“The Unliving”

By Jason Punko

Have you ever wondered what it means when someone says that they are the
unliving? Well, for me this is what it means:

The Unliving

Death without death,
Life without life,
That is the unliving

Empty and hollow,
Of purpose, value and meaning
That is the unliving

A black void all encompassing,
Nothing but darkness to be seen
That is the unliving.

Not living in the shadows,
Being the shadows
That is the unliving.

Pain, suffering, hurt – not enemies to be defeated,
Rather lovers to be embraced – just to feel SOMETHING
That is the unliving

To drift through life,
A ghost unseen by any
That is the unliving

To scream at the top of your lungs
Into a tornado unheard
That is the unliving

No identity
No hope
No feeling
No existence
No value
No self-worth
An outcast

Your main goals for any given day:
1. Getting out of bed
2. Functioing
3. Not dying

Welcome to the world– not of undeath, which is the world between the worlds of
the living and the dead– but the world of the unliving. The world detached
from them all. Cold, dark, lonely, isolated.

So the next time you hear someone say they are struggling, that they are
dead and hollow inside, that they are dead but their body just hasn’t
figured it out yet, or any of a host of other things, do not tell them to
“suck it up” or “to stop wallowing.” Instead show them compassion,
understanding, and just plain listen. At these times, just knowing someone is
listening, someone “sees” them can make all the difference in the world. Do
not turn a blind eye and deaf ear to them, especially when it is someone
that you mean the world to. Even when you can’t solve their problems, even
when you can’t “do” anything, listen. When you listen, you do more than you

Trust me, I know from both sides.


4 Responses

  1. Beautifully said. I feel dead inside more days than not. Your list of “things to do today” that’s my day every day. So few understand what it’s like to force yourself to smile, pretend that everthing is great. Most people don’t really want to know how we really feel. Thank you for writing this, it’s nice to know that I am not alone.

  2. I absolutely love this post. I could not have said it better, this is exactly what it feels like. People who have not experienced this simply can not understand, but they do need to realize that it is real, and by telling people who are suffering, the things that I like to call “the why dont you justs”( why dont you just suck it up, why dont you just think happy thoughts), they are only doing harm. They need to realize that just because something is not their experience, their reality, doesnt mean that is not someone elses, or that it doesnt exist. Thank you for this post:)

  3. […] I have done my job.  I  just want to do my part to help in any way that I can, and I feel that todays post at On The Borderline does just that.  I can not read this without crying, I hope that you like it, […]

  4. Such an accurate, melodic description. “Life without life; Death without death” could not have been a more perfect analogy. Well done – It’s comforting to know I’m not alone.

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