Losing a friend to suicide whilst feeling suicidal yourself.

So in 2016, I lost a friend to suicide.

When I found out the news, I fell silent, clammy hands, my heart was palpitating and I was just trying to comprehend what I had just heard…
I had known this person since school and although I knew briefly the struggles she was facing it was still hard for it to sink in. She had been in a mental health hospital, taking medication daily. She had a history of self-harm but no matter how much or how little you know about someone’s mental health it still comes as a shock to know that this time they unfortunately succeeded.
Even though suicide and mental illness is more common than you think, nothing ever prepares you for it being you friend, sister, aunty, daughter or even your primary school teacher.

I, without knowing how quick, began thinking and started asking questions in my mind, ‘why, how, when, what time’, and despite this, I was still just left with the unknown until I found out more information on the matter. I was shocked. And that was ok.
In this time, and for the next however many months/years, I’m going to feel a tornado full of emotions, some more tolerable and some unexplainable.

The hardest thing for me, apart from of course losing such a special friend, was the fact that I also felt suicidal myself. I had done for months/years and when I tragically found out I was currently detained in a mental health hospital myself. So alongside the normal emotional rollercoaster and the 5 stages of grieving, I also on top of this have my highest of highs, crippling depression, my self harm urges and of course my own suicidal thoughts. You know, the difficult thing is trying to ground yourself at the times where it get’s too much and you think that being with your loved one is the better option. It’s not.

Yes I feel so deeply hurt, confused and at times hopeless, but I can assure you that despite feeling suicidal myself, I don’t want anybody feeling the way I do if this was me. At times I catch myself feeling angry at myself. Could I have done more? Should I have called her that morning? Endless questions that I wont get the answer to.

What you need to remember if you are in this position right now, is that throughout all of this, it that all of these feelings you’re experiencing are normal and they can be managed if you want them to be.

Something I have felt to be quite soothing in this sad time, is simply reminiscing the good memories, the random 3am chats and the not so serious arguments over the best lipsticks, or about craving Krispy Kreme doughnuts AGAIN! These are the things that should keep you fighting if you’re struggling with these thoughts yourself. You are never alone, and yes at times you feel so on your own you to the point where you may question whether you can take much more. But you CAN!

I do truly miss my friend, and at times I feel like I have literally lost a limb, but this makes me want to fight for recovery even more so.
My friend will always have a special place in my heart and no one can take that away from me and although I still find it painful, I now know that she would be more proud of me for fighting an illness that is so taboo and raising more awareness to help save someone else.

No comments