tune out of the chaos completely. They resort to numbness.

He kept staring and staring, feeling a pang of emptiness rising from inside, consuming him completely, gradually. Like him, millions of people are staring now, right now, at this moment. Some are looking out of the window blankly while it’s raining outside, some are sitting at a roadside bench somewhere while numerous cars and people are passing by them, while some others are staring with uncomprehending eyes at their textbooks or the laptop screen in front of them. The agony doesn’t bother them anymore. Because they are just a little better than living corpses. They’re dying inside. They cannot listen to anyone else telling them to forget their worries and smile through their problems yet another time. In the meantime, instead, why not consider sparing these trapped souls everywhere around the world? Why force them to pretend they’re happy when they’re not? Let the fire rage on, let the agony thrive, let these people feel alive. After all, what more could it take than a little empathy and support from the society? What’s wrong in trying? Maybe that way, some would actually feel happier as compared to forcibly having to pretend that they are happy and content while the reality is the exact opposite of that. Let them feel secure and comfortable. Let them know that it’s okay to express what they are and how they feel. Let them know that it’s okay to break the pattern. Let everyone believe that they’re unique and special.


Perhaps that way he’d stop staring at that wall and live his life. It has been too long. Let him live, let him breathe. And let others like him breathe too. They’ve all hit a pause button somewhere along the line. Help them resume playing the music of life.

Pranamita is a PhD student in the Nanoscale Science program of UNCC. She likes to write about LGBTQ+ topics, mental health issues and feminism. Her hobbies include reading everything from research articles to poetry, solo-travelling, sketching and collecting music records.
Emma Ponder is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is a sociology & psychology double major. Emma works at a local specialty coffee shop in Charlotte and is an oat milk enthusiast. Her driving force is her dog Nora and her many many houseplants. she/her