On November 5, 2012, my life changed forever.
On that day, I learned that my closest friend here in my town had passed away on October 31. Later that evening I was told that she had shot herself in the head after having taken full bottles of several prescription medications.
I thought someone had yanked the rug out from under my life.
I could go on, and explain all the problems my dear friend had. Goodness knows in the last month and a half I’ve gone through them all pretty much daily. I could go through all the stages of grief, because I sometimes experience all of them in one day, and not necessarily in order. I could go on about the horrible lack of good care for people who are experiencing crises with their own mental health, or whether they might be crises of the soul. I could go on about how horribly gut and heart wrenching my life has been since that day in November. I could go on about gun control. I could go on about how we all form such shallow relationships and how our communities are all broken. But I won’t.
How do you help someone who feels that things are so horrible, that they have to end their lives to stop their pain? I know very well how a person gets there, but how do we get them back? How do we pull someone’s soul back from wanting death more than wanting anything Earthside? Medication, hospitalization, “talk” therapy, they all failed. Faith? Failed. My love for her? That failed too.
Human beings. We are so narcissistic, believing that if we just loved someone enough, they would be OK.
Suicide steals life from the living.
I could spend the next hour writing a thousand words about how absolutely horrible and miserable I feel. I try, every day, to recognize the bits of joy, because they are there. If I did not seek these moments out, I would lose my mind. I have a lot of support from my family and friends. The rest of my life, mercifully, is going quite well. But there are days when I feel so sick I cannot eat, there are nights that I wake up every couple of hours even though I am exhausted. I am incredibly forgetful because my brain has stopped working. There are times I want to scream until I am hoarse and other times when I fold up in a ball on the floor and feel like I will never stop crying.
I don’t know how long I have to do this. I know that in 40 years, when I am an 83 year old lady, I will still be without my Annie.
I just need to say this. No matter how awful the problems seem, no matter how much life seems to be kicking your ass with no signs of stopping, please understand that there are people out there who will move mountains for you. No matter how many people have rejected you, there is still someone who will accept you. These people are there if you are open to seeing them. Suicide steals life from the living. It is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. My friend’s suicide has stolen joy from my life. It stole joy away from my dear son’s 8th birthday last month. It is stealing joy away from the holidays. It will continue to steal joy from me until I have gotten to a place of acceptance and have woven this horrific event into the tapestry of my life. And I will still be without my Annie. Everyone who loved her is a wreck, and there isn’t anything any of us wouldn’t have done to help her fix her problems. If we’d only known, but she wouldn’t let us see what she didn’t want us to see.
There are more people who love you than you could ever realize. I know this from having talked to her other friends and her family. There isn’t anything we wouldn’t have done for her to stop her from killing herself. Problems can be fixed. This horrible nightmare of life without her cannot be fixed as easily… it is sadly only something I will get used to, and will never truly “get over”, whatever that is supposed to mean, anyway.