Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Decade Gone

Well, it's not quite the feel-good post most people prefer, but there's been something weighing on my mind lately...

On April 25th, 2006, someone who was close to me committed suicide. Her name was Liz. She was a brilliant, funny, and caring person. She was a friend. It's now been ten years since Liz left this world, which means it's also been ten years since I was last able to cry. I'm not sure where the time has gone.

I've been exploring my emotions from Liz's suicide in therapy lately. It seems I never really found closure or learned how to properly grieve for her. But I have certainly been making progress. It's important for me to note that I have never been angry at Liz for the decision she made ten years ago. Not once. She lived and struggled through nightmares most other people can only imagine. As awesome as she was, she struggled to see herself in the same bright light that others saw her. I think many of us can relate to that... My point is, just because you think of yourself in a bad way doesn't mean the rest of the world does. We are often our own worst critics. (I know I definitely am!) It's so important to learn to love yourself, and to forgive yourself.

On a more personal note, I also feel it's extremely important that we stop equating suicide to selfishness. I hear this sentiment being repeated so often and it makes me cringe every time. Severe depression and suicide are not about being selfish. (I know some would argue this.) They're about not being able to live with your pain any longer. They're about believing your heart that the world - and those you love - will truly be better off without you being around to bring them down. Depression is the great downward spiral, and suicide is the breaking point at the spiral's bottom. Many of us fall into this devastating spiral during some point in our lives. Some of us cannot lift ourselves back out, no matter how hard we try. All of us need help... You can't truly understand a person's life until you have lived it. We all experience different lives. Stop judging. Start loving. And if you have the opportunity, be that help. We're all in this together.

(RIP Liz. You were loved and you will never be forgotten.)