I wrote the poem “Digest This” to help me understand my feelings about a friend’s suicide as well as my history with it.
In sixth grade I discovered self harm, I thought it was the answer to the problems beginning to surface. In middle school my parents were divorced, we had money troubles, I was being bullied for my sexuality, I was slowly becoming less friendly, I was gaining weight, and for some reason, I just couldn’t self cope.
By seventh grade I started dancing with the idea of suicide. At first it was curiosity, then it was romance, and by the end of the eighth grade it felt like the right thing to do. I tried to jump from a bridge, but I didn’t have the guts. So I waited for the next train to pass, to end what felt like a bitter and grey existence. Though I am still here, and I owe that to a friend.
She had noticed that I was acting out, saying weird things, and becoming casual about death. She didn’t just send a text message, she came after me and in many ways I owe her my life. It didn’t change things, I still danced with my demons but any time I felt wooed by the idea of ending it all I would remember that day on the bridge. So if you are reading this and believe or know you have a loved one struggling, please find a way to reach out.
Though it’s not my suicide that haunts me now, today marks the one year anniversary of when I lost a high school friend to the battle. He had taken his own life. I was filled with anger that he would do this, sadness that he was gone, and frustration. I looked through our old messages, brought up memories and even found solstice in reading his mother’s GoFundMe funeral page a dozen times. Anything to let it sink in; he’s dead. I was a crockpot of feelings. And even though it had been a long while since I had last seen him it still haunts me today.
Though I don’t want to focus on the heart ache. I don’t want to transfer the throbbing pain in my chest to yours. I want to give you the light I found in the dark.
If you ever wonder if someone will notice your absence, they will.
If you ever wonder if someone will cry over your death, they will.
If you ever wonder if someone will regret what they didn’t do for you, they will.
Though people aren’t mind readers, not everyone sensitive to picking up vibes, so when you are ready to talk I encourage you to do so. There were many dark days where I found myself falling to pieces, talking to a friend didn’t end my pain but it brought sunshine back into my world.
I can think back to all the times when he was smiling, no one saw it coming because he wore the happiest mask. He was upbeat, funny, even a bit odd but he was friendly to all. But there were also dark days when he needed help and may not have gotten it.
Despite the bullying and isolation for being “weird” he fought the battle. There’s nothing that can be done to change the past, I cannot drive a TARDIS to shame his bullies, nor can I bring him back. But if there’s something I can do, it’s this; be kind to others, seek help even if you don’t believe you’ll get it, take time to heal.
Everyone heals differently. Poetry has helped me, as well as sending him a letter, though this post has been a great step for me. So, thank you kindly.