The Morning My Life Changed
Gender Fluid. Kentucky
My day started off the same as any other day.
I woke up, got dressed and ate some cereal before school.
After breakfast, I grabbed my phone off the kitchen counter and surprisingly I had eleven voicemails - all from the parents of my lifelong best friend.
Oh no, I knew something was wrong.
My best friend had moved to a different country, and his life had gotten very hard as a result.
I wasn't able to spend as much time helping him as I would have liked to. I tried to take his FaceTime calls and reply to his texts as often as I could, but I was so busy and sometimes responding got hard.
It's not that I didn't have time for him; it was just that it's hard to stay in touch with someone who lived so far away.
I listened to the first voicemail, barely make out the words that his mother was saying, all I heard were her sobs, but I understood the message. I listened to every single voicemail and after.
I cried and cried on my kitchen floor. My best friend of 7 years, the person who I spent Hanukkah with, sung Defying Gravity with, had endless memories with, had committed suicide.
He had ended his life, and his parents found him lifeless.
The entire week that followed was the hardest week of my life.
I would go to school in a daze, barely paying attention in class, frequently leaving to cry in the bathroom, and rarely eating anything. I couldn't seem to get my mind around the fact that he was gone.
Every memory, every FaceTime call, every inside joke, all gone.
It took me awhile to get my life back in order.
The fact was my best friend was dealing with such severe issues, right under my nose, and I didn’t know a thing until it was too late was difficult for me to find peace with.
But I now realize that is NOT my fault.
Since speaking to a therapist about this situation, my life has improved. We’ve been working on how to handle the guilt I feel.
It’s now been almost a year - I wish I could say it's gotten easier, but the truth is, I've just learned to cope.
I've got a good support system which helps me know that everything will be alright.
It's okay to feel sad, it's okay to feel guilty, angry, or even anxious about a friend who commits suicide, but the way that you handle those emotions is what matters.
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call or text a suicide hotline, see a school counselor, or talk to a friend or family member you trust.
Things can always get better.