Over the years, mostly in High School, I've seemed to be the rock for all of my friends. Without me saying anything, they would gravitate to my shoulder when they were deep in suicidal thoughts. I would always help and talk them down. I've had those thoughts MANY times myself, but I never went to anyone. I always realized, on my own, figured 'it's not worth it to hurt those I love and care about'. I have a friend, still alive today and I even work with him, who would come to me a few times a year. Until a few years ago when he realized the same as me. Now, keep in mind. I was 16 when I had my mom pull me out of high school and put me in GED classes, and I'm 26 now. So it's not like I'm 20 and this is just the last couple years.
But, the Monday before last, I was watching a youtuber's community stream. He opened a package from a viewer and read the note inside. The viewer had broken up with his GF 3 years ago, and a year later she sent him pictures of a knife covered in blood. He broke speed limits to get across town to her place... too late. His letter brought me to tears thinking of someone I haven't thought of in years. I practically forgot about her. It took me a week to get in contact with him and relate my two experiences to him that were similar to his. We're friends now.
You all know of my break-up with my 7-year long GF 3 years ago. I started with that and related to him that way. Except he was with his late ex for 3 years.
I followed up with something I've never told ANYONE but this girl's parents and the cops. The rest of my friends, no matter what social circle they were in never knew her. She was quite and kept to herself, you know?
This was the time I failed a friend. She never showed signs of depression. She'd always put your happiness before her own, which I've learned since is a sign. She was always smiling and happy, I've learned since that's a sign, too. She studied hard, got good grades, and never rubbed anyone wrong. Not exactly signs, but that's just who she was.
The last day of school before summer break, she was acting weird. Not herself. The biggest weird thing was, we always hugged at the end of a week or before a break, and in the morning of course. She would always say 'bye'... this time she said 'goodbye'.
Back then, I had an alarm clock that actually worked like an alarm clock, I've never had one that worked right since. It pisses me off. So, I would turn my phone off to charge over night, I didn't need it's alarm. I woke up, turned it on, and saw a text from her. Her smiling face and only a few words. 'I've always loved you'. I immediately call her, but her Mom answers. Turns out, her mom and dad were out late on a date. A few minutes, coroner's best guess, after that text... she slit her throat.
She was the one friend I failed to help. I have no idea why my subconscious decided to push her down into a box and kick it in the corner. Turned out, I was the last person she ever contacted. I think that was her scream. Subconsciously hoping I was still awake and would hop on my bike and take off to her house, just 2 miles away, and call the cops on the way. If I hadn't have gone to bed early that night cause of family plans early the next day... maybe she'd still be alive. I don't know. The past can't be changed, you know? I lost that phone a year later on a fishing trip out in the Gulf of Mexico, one of the FEW times my family has ever done anything for summer that cost money. So, I lost the thousands of texts we had between each other... and her final smile. There was no hope of getting the phone back. We were heading back in, bounced on a wave, and I lost my grip on it. We were about 3 miles out. Way too deep to hope of finding it.
Please, make sure your friends know you love them. Be the support for your friends when they need it. You can never truly know who in your life is hurting. Even just a random text at 4am saying 'hi' might help them. Make sure they know there's at least one person who cares. Just be there for them.
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