*Touches on suicide*
I miss you so immensely. You know that. You’re about the only one who knows that. Nobody else sees what losing you has done to me. They think you’re just someone I talked to online occasionally. But you and I know the extent of our friendship. Only, there’s only me left to attest to that. So I face the pain of missing you, entirely alone. I may have only got to see you once in my life… seven years ago…. something I’ll always treasure… but I’ve known you a lot longer than that.
I knew you when you were about 17. We used to talk on the forum about Westlife. We’d also support each other. But Westlife was our escape from our demons. I remember sending a picture of ourselves so we could put a face to a name. Then we became Facebook friends. Our bond grew over the years. When times were tough for you I would offer words of support and remind you how wonderful you were. I didn’t understand eating disorders, so I always felt pretty useless when it came to that, but I did what I could. I didn’t know the right thing to do or say…. at times I’d see photos of you and I’d be worried, as you didn’t look well, but I knew those sorts of demons feed off of how people perceive you, so I didn’t want to make you worse. I should have said something though. I sent you some minion themed presents one time as I wanted to cheer you up. And you were always there for me too.
You were my biggest champion…. you never let me put myself down. You always reminded me that I mattered, that my feelings mattered and that I deserved love and happiness. You never let me feel alone.
You read all my blogs and watched my video journals too. You supported me when people were unkind. And when I made mistakes and said things that may have offended people, I apologised and you forgave me and acknowledged me fixing my error. You never held anything against me. You never judged me. You always understood me. I never once fell out with you. You were everything I could ever ask for in a friend. I just wish you could see what I and so many others could see in you. And now you’re not here to know how heartbroken we are without you. I say ‘we’ like I’m part of a community of people missing you…. I’m not. I’m so alone with this. There are people out there who are supporting each other in their grief… a lot appear to have just ‘moved on’ and have stopped talking about you. And then there’s me. I don’t know the other people who knew you. They don’t know I exist or how much I’m hurting now. And the people in my life never even ask if I’m okay. Friends, family… everyone…. they have no clue how on the edge I am. They don’t know the pain I’m in. They don’t mention your name, and seem uncomfortable when I mention it.
Nobody likes pain or grief. They steer clear of people who are experiencing both. That’s been the hardest part of losing you. As you knew, I lost my best friend because of my mental health, a few months before you went. You were all I had left. You were so good to me with my grief for my granddad. You were the one who guided me through it… told me what pitfalls to look out for, and how to look after myself. You supported me and didn’t run away from my grief. You really were an angel in my life. Now you’re gone there’s nothing. There’s nobody to take your place… they never could anyway. But they’ve all dispersed.
The hardest part of losing someone to death, is losing all those who are living as well… and losing so much of yourself in the process. I’ve spiralled this year…. I’ve fallen into a pit of grief and isolation…. pain and grief make others uncomfortable, so they turn away and remain silent…. this worsens the feeling of loneliness… the grief intensifies, the mental health deteriorates and people avoid you even more…. I really have got to the point I don’t fear what I say anymore – I have nothing left to lose.
It’s so difficult to experience this sort of grief…. to not have my best friend and my Godchildren to keep me going….. to not have you there to help me….. to not have anyone else asking how I am, if I need anything, or acknowledging you ever existed and the pain I feel at losing you. Other people who are grieving seem to get showered with support and kind words. But it’s a violent slap of silence when it comes to me. I’ve always had this problem, but somehow when you were alive it helped…. more people would talk to me if you talked to me…. and if they didn’t then at least I had you to talk to, plus I didn’t have a whole chunk of my heart ripped out by losing you.
The silence is the deafening cliché. Life is empty…. yet every moment is filled with overpowering emotions, too dark and dangerous for one person to feel. I have urges to run to every person from my past – to beg for their friendship…. to beg for answers and closure…. to get revenge…. to open up old wounds and make me feel enough pain to do whatever it is you did to leave this world….. to just not be this alone. I want someone to care…. I want to do almost anything to get just one person to care. I need the therapist I had feelings for… it’s where my mind runs to every time. But I also want to connect with friends who hurt me in the past – because I can’t cope with the fact my former best friend is now friends with them all after hurting me so badly. I want to hurt her back, so much, but I don’t have the means. I’m not friends with her friends…. I can’t do the things to her that she’s done to me, to make her know how it feels. I hate I’m this vengeful person. I hate how desperate I’ve become. But I can’t do this life anymore. I couldn’t do it even before you left me behind. Why did you have to leave me behind? Why couldn’t I come with you?
