I am not quite sure where to begin with this. I’ve said a few times today, “I DON’T UNDERSTAND!” However, the reality is I understand all too well. Perhaps that is why my heart is breaking into trillions of tiny shards filled with sadness, grief and overwhelming loss.
The first email I read this morning was to let me know that one of my old Sunday School students hung herself last night. She had just turned 27 a couple months ago, her son just turned five last month and had his first day of Kindergarten last Thursday. Aside from her son, she leaves behind 2 sisters, 1 brother, her dad plus many nieces and nephews. And because we grew up in a town of 1200, a community filled with grief and broken hearts. This loss is being felt on a global level.
She was so beautiful. She was kind, sweet, loving and caring. She had a smile and a laugh that would light up the darkest room. I wish she didn’t feel so alone and was able to shine the light she showed to others, towards herself. She was loved greatly. I wish she felt she had someone to turn to. I tweeted earlier, “I wish you could CTRL+Z your day.” That tweet was directed towards her. I wish that whatever that final straw was could just be undone forever. Her Facebook page is full of messages about how she was loved, will be missed and how people do not understand, especially when some just saw her shortly beforehand. We will never get these answers. There was no note. She was one of the lonely among us.
I’ve been one of the lonely among us. I am not ashamed or afraid to admit this. I battled a great deal of depression as I was growing up. If you had my life, you’d understand. I grew up with both physical and sexual abuse, neglect, alcoholic and mentally ill parents, and the list goes on. I first thought about suicide when I was 9. I attempted suicide for the first time when I was 14. I continued to have suicidal thoughts until my late 20s. I was surrounded by many people but always felt so very alone and isolated. Thankfully, I learned how to reach out and vocalize those moments.
There are lonely among you right at this very moment. You work with them. You go to school with them. You socialize with them. You take the bus with them. They paint their faces with a smile, all the while they are screaming and crying on the inside, afraid of whatever the demon is that haunts them.
The last little period has been very difficult on me. I have had moments of feeling alone and isolated. I’ve been stabby and angry. I’ve lashed out and have told people to bugger themselves with their rainbows and unicorns. But I thank whatever it is you want to thank at these times that you all realize I’m just angry and venting. Because if it were not for your rainbows and unicorns and well wishes, I would once again become the lonely among you. There is a fine line between having moments of sadness and clinical depression. This line is so very easy to fall over, however it is a mountain to climb in order to reach the other side once again.
I saw a forum post the other day asking how often do you talk to strangers on the internet. Until they had become a member of a certain community, the idea to reach out to strangers never crossed their mind. For me, the internet is a life jacket. Because of my Lupus, I have to spend a lot of my time either in bed, resting or just generally avoiding the general population of the world because their little germs can kill me. Lupus isolates me both psychologically as I think people do not understand and physically. If I did not have all you wonderful people who reach my eyes via fiber optics and code, my mental well being would be completely different. And I know I am not the only one (for whatever reason), who has to spend a lot of their time as a shut-in.
I really do not think I could ever properly thank every single one of you who has ever showed me any type of caring or compassion. A lot of people have this idea that the internet is evil and bad. My family does not understand how I can consider some people whom I’ve never met in meat space to be real and true friends. Well those people who are codes reaching my eyes and are “Strangers” to those who don’t get it, reach out to me and support me even so I’m just code reaching their eyes as well. That is more than I can say about the majority of the people I know in meat space. Thank you for being my friend. You’ve probably helped save my life more times than I care to admit.
Today, my heart is breaking for every single one of the lonely among us. Your pain is my pain. I feel it to the very depth of my soul. I wish I knew who you are so that I can pass on some of the love that has been given to me. I wish I knew who you are so that I could give you a hug, even if it is just an ehug. I wish for you to find peace and understanding.
I hope that the person I just lost has found some peace. I wish she didn’t feel so alone and picked up the phone to dial the crisis line. I wish she wasn’t the lonely among us. And I hope her family and our community can find some type of closure soon. This will be difficult as we will never know for sure why. All we can do is speculate and make educated guesses.