As I sit here writing this, I am overcome with emotion. This morning, I learned of the tragic death of a good friend, and group member. When I first heard the news, I was hit with shock, and then came the tears. There is nothing that can prepare you for the news of someone's death, but knowing that the death was a result of being tortured for years by a mental illness, makes it all the more difficult. Losing this friend, feels like part of my heart is breaking. I feel as though the scars of my own mental illness are being torn open.
This was a woman who I sat in group with, just this past Monday. She was there when we shared our "positives" about ourselves. She participated. She was smiling. This was a woman, who read my blog religiously, and encouraged me to keep going. She said I inspired her, and that I gave her hope. This was a woman who spoke so honestly and openly about her illness, and how much she wanted to get better. This was the woman who reached out, who asked me to be her friend, who called me, and whose call I never got to return.
I was always so excited when I saw her in group, because it meant she was having a good enough day to come in, and interact. When she spoke in group, it meant her voices were leaving her alone enough, so that she could join our reality. When she laughed, it was because she was present...she was there...she was alive. I am so saddened by her absence.
I realize I haven't felt this kind of sadness, for a very long time. The kind of sadness where you are unable to hold back tears, they simply flow. The kind of sadness that grips the core of you, and twists and turns it into knots. The kind of sadness that makes it difficult to see straight. I haven't been here in a long time, but this time, it's not for me that I feel sadness, it is for my friend.