You left me, five weeks before I would finally see you again. Before we would see Westlife together in the front row. My ‘dream come true’ became something traumatic to get through. It still haunts me that you should’ve been there with me. And that I never got the chance to see you and give you a hug. You didn’t give me the chance to save you. If I’d known then I could’ve done something or said something. I wish you had given me that opportunity. You didn’t even say goodbye. How long had you been planning to go? When we were planning to meet up before the show, did you know then that you would never see me? How could you do that to me? You said you’d go with me, after I lost my usual Westlife buddy….. but then you didn’t go with me…. I won’t go into all the detail – you’d have seen the chaos at that time. What I had to put myself through to not be going alone. It was degrading…. it was heartbreaking and traumatic, given my childhood.
I know you were obviously experiencing something that was too powerful to overcome. Maybe one day I’ll understand more…. it’s hard when you don’t know much about it…. when you don’t know if it was intentional / planned or if it was just self-harm gone wrong and you didn’t mean to die… I don’t know how it happened, if there was a note etc. – I’m not sure I want to know, but it makes it hard to come to terms with it all when you don’t know. So many questions flash through my mind….
Most of the time I remember you with love and I try and honour the memory of you in my everyday life. But as you’ll know I have my times I’m angry towards you. I know this is something you wouldn’t want, and some say it’s wrong to be angry about someone taking their own life, but sadly it’s a part of the grief. It’s all the ‘should’ve beens’ and the ‘what ifs’ and the ‘never to be’ moments… it’s feeling robbed of goodbye and of a chance to stop it from happening. I should’ve done more. But I can never do that, and now you’re gone forever. There are no second chances with suicide.
People who say that the pain someone feels from losing someone to suicide cannot compare with the pain someone felt to choose suicide, I unfortunately hope they experience that sort of loss for themselves, as they clearly never have…. maybe then they’ll learn what utter tosh that is to spout. Suicide breeds suicide. They obviously don’t realise that. Even people without mental health issues consider suicide after losing a loved one to it. I was already suicidal before you left me. Now it’s the only thing on my mind. It’s a given that I’m likely not going to be here in a year’s time. I’ve almost given up on everything as what’s the point? I’m making plans yet thinking it’s a waste of money – I won’t be here. There was even talk of getting a piano, and I thought … don’t waste the money… I won’t be here for much longer. Do you know how depressing that is? … Yeah, I guess you do.
Mental illness is a funny thing…. to an outsider you had it all…. you had your partner…. you had Squish Squish…. you had your new place… you had your job with the police finally… we were seeing Westlife back together, in the front row…. a lot of people valued you and loved you… you could see it from the outpouring of grief when you went. Yet it wasn’t enough to stay. The demons won. And then there’s me…. I have nothing…. I have nobody but my closest family…. all I have for company are my friends Grief, Paranoia, Isolation and BPD, and a heap of bitterness for having nothing else left.
When I go, nobody will cry… nobody will write warmly about me…. nobody will come to my funeral…. nobody will bloody notice! I’ve been calling out for help for two years, and nobody cares. You kept a lot of your feelings hidden. Your videos were always encouraging… positive… caring for others…. you were a good, kind, beautiful person with the most wonderful heart and soul…. people loved you. People loved you and they don’t love me…. because I’m brutally honest about how awful life is. I pour my feelings out and get nothing back. I feel the way to matter to people now, is to stay silent and pretend to be okay. Unfortunately it’s something I’m not sure I can do. It’s why I know my journey will mirror yours… only difference is I made no impact…. I’m a nobody…. if people feel anything when I go it’ll be relief… relief that the negativity that is me, is gone, finally.
