You

For the first time in months, I just looked at photos of you. I’ve actively avoided for so long that I have no idea when I last did. And it felt just like I thought it would: bittersweet, but more sweet than bitter. 
I still think you are gorgeous.  And all the things I loved about you physically are still the same. Your lovely eyes, subtle masculinity, sexy body, great arse. You are just perfect, and I’m glad that for such a short time you were able to trust and enjoy my opinion of you, even if you didn’t believe it yourself. I can see your self confidence growing in some of the photos, and I love the fact that you took so many just for me. I hadn’t forgotten how you look, but it feels more concrete now that I have.
And the violence of your death, and the fact that it was self inflicted hit me for the millionth time. Such a huge loss, such a waste. As I’m in a much better place, initially I feel anger towards depression and how it took you from us. Then the thought process kicks in and the clouds gather. Your blood on my hands. I may as well have pushed you onto the railway line.
I let a tear fall and blink back further ones. I’ve got to be strong. It is OK to grieve. But you took your life because depression told you that you were worthless and should die. Many people blame me, including me. But at the end of the day, your mind was infected, and that infection took you.
Maybe one day I’ll be able make peace with myself.
Nothing’s changed. I still love you. Oh, I still love you, SM x

Alaska: My Turning Point?

I was reading an article about fictional characters that have aided people with depression, and Alaska resonated with me.  This morning, whilst guiltily enjoying a McDonald’s breakfast, I downloaded Looking For Alaska by John Green to my Kindle.  This afternoon, I finished it, having had difficulty putting it down to go about my day in between.

The story is so very different from ours, yet I could draw so many parallels and felt that the characters were empathising with me, rather than the other way around.  What they went through, their thought processes; it all helped me start to sort through the past couple of month’s events in my head, and take a step or two towards coming to terms with your decision.

No one is ever going to know, exactly, what was going through your head.  Whether you had been planning it for weeks, as I suspect, or whether at some point in your last 24 hours, you decided that it was the only thing you could possibly do.  Without a drop of arrogance, I am fairly sure that I have the most accurate understanding, all down to the secrets and thoughts you entrusted me with over the last year of your life, and the conversations we had in the last 48 hours.  I am honoured to be that person.  But I need to remember that not knowing every detail doesn’t stop me from loving you, and caring.  Its is OK to not know.  I just wish I could have done more to help you understand that your thinking was entirely unnatural, incorrect and not the right thing to do.  I still compose messages and conversations that I feel could have helped.  It is totally pointless and it makes me feel terrible that I didn’t think of them at the time.  I am now in a strong enough state that I try and stop myself when my mind hits that track, and the guilt at doing so doesn’t tear me apart as once it did.

I think that you purposely confessed to your wife in order to tip you over the edge, hit DEFCON 1 and be able to step out in front of the train.  You knew what her reaction would be; knew it would redefine what rock bottom actually is for you.  And so I must stop the small pangs of anger at the response she gave, as predicted, that helped you along the path.  After all, as you once said, “she has done no wrong”.  I am the other woman.  I still blame myself, but I must start to believe that ultimately, the only person who caused you to kill yourself is you, and whilst that wasn’t an OK thing to do, it happened, and it just ‘is’.  I already kind of knew that I need to believe this before, but now I KNOW it.  I dare say it will take me a long time to get there, but I know I must do that.

I still have suicidal feelings.  Not the urge to do it, I hasten to add.  More the feeling that it is probably the way I will die, at some point in the future, whether that be in 10, 20, 50 years time.  But I think I can live with these feelings for now, and channel them slightly differently.  Rather than having the need or desire to kill myself, I am at peace with the inevitability that is: one day, I will die.  I accept that it will happen, and it doesn’t scare me.  I hope that this will be the way out of the labyrinth for me: that by accepting and coming to terms with what is every living being’s ultimate fear, I am no longer suffering.  I have escaped the labyrinth not by coming to its end, but dissolving the the walls that make up the passages around me.  Removed it, rather than being released by it.  I hope that taking ownership like this will help me start to take control of my depression, take back my life, and live again.

If only I could turn back the clock to help you take control of your labyrinth.  But maybe the train was the only way you could have done it.  I’ll add this to the list of questions I have to ask you when I see you in utopia once again.  By the way, I hope you’re looking after the place, ready for when we are reunited.

Worst Month of My Life

One month ago, you shattered many lives, mine included.  I don’t know if you truly realised how final death is.  I know you thought that no one would care, that everyone thought you deserved it, and that the world would just carry on as normal the next day.  Whereas, in fact, I fell apart.  Your best friend fell apart.   Your family fell apart. Your colleagues fell apart.    I use that order as it is how it went for me; I imagine the first three fell apart as much as each other, give or take.

And in that month, this is the impact that losing you forever has had on me:

I am suicidal – ranging from needing to do it, to having in the back of my mind as an option.  DEFCON 2-4.  I’ve had to tell people this, and my plans, so that should life get too much, I can be found – in time, I hope.

I take antidepressants – the same ones you were on, although a lower dose, I think.  As such I don’t feel emotions any more.  What a relief – I couldn’t cope with the physical and mental pain your passing left me with; it left me unable to function.

I exist.  I don’t enjoy life; I am not living it.  I take care of my children’s every need, drop them off at nursery, and bumble through the day.  I cannot see more than a few days in advance.  I don’t enjoy doing things like I used to.  Showering is an achievement in itself.  I am 32 years old; I should have another 50 years left on this planet, at least.  I have no idea how I am going to last that long.

I take the blame for your decision to commit suicide.  If it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t have broken your marriage vows, fallen apart mentally, hit rock bottom and refused all help.  Therefore your death is my fault; the pain and suffering that everyone who knew you is feeling, is my fault.  This is why I am suicidal.

I am fearful of returning to work.  Everyone knows about our affair and that I caused you to kill yourself.  I have been blamed for it by a mutual friend.  I can’t cope with the judging eyes, seeing the pain I have caused.  I also cannot bear to think that people have judged you for cheating on your wife.  Even though you pursued me, you wanted to cross the line that I defined, it is me who was in the wrong, because you are dead and I am left to take the blame.  And I want it that way.  I am in so much love with you that no one is allowed to think badly of you.  It is me, only me.  You used to say that it was all you, not my fault, I should hate you, no one would see it as my fault.  I disagreed, you got angry, we had to drop it.  You were wrong and I can’t tell you “I told you so”.

I am turning to superstition and OCD.  I count magpies and am fearful of how my day will go if I only see one.  I look out for the moon at night, as I see it as symbolic of you looking down on me.  I talk to you via it, take comfort in its presence: your presence.  If I cant see it, I get low.  I am fighting my zombie phobia as your promised me that you would protect me should it happen (do you remember, you even gave me an escape plan once as I was nervous about going to London?) and now you are not here to do that.  Who will save me now?  Maybe I should let them get me; it might answer previous thoughts.

One month.  One month of doing everything I can not to hit rock bottom and never get off it.  One month of knowing that’s all I want to do.

I’d give my life so that you have yours.

I Know It’s Not Enough

I know it takes two to tango.

I know I made sure it was you who made the first moves.

I know that, as a grown man, you were more than capable of making your own decisions.

I know that, ultimately, it was you and you alone who decided to listen to your demons and step out in front of a train.

But I still blame myself for everything that happened and the pain it subsequently caused to everyone in our lives.

I still blame myself for not stopping you.

I am so, so sorry for everything.

Which is also the last thing you said to me, face to face.