Last week someone very close to me attempted suicide. I was the last one to see her alive before they found her unconscious on the couch three hours later. I have not seen her since.
She survived -- by pure luck. This incident has made me fully realise that I don't really believe in grace anymore. There's luck, or chance, or fluke, or whatever you want to call it, but grace -- grace is unpredictable. It's almost never there when you need it. That changes grace into chance, because honestly, that's what it is. It's a desperate hope, but there are zero guarantees. While she survived this time, the thing is, I get the sense that she is at risk to re-attempt. They keep pushing back her hospital release date. I get that they need to take every precaution, but the fact is, she is still in danger. They won't admit it. But that's why. I'm not stupid. I've done enough research and have enough experience to know that the nonverbal cues and psychobabble codes mean.
Nobody outside of the hospital staff thinks of that. Nobody thinks of the crippling fear that she may re-attempt -- that I may miss it again. I feel bad enough for missing it the first time. I call myself her friend, yet I wasn't there for her when she clearly needed it. I know suicidal thoughts. I know depression. Even if there were no signs, I should have sensed that something was off.
You're expected to just be happy that she survived. You don't question how or why or how to stop this happening again. You're just expected to be happy and carry on.
The thing is: You. Can't.
I said this (on a daily basis; for two years) after my cousin died. Everyone kept telling me to get over it because after all, God is sovereign, right, so that means you automatically cannot be sad about it because God figured it was best to kill a nine-year-old for no reason and you just have to accept that with no question. God figured it was best, so you must paste on your happy face and go out and be happy. No tears. No sniffles. No sadness. Welcome to Cloud Cuckoo Land, everybody. And I fought, with heart and soul, this crap idea that it was 'too negative' to be upset over the DEATH OF A NINE-YEAR-OLD CHILD. I have pretty much lost that battle -- still nobody believes that it's a big deal. They certainly don't believe it's a big deal that my mid-twenties friend attempted suicide and survived. She survived, right? So what's the problem? She survived.
Yes -- this time. But we have absolutely zero guarantee she won't pull this stunt again.
I hate music right now. Usually I turn to music for comfort, but lately I play any song ever, no matter what genre or what the subject matter is, and by the time they hit the first chorus I hate it and myself and everything else on the planet. The only thing that turns my brain off long enough to keep me from following in her footsteps is watching Fresh Prince of Bel-Air on YouTube. Literally the only thing keeping me alive is a cheesy '90s sitcom.
Because of who it was and the situation, there very quickly became counsellors and residence directors involved and they're all pushing me to 'talk about it.' I want to... but I don't know how. They all say they want to be there for me. But nobody was there for me when Brittney died. Nobody was willing to listen to me after my cousin died. Nobody insisted I get counselling after my grandpa died (suddenly, when I was out-of-province. I was the only grandchild who did not get to say goodbye). Why are they all of the sudden so concerned about me now? It's too late now -- I've already learned to internalise everything. I've already forgotten how to talk about how I'm grieving. Nobody wanted to listen before, I'm not about to delude myself into thinking people want to listen now. Everyone's so concerned about whether or not I'm okay... listen, I haven't been okay since my uncle was diagnosed with cancer in August 2014. I haven't been okay for three years. I'm not going to suddenly be okay now, less than a week after my good friend attempts suicide with the WORST timing possible for my mental health.
There are resources up the wazoo for people who actually lose someone to suicide. But nobody talks about those very close to someone who attempts and survives. How do you deal with the fury that consumes your every waking thought? How do you quell the desire to scream obscenities at them because no other words are adequate to describe the gut-wrenching heartache they have deliberately caused? How do you deal with the sheer terror that they'll re-attempt? There is relief, yes, but it's so, so fragile. You know they're still in danger, but you don't know for sure how much because you are at the mercy of what they actually tell you. And she told us nothing before her original attempt. Nothing. Because of how we 'freaked out' this time, she'll say even less before the next attempt and she'll probably make her plan more watertight. How do you deal with the guilt that arises from the lack of gratitude in your heart even though you know you should be thankful that she is still breathing?
One of the people trying to help me wants me to come up with a suicide safety plan for myself. Excuse me? Where was the safety plan for my friend? I'd worry about that first. She's more important than me right now. After the crap I've gone through for the past three years, now suddenly you're worried about me? Sorry, it's too late for me to believe you'll honestly be there for me through all the crap. I've had enough people give me the 'I'm here for you always, in everything,' and then when I vent to them they turn around and tell me 'you're too negative; get out of my life.' Are you there for me in everything or not?
Sorry there's no real ending to this. I can't think in a straight line right now. Too many thoughts are running too fast and I can't catch them and hold them long enough to follow them to their logical end -- all I have are fragments.
Plus I can't stand endings.