I’m having difficulties with that though…. when you lose everything and everyone and your one remaining friend ends her life, how can you seem anything but ‘negative’? That’s why I know there’s no way back for me. I have nobody left believing there’s good in me. Nobody fighting for me and for my recovery. Nobody cheering me on. Nothing to live for. Nothing will ever be okay again, not now you’re gone. How am I meant to overcome grief like this when grief is what has driven everyone so far away from me?
I’ll tell you, as I have nobody else to tell…. I keep dreaming of my best friend and my Godchildren…. they were all in it the night before last. The night before that I saw my Godson and spoke to him – he felt like nobody liked him… I told him I did… he looked at me funny… I said ‘You don’t remember me do you?’… he shook his head. It hurts so damn much. You were the one person I could confide in and ask advice from about how to handle things…. I shouldn’t have lumped it on you probably. I’m sorry. But you helped me so much, to not give up on myself just because others did… I have nobody to ask about anything anymore. I feel so lost. My life feels empty and pointless. It feels like there’s a brick wall between me and everyone else. I feel like a ghost to them all. You would never have left me feeling like a ghost…. you would hate that people are making me feel this way. You’d do something about it. But you’re not here anymore….
In fact six months ago yesterday you left the world. Six months ago tonight I went on Facebook and saw people sending RIP messages to you…. that was how I found out. I vividly remember the feeling… the shock…. the devastation. I remember feeling my spirit draining out of my body. I remember telling my family and breaking down… I remember collapsing on the stairs, hugging the wall, the pain and denial I felt. I remember howling in pain for what felt like hours. I remember how sick I felt. This was all before finding out you had taken your own life. I’d assumed as much anyway. It was the worst nightmare come true. I never wanted to lose you from my life. I’ve lost a lot of friends from my life…. you are the biggest loss, and the way I lost you is the most traumatic thing I’ve ever experienced. I was so scared this would happen one day.
I couldn’t sleep or eat. I couldn’t stop crying. I got in touch with my former friend, hoping to have one less loss to contend with… I needed her to be my friend, to help me through losing you. I got a couple of texts, but also got unblocked and re-blocked at the worst point in my life. That was all. And now I’ve had six months without her. Six months with no support from anyone. As you’d know, I’m not coping. I can’t function anymore. I can’t go out. I can’t do anything. I’ve lost all reason to exist. I can’t cope with people – not too big a problem as I don’t exist to most of them anyway. I can’t work. I can’t be around family sometimes. I keep hurting myself, and I want to do worse. My mental health is down the toilet and I have no friends. I have no support yet – I’m still waiting for an assessment. I’m emotionally paralysed.
Things are getting harder coming up to Christmas. You loved Christmas so much and I wish I could get into the spirit for you. I’m trying. But deep inside I’m dreading it. I don’t want to see another Christmas. This will be the worst one. Last year was pretty bad with the fallout with my friend, and my efforts being snubbed – being made to feel invisible…. but you were still here then. This is the first one without you here. You’re not here. My granddad’s not here. My friend will not be snubbing me this year, she’s full on blocked me out of her life… I don’t have the children to buy for anymore… no reason to get in the spirit of things. When I look at Christmas decorations in the shops I feel closer to you, but I wander round in a daze, still unable to accept your absence. I feel Christmas is being forced upon me this year. I can’t cope with the fact life is going on without you…. that it hasn’t stopped to allow me to grieve. Time is slipping away and I’m expected to carry on regardless of how I feel. I even remember the job people phoning not even a couple of months after it happened…. and when I said what had happened they asked something like ‘… and it’s still troubling you?’ …. well, yes… it’s called grief. It had only been a few weeks….
Do people expect me to just move on and feel nothing about what happened? Believe me, I wish I was a robot and felt nothing. The pain I feel is too much, and I have no way of releasing it. So I break down, quite often. I have to avoid life to keep safe.
