Wednesday was a terrible day for me. It started out badly when I woke up and found a picture and some text that someone had sent me in the night. Someone who I love has been depressed and suicidal for some time. There were times when it was better and times when it was worse. Right now is one of the worse times.
But this isn’t her story. Instead, it’s the story of someone who loves a depressed and suicidal person. It’s about how it’s affecting me.
All day Wednesday, I felt physically sick and mentally anxious and emotionally heartsick, simply because someone I love needs help that I don’t know how to provide.
I’ve been through things in my own life that scared me, but I’ve never been as afraid as I am now about this situation. The most recent crisis point had passed by the time I knew it was going on, but I still walked around in a daze all day. At different times, I felt fear, despair, anger and determination.
I can’t be sure how much of my fear is for her and how much is the realization that her death would destroy me. So am I feeling empathy for her or am I selfishly fearing the loss of someone I value? I keep thinking about that, but I don’t know. I’m not sure it matters, because the same outcome is in the best interest of both of us, even if she doesn’t see that now.
Why is the idea of losing one person enough to strike this kind of existential fear into me? Although this is someone I love, it’s not someone I’ve seen lately. So why does it even matter?
Human connection is hard for me. I actually think it’s difficult for most people, although I think most people are so bad at it that they don’t realize this. I think most people never know what it’s like to really connect with another human at the heart level. Regardless of what it’s like for others, though, it’s very difficult for me to make that connection with another — because I don’t “match” many people inside — so I treasure the rare time when it can exist.
I feel a deep connection with this person. It’s one that has survived things that should have destroyed it for both of us. I can’t explain it. I wish I could.
All I know is that most of the things I do in life are for her, even though she never knows that or sees the connection. She’s the motivation for the good things I do, not because they’re going to get something from her, but because my heart knows that she’s in the world.
And that gets to the heart of it all. Something about her heart still feeling and her brain still thinking — her mere existence — makes the world a different place for me. I don’t know how to live in a world where I can’t feel her presence from afar and I can’t hope for the day when I’ll see her again. A world without her would be a very empty and nihilistic place for me to live in. I’d rather not find out how it would feel — because living without real human connection again would be losing all meaning in life.
I can’t give up on her life without a fight. I know that she can find meaning in life and can enjoy living, even if she can’t see that right now. I don’t have any idea how to make her believe that. But I somehow have to find a way.
These words aren’t really about her. They’re about my fears. They’re about the existential crisis I face. They’re about trying to find the courage to keep fighting for someone who’s lost the ability to go on — when it would be easier to run away. They’re about shoving aside the fear and concentrating on finding a way to bring meaning in life to someone who’s given up.
So this is all about me. It’s about my fear and anger and frustration and sheer terror of having absolutely no control over something very important to me.
I have tremendous empathy for her. I have tremendous faith in her. I like her. I love her. And I respect her.
Those are the things that won’t let me give up. I’m feeling a lot of fear, but I won’t give up on her. I hope she won’t give up on me.