Five years ago my best friend Anna committed suicide.
It hurt me severely. She left her note on social media. I was the first person that saw it who personally knew her. I got a hold of her sister and their father. Within just a few hours I texted and called Anna maybe ten times and talked to Samantha three or four times. Samantha at first thought Anna was making it up to get attention. Anna finally texted back and said she didn’t want to talk.
I told her, if she’s trying to do what her note said she was doing. She wrote back, yes I did. My heart sank. I was stoned and still felt my heart sinking to the bottom of my stomach. She stopped corresponding. Darkness. The last thing I said to her was, I don’t know what you did but I love you and I’ll call you in the morning.
After that ,their father went to check on her, her bedroom door was locked and he heard her snoring. So they assumed she went to bed, she’s sleeping it off. The next morning I did as I said, but there was no answer. My day went on and I felt the buzz of my phone in my pocket. I looked and it said Anna. I instantly was happy. I said a little thank you in my head. Then as I read, my happiness disappeared as fast as it came.
It was Samantha, telling me that Anna died. Their father went to check in her that morning and the door was still locked and he didn’t hear anything in there. The fire department came and broke down the door. She was already blue. She died at 2am. She had taken her bottle of oxytocin. I now know she took them before she responded to my messages. Samantha told me there was nothing we could have done. That sentence alone broke my heart and ran in my head over and over again. It seemed like I was the only one in her life that had taken her seriously.
Her funeral was in her hometown, about four hours away. My girlfriend at the time was instantly mad and continued to get more and more sad and upset with me. (Samantha is an ex of mine.) Somehow my girlfriend thought I would have her take me down there and I’d stay there. She had to make it about her—when none of this had anything to do with her or about me leaving her. I sat in the funeral home by myself. My girlfriend stayed in the car out in the parking lot. She refused to come in. I stayed for the service and then we were back on the highway. On the one day I should have her by my side, I felt empty.
I turned to drugs to numb what I was feeling. To numb myself more than I ever have. I didn’t want to feel this mess I was in. This mess that I added to in my own way. I was doing drugs for awhile before then. At this point I turned to cocaine. Percocet and vicodin weren’t doing what they had before and I felt all if what I was feeling. I felt all the blame I put on myself. I felt all the anger I had towards Anna. I felt the sadness and despair. I just felt and had no clue how to come with it all.
Days blurred into weeks of the same conversation over and over again. When my girlfriend and I were both on drugs she had something over me. She had power, she knew what most people outside of my family didn’t know. In my foggy mind I felt like she was my world, that it was us against everyone else.
Our toxic relationship spilled over into everything else we did. We worked together, lived together. Every moment I took she had to know, “How long are you going to be gone?” When I came into work she would take out all her anger from the night before on me. Sometimes she screamed at the top of her lungs in front of everyone.
Mind games, drugs, and yelling became our norm. She was a shell of the person I thought I loved, that I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with.
We both did drugs together. When I wanted to stop, she wanted to keep on and she did. She would spend the whole day out and come home to sleep—then the same thing over again the next day.
I felt guilty for letting it go on as long as I did. As if I could have made her change the way she was living, the way we were living. I didn’t think I was able to change anything. I didn’t think I had the power. I got to the point where I just closed down. I stopped arguing, I stopped standing up against her. I quit my job, stayed at home, and did nothing. I tried to make an escape plan, but that didn’t work so well. A couple months later she left me.
I have learned plenty of lessons over the years, some over again and some had taken one time. I spent many years torturing myself or letting someone control what they shouldn’t. I have been clean a little over three years. I had to relearn to be me, to be an independent woman again. Nobody told me it was going to be easy, but as time goes on and with the right support I conquer one day at a time. Sometimes we have to take a new path to get to the right destination.
I am now enjoying building who I am now. Each day is new and you can fix whatever wrong you have done the day before. It may take time, but time is all you have now. Let it work in your favor. There are people out there to help and they care, even if in your darkest moments. Trust me, they’re there: sometimes they’re the ones you wouldn’t expect to. My life has changed, but I needed to change the way I was thing and my perspective on life.
Last week at work someone asked me, “Why do you always see the good side of things?”
I simply told her, I’ve been through a lot in my life and quite a few times I could have died. So why hold all that anger and bitterness inside when you can just let it go? Bitterness eats at you from the inside out. Happiness is a choice.
She said, “I never thought of it like that.”
Happiness is a choice, you choose.