I’m trying to look after myself and find interests again…. little reasons to survive another day… I taught myself to solve a Rubik’s cube. I’m trying to take up cross-stitch again… I’ve fetched my colouring books again… I play the guitar when I can. Tiny little steps to find ‘joy’ again. There can be no real joy… that’s how I feel now you’re gone. But if I can find this flat level of joy to just hold on until someone decides they can help me, then I guess that’s something.
Sorry to ramble on… I don’t have anyone to talk to anymore. You’re the only one who really cared about me. I feel so alone without you here. As you know, I felt alone before you went. Now the isolation is excruciating. I feel I’m being punished for grieving and being ill. That’s how the last year or two have felt. People don’t get that I’m in enough pain as it is… that I’m suffering enough…. being left alone, with nobody even asking how I am and genuinely caring about the answer, it hurts even more. I honestly do feel I’m being punished, and if I’m that bad a person that I deserve this, then I don’t deserve to live. I don’t want to live. I want to be where you are. I really don’t think I can ever heal now. I don’t want to. The pain, the rage, the powerlessness, the loneliness, the resentment – all of it coursing through me…. all I want to do is rip the world apart, tear a hole in it and throw the people who hurt and abandoned me through that hole, robbing them of their lives just as they have robbed me of mine. I want to destroy everything and everyone. And then I want it all to stop. I want peace.
I hope you found peace Liv. I hope you found your mum and that you’re happy together again. I’m so sorry you had to live with that loss for so long and you couldn’t carry on any longer. I don’t blame you. I couldn’t do it. I can’t do it having lost the people I have lost. I just wish it didn’t have to be this way. I wish you hadn’t left me. I needed you. I admired you. I was so thankful for you. And now I’m nothing without you. How do I go on when you couldn’t?
I’ll be seeing Westlife without you again next year, twice…. if I survive that long. I should be excited. I am, but I’m also upset. I have to go alone to everything like that now. My friend has ditched me, and now you’re not here. So I really am alone. It’s upsetting everyone booking tickets with other people and I’m just left as a loner. I’ll be seeing them on my birthday next year – I’ll be celebrating it on my own as I have nobody to go with now. People don’t realise how that sustained level of isolation affects your self-worth, and therefore your desire to live in this world.
I hate that you never saw them perform together again. You never heard their last two songs. I know in the grand scheme of things people would think there’s sadder things than you missing out on Westlife…. I don’t doubt that at all. I know that. But these are personal things to me. Even then, there are more important reasons it’s so tragic you’re gone. It’s as though a light has gone out. There’s one less angel in the world. You really were a blessing to everyone who knew you. You had your demons to fight, and I’m proud of you for how long you fought against them. You inspired me. The strength you showed after your mum died gave me hope I could survive my first loss a couple of years ago. The support you gave me to get through that – by using your experience of loss and mental illness – it was more helpful than you’ll ever know. Now I have nobody to help guide me through losing you. And losing someone to suicide is so different to normal grief. People will dispute that… until it happens to them.
I’m thankful to have known you for such a large portion of my life. The rest of the years without you will be the hardest of all to live. I used to tell you how wonderful you were. I wish you’d believed me. No matter how angry I might get at what happened, nothing will change the incredible person you were and how special you were to me. I wish I could be more like you were as a person. You deserve to be here. I don’t. I wish I could’ve taken your pain away and made it bearable for you to be here. So many people are missing out now Liv.
I hope you’re with me now and then. I know there’s places you’d rather be – people who mattered more and are in more pain than me. I sometimes feel like a fraud in that sense. My mind sort of minimises my grief, as though I shouldn’t be this broken by it, since others were closer to you or may have even been the ones to find you. I pray for whoever that was that they can heal from the trauma. I can’t even imagine. My feelings of loss must be tiny compared to closest friends and family. I shouldn’t make it about me. I guess my mental illness and the isolation don’t help. When you went I was left with nothing and nobody, so it became harder to deal with than if I was supported. But the reality is you really mattered to me. And I hope I’ll see you again one day.
Until then I’ll play Westlife and believe you’re there with me, enjoying their new music. Someone once said to me that you’ll see everything I see through my eyes. I hope they’re right. I love you Liv and I’ll miss you forever my beautiful friend xxxx