So, my posts lately have been of a rather inane nature, but today I need to be real. A fellow student in my grad program passed away last week. This was someone whom I didn't know, however her death is having an impact on me. Why? From all indications, this death was a suicide. And if you know me or have followed this blog at all, you know that this is a topic that is very personal for me. Having lost 1 partner and almost having lost another (thank you Universe, for stepping in when you did), and struggling with my own mental health issues over the years makes this an important topic in my life. I am so sorry that this young woman felt so overwhelmed and in so much pain that she chose to end her life. I have nothing but love and empathy for her loved ones left behind. However, I am kind of pissed off at other people.
Some people are using this as an opportunity to remind us to take care of ourselves, and to be on the lookout for others in our classes who may be having a difficult time, that we don't have to feel alone or struggle without help. I appreciate this little reminder because some people do get wrapped up in their own stuff and don't recognize when others may be in trouble. HOWEVER....
Not 2 days before this woman's death I sat through a class with tears streaming down my face (yes, for the duration of the class, I couldn't stop them), feeling overwhelmed, panic-y and generally flooded with depression and anxiety. It is the end of the semester, I am having health issues that I never anticipated that quite frankly scare the crap out of me, not to mention all the other stressors in my life at the moment... The point is, that I was starting to break down and lose it and no one (with the exception of 2 other students who I am becoming close with) said a thing. The prof looked at me as I cried and after class started to walk toward me, and then walked the other way and left. When I got in my car I sobbed for a good 15 minutes. I felt so alone and overwhelmed. I felt like I was in the wrong place, that I wasn't good enough and all my decisions had been the wrong ones. I felt like crashing my car. What if I had? What if I hadn't had the presence of mind to just keep driving to Oaky's house - just get there safely and take things one step at a time? It could have been me. And yet, I don't think anyone realized how I was feeling. So, when a few days later, we get an email saying we should be each others' eyes and ears and help each other out... well, frankly, it pissed me off. It hurt. It made me feel invisible.
I have since talked to my therapist and I am on the mend, it is a complex thing with PTSD, it waxes and wanes. So please don't worry for me, I am ok at the moment and am still on a healing journey. No one but Oaky and a few close friends know what I have been struggling with for the last few months, and I plan on keeping it that way, for now. It's too hard to keep opening up about it especially when I find it difficult to trust people as it is. I just needed to write about it because I felt like I was slapped in the face. Or worse, completely overlooked. Feeling invisible is one of the worst things in the world. But I know I'll do what I always do, turn my pain and struggles into fuel for helping others... as long as I can find the energy and strength to keep doing that, I think I'll be ok.