This is an especially tough day. Let me paint you a clear picture. I wake up an hour after my morning call still with fever and congestion. The flu is literally kicking me in the ass. I got some disturbing news about someone I was once interested in. And I just continue to fight through. In Buddhism, we are grateful for obstacles, because the more challenges you have in your life – you are not stagnant. I have for sure not plateaued by any means in regards to today. That’s for damn sure.
When I walked into the break room at work this morning at 10:30 exactly someone came up to me and gave terrible, terrible news. Her relative committed suicide. Meanwhile, I didn’t exactly know this girl. I never met her. But I knew And you all knew her, too. She was one of us. One of our family. She suffered from bipolar (and psychosis).
Over the last few months my dear friend at work had invested time and trust into our talks about her relative. She is someone who isn’t like us and just needed to vent for the most part. I was there for her and gave her my advice as someone who has been through and is currently going through the troublesome times. A few months ago she told me that Natalie was doing well. When she described her current situation I instantly felt in my gut that Natalie was far from doing well. She was manic. And what happens after mania? A downfall. I predicted it and knew in my heart that she wasn’t okay, but never do I imagine that someone will fall down so hard. I know it happens and I’ve seen it happen. But I always want to have the benefit of the doubt that the disease is not as controlling as it is. But it fucking is! It pains me to say that. At least it is when you’re not receiving the proper care and you don’t WANT TO receive it either.
Last Friday she was going through a time that I grew familiar to years ago—before the awareness, before the therapy, before all of the hard work put into my life, before the sobriety, before the correct support—she was depressed. The depression that can only be described to the sane as a deep, dark hole full of solid nothingness. Where no light shines, because it’s too far into the earth and where our own light can’t even shine because it’s too hidden buried under any sort of stableness we never knew. The darkness that keeps us awake at night and wakes us up in the morning. Mornings where life is the most scary monster we could ever imagine and a smile is only a mask we were so that the sane can stop asking us questions.
I knew her feelings all too well that when I heard the news today I cried not because I felt for her family or the fact that it is a true tragedy. I cried because I know what went through her mind when she jumped in front of the train. It brought up the feelings that I had almost nine years ago. The night when I swallowed 60 xanax and somehow was jolted to a reality of pain. When my boyfriend at the time called me a selfish bitch and hung up on me and never spoke to me again. The Christmas I ended up in the hospital eating coal (what an ironic twist in fate) singing Amy Winehouse’s Rehab to cheer myself up in front of the nurses because if not I was going to really go mental. It was the day when my sister saved me because she happened to answer the phone.
But she didn’t have that. Natalie was so dark into the hole and somehow the universe was able to swallow her whole. The pain I have when I think of how much we all could have been there to save her, posing as her safety net with open arms because we understood her sadness.
It’s a sad day in my world today because her light is brighter than ever in this world since she has passed.