Trigger warning: This post has a moderate discussion of suicide, and a brief mention of depression.
Who am I?
I always find that question to be a hard one, because I guess I see myself as many things. My first thoughts are all positive, seeming to revolve around my many passions and the things I love to do:
I am a Christian- a sister in Christ and lover of God’s word.
I am a musician- a viola advocate and piano enthusiast.
I am a writer- stringing words together to create the imaginary worlds in which I live.
I am a dancer- letting the music take me away.
I am also a friend, a sister and a daughter, an optimist, a lover of adventure, an organisation fanatic, a perfectionist, a hopeless romantic…
But who I really am is not only to do with the good, but also with the bad. We are all products of our interactions with others, and while I have some incredible, incredible friends and family, I have been hurt time and time again by others who did not even realise they were doing so.
As I mentioned only a few sentences ago, I am an optimist and I like to see the good in everyone and everything. I am someone who loves deeply and completely. As with my many passions in life, I find someone or something I love and I give my whole self to them. I would do anything for someone I care about, but with loving deeply comes hurting deeply. And despite pain, tears and broken friendships, I kept caring and kept loving. Even when my brain told me to lock my heart away and stop reaching out to people, my heart wouldn’t listen.
Last year, I started university, and at Uni, I made some friend, friends with whom I clicked immediately. One friend in particular was a blue-haired girl who loved as deeply and as widely as I did. She became a sister to me. Unfortunately, she had been fighting with anxiety and depression for years, and in October of 2016, she lost the fight, taking her own life.
I have to say that her passing was one of the hardest things I have ever gone through, and in dark moments, I thought that if I had not loved her as much, I would not have been in as much pain. But in the months that have gone by, I have grown a lot, and I have realised that she was a beautiful light in my world and she changed me to become a better person, and I only wish that she could still be around to see her friends grow into beautiful adults.
Why am I telling you this, you might wonder.
Her passing is now a part of my story, because it was one of the first times I felt true loss, and yes, others have lost more than I have, but it does not make the pain any easier to deal with.
I want you to know that if you have lost a friend to suicide, you are not alone.
And I’m not saying that because it is the mantra of this blog, I really mean it. I joined this blog because I believe it is an important message, because feeling alone and isolated is among the worst things in the world, and no one should ever be stuck in a place where they feel like there is no one they can reach out to. I have been in a lot of painful and dark places in my life. I have anxiety and chronic back pain that often knocks me to the ground, but it is important to get back up and keep going. The pain I have gone through has become a part of my story.
Looking back, not only the past few months, but also on my life, I am glad that I stayed open to others, because I still have some amazing friends who love me as much as I love them. My friends are what make life worth it, and looking back, I can see that even though there are dark days, there are wonderfully bright days too.
Who am I?
I am a survivor.
Live for the good days, live for the sunshine and the flowers and the beauty of nature, live for the smiles and the laughter and the friendships, because I assure you, friend, they will be here someday.