Monday, 21 July 2014


During my last hospital stay I met Jay, as soon as I saw him there was a sense of instant recognition, as if I knew him, I let the feeling pass, dismissing it as just a coincidence in the way Jay looked much like S, similar physique, same height, smoker, surfer type.

One afternoon whilst doing art therapy it dawned on me: Jay & S were friends, they were surfing buddies, they met at the beach and formed a bond over surf boards, waves, dolphins, and the wrong belief that the other had "all his shit together", each wanted to be like the other, in the false perception that the other's life was how theirs ought to be. Jay was the only friend S made after meeting me.
Jay and I were his only friends. I felt angry at knowing I had to share S with Jay, I was envious of their friendship right then and there, a totally irrational feeling. 
I nearly fainted when I realised who Jay was, he was so fragile I couldn't tell him about S, not yet. The pain he was going through and the issues he was sorting out didn't have room for me to tell him: his friend, my darling, had killed himself eleven months ago.

Seeing a grown man cry in pain and despair, is heart breaking, with the uncanny similarity between S&J I was immediately thrown back to those times when I tried holding S tight and telling him things would be OK (even if only for a short time). I decided to hide in my room to avoid the pain of seeing him, I needed to give my heart a break and my brain some respite, I desperately wanted to hug Jay, to comfort him and cover him with kisses because my brain thought it would be like hugging S, it would atone some of the guilt I feel because I didn't die, naturally that was insane and I didn't. 

Jay has a family, I was not about to jeopardise his life and chance at future happiness for a fleeting moment of utter selfishness by doing something so unconscionable and probably unwelcome. 
I discussed my distress with Dr P and he agreed I was doing good by puting strong boundaries and keeping to myself.
Two days before is was discharged Jay realised that my S was his friend, he told me how they met and how he was having terrible troubles with paralysing anxiety and depression at the time and was drinking to excess to numb the pain but was ashamed to talk to S about it as "he seemed so together and healthy", I had to tell Jay that S was going through the same, doing exactly the same and was ashamed to talk to him about his own anxiety and mental health issues for the same stupid reason. 

Once again, I had to tell someone who cared about S how he died, I had to relive the moment I was told S had been found after a week missing, alone, exposed to the elements, I had to relive the fact that I was not allowed to see his body to say good bye, and then, I had to tell the nurses to keep an eye on Jay because he was terribly distressed to think that, if only either of them had dropped the fucking 'manly man' façade maybe, only maybe, they could have helped each other, and according to Jay, maybe S would still be alive. I had to hold my womb, for I was having contractions-like pain when I told him S had made his choice and we must honour and respect him. I could hear myself howling in my head and felt my heart breaking afresh. This is all too sad.

I know Jay and I will never cross paths again, he has my number, but he is too much like S, he will not reach out, and that breaks my heart because I don't want his family going through their own version of my little hell. 
The fucking unrealistic expectations we place upon ourselves took the love of my life, the bullshit 'indicators of success' agreed upon by society are killing young men and women like never before, but the saddest part is that there's so much shame attached to mental illness nobody wants to talk about it.

I have been admitted to a psych ward 25 times, have tried to suicide 8. I'm hanging by the skin of my teeth, don't know for how long or if I will ever get out of this dark and horrible place.

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