Dealing with Loss

I realize saying “it has been a hard week” on a Tuesday is arguably ridiculous. However, it has been a hard week. Yesterday was the one year anniversary of a friend’s completed suicide attempt. She has officially been gone for a year. It felt strange, that time had passed without her. She was the first of six of my friends to die over the last year, most of them having taken their own lives.

Yesterday, I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to continue to exist as a person, I just wanted an entire day to stay in bed and be sad. But, I know that when I do that I tend to set myself into a downward spiral. I eventually got out of bed, went to my classes, did my homework, took my dog on a run, ate food; I did everything I had to do yesterday.

All day, the only thoughts I could hold onto were: “what is the point?” and “why?”. What is the point of continuing to do good things for myself if I can’t save my friends? What is the point of me being alive when they are not? Why am I the person that is left alive? Why am I here?

I completely understand the nature of suicidal ideation and how dark and awful it is. I know that these 6 wonderful souls did not kill themselves, their disorders and illnesses did. And in the wake of all of this loss, I am trying to process how I can still be here, still be living, without them. How I can deserve to live, deserve to continue my recovery, when my friends didn’t think they deserved it.

One thing that has become clear, however, in my time of looking at these questions is that I deserve to live. Everyone deserves to live. There is a certain belief that seeking help makes you weak, makes you less valuable, makes you less human. None of that is true. The most human thing you can do is live a life in which you are actually living. There is nothing beautiful in an untimely death. There is nothing beautiful hiding in the behaviors that are used to take the pain away. There is beauty in reaching out to make your life as good as it can be. There is beauty in surrounding yourself with people that support you and can hold you and hold space for you when you can’t do that yourself.

I don’t know why I’m here, and I don’t really think I need to know. All I need to know is that I am. I have time, I have a life, I have people around me that are supporting me while I deal with grief and fear. I deserve recovery because nobody deserves a life with an eating disorder or an addiction. I deserve to live because I’m here.

I will miss these six people for the rest of my life, and they have joined a handful of other people that I knew that were taken too soon. I don’t believe there is a heaven or a hell, but I do know that they’re free from the demons that tried so hard to destroy them.

Rest In Peace.

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