The path of ruin that mental illness leaves
Today I lost a very dear friend. I only met her once oddly enough. But even with that said, I had known her for 18 years. We talked frequently over the years. First it was religiously and then it was off and on. But no matter how much time passed, we would always just pick up like not a moment had gone by.
There is a lot more to this story though. When I was a lot younger, I was not diagnosed as bipolar quite yet. I was experiencing a lot of anxiety and depression and trying to reach out to anyone who’d listen. My work was suffering and my family and friends just did not understand. No one got it! No one wanted to make the effort to understand. I turned to self-medicating almost every night. Drinking and drugs were my best friend. I was in a very dark place. I was the one who usually reached out to help others, but I just was not capable of this at the time. Through all her own issues, she set them aside to try and help me over and over again because she had been battling these issues for longer than I had and she understood.
She pushed me to the point that I actually started to seek out professional help. Again, through all her own personal problems she showed perseverance and strength that I did not I did not have to fight. I started an anti-depressant and an anxiety medication. I continued to spiral out of control. One night I drank too much, took to many drug and mixed all this with my bezos. We were on cam and talking on a mic. She sat there and watched me begin to plummet. She begged me for my number or my address which we had not exchanged yet. She was able to finally get me on the phone. I could not understand much at this point. She stayed on the phone yelling at me to stay awake as I crawled across the floor to try and find help. The first thing I saw was my three-year-old daughter standing in front of a window with the sun rising. I had been up all night abusing myself. She looked like an angel. This was pretty much the last thing I remember. Somehow either my daughter or I managed to get help in time. Apparently, an ambulance rushed me to the hospital where I lost pulse and they used charcoal to once they were able to save me. From this point on I always looked at my friend and my daughter as angels. My friend became my protector from that point on. Always looking out for me through my constant never-ending struggles. My diagnosis as bipolar 1, my terrible behavior, my catatonic depressions and the person I leaned on when until others begun to come around and understand. She always provided the courage I needed and instilled in me the knowledge and the fight I needed to see another day. She made me see that life was worth fighting for.
From that point on we continued to be each other’s support over the years. She fought I’d be there for her. When I was facing insurmountable odds, she was there with words of wisdom and a smile. We always seemed to drift apart, but always found a way back to each other as good friends do. But after 18 years, as everyone does, time just seemed to distance us more. We just began to lead our own lives. We always stayed in contact. But it was never quite the same. We always talked on and off, but I never was the friend I should have been. I didn’t notice her struggles like I should have. She continued to try and always see mine, but I just brushed them aside. I was doing better and I feel like I took advantage or never appreciated what she did for me all those years, 18 years! Recently we had started to talk here and there a little bit more frequently, but it kind of seemed like it used to be. Just good friends from the past. I was not picking up signs like I was able to in a split second in the past. I know it was not my fault, but I will forever feel somewhat bad for that after all those years of her being such a good friend to me. I don’t even know how long honestly how long she had been suffering in this current condition.
Tonight, I found out that she took her own life by taking an overdose of pills. Bipolar in the end had claimed another victim. A strong one at that. Someone that had been so positive and fought relentlessly for so long. Did it just finally widdle her down and consume her? I will never know. But I will miss her dearly and never forget her because of what she did for me. Have I struggled since? Yes, endlessly! Suicide attempts, self-medicating, constant mood swings…but in the end, I have always looked back after each episode at what she did in some way and it always settles me somewhat.
What has it been, a couple of hours since the news was passed to me over Facebook of all places! I am heartbroken. I have not shed a tear yet. I have no idea why. Shock? I am sure it will all come boring out at some point. I was somewhat hypomanic early tonight, but in a second, my world was turned upside down.
My heart goes out to anyone that suffers from bipolar, depression, anxiety, PTSD or any other form or mental illness. Any form of relentless suffering that we go through is a constant fight and it never seems to end. We battle it for a lifetime and there never seems to be enough support or understanding. And in a moment’s notice, we lose yet another loved one so unexpectant, so dear to us. I wish I had the power to cure everyone plagued by such darkness and anguish or at least turn it onto myself. I want to be the strong one, the warrior, the one with the courage, the smile and the compassion that my friend had. I miss her so much already.