A high school classmate of mine is dead. Gunshot to the head 😢. She battled depression, anxiety and probably other mental issues. We had lost touch over the years but kept up with each other’s lives via Facebook. She aired a lot (if not everything) on Facebook. She shared the kind of posts that made you cringe because they either revealed way too much personal information or seemed only to beg for a validating response. When I moved home, during one of her really down days, I messaged her privately with my cell phone number and asked her to meet me for coffee. I never heard back.
She was medicated. She was married. A mother. A grandmother. A day care provider that seemed to get so much joy from the children she cared for.
I am unable to recall many personal interactions with her in high school. Her name and face were familiar, but we were not close. Not then…not now. But her posts haunt me. I’ve been there. I’ve tossed out posts that could only be responded to with “no, no you look beautiful” or “he doesn’t deserve you” or “cheer up, the sun will come out tomorrow”.
I guess her death hits me hard because that could have been me. Depression is ugly. She was unhappy. I hurt for her husband. I don’t know him. I don’t know their relationship. I do know they were married for more than 20 years. I hurt for her boys who are only starting their own families and feel sad for the grandchildren who lost their “Nana”.
I know depression takes a toll on everyone. Facebook can be an evil place too. Shocked friends and classmates are tossing out accusations and right or wrong this isn’t the time or forum. In my opinion that is. Hindsight is always 20/20.
I was never suicidal, alhamdulillah. But I’ve been so tired I don’t want to fight anymore. During this sad time, I count my blessings for all that I have…my husband, daughters, sister, father, stepsons and friends. I am thankful that I found a doctor that saw through my determined no-medication wall, and took a firm stance to get me back on it. I am thankful for the years of counseling that taught me to understand my personality and to accept my quirks as just that…quirks. Not faults. I have the most supportive and loving husband and best friend who will patronize me with validation until I burst into hysterics. For my sister who is my safest of all safe places, my devil’s advocate, who will never tell me what I want to hear. My father who listens (and then calls my sister in a panic) and my beautiful, amazing daughters who are my friends as much as they are my children. And I have my faith…I believe in a merciful God who is forgiving of my faults. He makes me want to please Him. To try harder to better myself in all areas in my life.
So with all that said, I pray that my former classmate is at peace. I pray for her family. I thank her for bringing me awareness during this sad time that I am blessed in even more ways than I realized.