I loved this family member very very much, but I couldn’t afford the $1000 plane ticket to go to his funeral. I feel so guilty for not being physically there to pay my respects. To grieve.
And I feel so guilty because I thought I was this mental health expert. And I am…I just didn’t see this coming. I hadn’t talked to this family member in years. Not beyond Facebook message.
We’d lost touch after his wife had died. And his kids grew up, I grew up, our lives changed. Yet I thought we were part of this unspoken agreement to stay there for one another. To stay ALIVE for one another.
I realize that no matter how much I educate myself on mental health, I can’t protect anyone from their pain. And I want to. I want to save everyone.
This hurts so much. This inability to do anything to help hurts so much. This family member he took action that ended his chances for ever getting help.
I feel angry and I feel guilty. I feel nauseous. I feel love. I feel regret.
I feel this like a punch in the stomach that never stops landing. I feel shaken, like a ghost is screaming at me to DO SOMETHING and I can’t move a muscle. It’s too late. I’m too late.
I know from experience that when I’ve felt suicidal, I was not rational. I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I couldn’t think straight. There was no room in my head to contemplate how my death would devastate everyone I knew. All I could think was, “I HAVE TO MAKE THIS FEELING STOP RIGHT NOW.”
Having written that last paragraph, I feel a little less guilty about not somehow being able to save this person I care so much about. As far as I know, he was trying to make his feelings stop in the only way he felt he could.
That does not mean his decision to end his life was acceptable or right. But…it happened. He died. It’s too late for any of us to help him. He made it too late.
Fuck, fuck, fuck!
I hate my life a lot of the time, but I love it enough to keep going. I feel so thankful for that.
All I can do is keep my life jacket on and remain floating. I can’t look down into the depths of the ocean. I have to look at the sky. The giant sky that is there for me to take in. It’s there for you, too.
When you can’t keep swimming, just stay afloat.