“I am sad,” I say to Walter a few times a day. He always looks at me with his Arms of an Angel eyes, then I scratch his butt, and feel momentarily better. I keep announcing my sadness as a way to be woo-woo and sit with it, whatever that means.
I am sad because a friend called me Thursday morning to say they had tried to kill themselves the night before, that they were okay, but were being moved to a residential center. At least I think that’s what they said. My mind kind of blanked after that. I have not heard from them since. Because of the ephemeral nature of online, long-distance friendships I do not have any one I can contact to find out how they are.
The ambiguity of this situation is taxing. If someone were to look at my google searches they’d think I might be suicidal. I am not. I’ve only ever pondered killing myself once, in my early 20s, and it wasn’t a real threat. It was a dramatic thought exercise that was easier to imagine than dealing with my shitty behavior catching up with me. I’m forever grateful that I do not struggle with depression.
I feel as though there is a weird suicidal ideation epidemic in my life. Three of my friends have teenagers who have been hospitalized for an attempt or threat within the last year or so. THREE! And now this friend. . .
The guilt I feel is overwhelming. Did I make things worse? How did I not see it? Why didn’t they turn to me? Should I have known? Checked in more? Done something? And since I haven’t heard from them since the call I have convinced myself that it is my fault. That I’m a toxic person and the doctors have told them to stop communicating with me. Yes, this person’s mental health is all about me.
God, I’m the worst. This is the worst. It is shitty and I do not like it and I don’t know what else to do besides intermittently weep while going about my daily business.