I almost missed the blatant red flag my friend had sent me via text. She forwarded me a text she was thinking of sending to her dad and wanted to know what I thought. Prior to that she told me she wasn’t feeling great and came home during lunch and took the rest of the day off to take a warm bath.
I knew she had always struggled with depression and that recently life had dealt her some major blows. In short her father was not all who she thought he was. This shattered her image of her family and made her question everything. She is in her upper 30s but she felt like she was a child again and like she never truly knew this man amidst the horrors that had been brought to her attention.
Her text was questioning him and accusing him. She included her mother and blamed them for the issues she now had. At the end of it she said something about committing a “selfish act”, a “permanent one”, but that her family was strong and beautiful and they would be ok.
I almost missed it. I asked her what she hoped to gain from the text. Closure? Answers? I feared she would never get the answers she wanted. I focused on the questions to her parents thinking that the permanent and selfish act was her simply keeping her family away from them.
She told me she was drinking and she loved me. Her texts soon became hard to follow and I felt slight alarms going off inside me. I told her I loved her and as I read some of the texts aloud to a another friend, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. Had I just read her suicide note?
It had been an hour since she had texted. I texted a mutual friend, one home we were both close to. We were both panicking. She lives 4 hours away. I texted her ex husband. He said he had been getting weird texts as well but her teenage daughter would soon be home. I was terrified.
Her daughter found her. A mixture of wine and pills swam inside her. Their weekend was spent at the hospital and with psych evaluations. I couldn’t go up to see her because I have small children and no one to watch them but our mutual friend went to visit. She said it was sad to see her in such a state.
We knew she was suffering. But had no clue her suffering had led to this thought process. She had just been at my house the weekend before supporting me with some fairly hard times I’m going through. We had talked. We had cried and hugged. Things seemed “ok” all things considering.
I wish that I could be the friend to drop everything and be there. I do not have the regular support most families have though and I have 2 kids, one of which who doesn’t make things easier. And as I mentioned I’m going through something huge right now. Something I may talk about one day. But for now I need my time.
I dont know how to be there for her except to offer her my love and support. I dont even know that I’m strong enough right now to be there for her. She doesn’t want to talk much. Her family is understandably scared and angry. They are still trying to process.
I hope that this was a cry for help and not a true intention of leaving this world. I feel horrible for almost missing it. I’m just glad that she is still here. She’s seeking help. And for now it sounds like she wants to fight to stay here. I only hope this is a step toward a brighter and happier future for her. Or at least one she can live in.
Note: I dont have much experience with depression and suicide to this extent. I experience my bouts but I’ve never had serious dangerous thoughts. I also once had a manager who committed suicide and it was a shock but I had some experience going though grief counseling brought in by my job at the time. As much as we all think how selfish it is, I have no idea what is going through someone’s mind during that time. If you’re contemplating it, please reach out to someone. Anyone. Included is the national suicide prevention hotline. I even read you can call if you just need to talk.
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