Stronger than promises, stronger than love
This blog isn’t going to be long. It’s something thats has been on my mind basically all summer. Even at my wedding, I looked into the crowd and realized that someone important was missing. I have lost my best friend again. This isn’t uncommon as in the past I have wrote about his disappearances and reemerging’s, but this time, I think it’s for good. In 2019, I recorded a conversation the two of us had in my kitchen. In that video, I begged, pleaded, and cried to Jay that I needed him here and what he meant to me despite his suicidal attempts. I told him that I could NOT imagine having a wedding without him being there. Jay looked me in the eye and told me that he would do everything in his power to attend my wedding. Shortly after that conversation, Jay was admitted to a hospital for again trying to take his own life. I got married this past August, more than a year AFTER that conversation in my kitchen, and not surprisingly, Jay was not in attendance.
Here’s what I learned from depression: Depression is strong. Stronger than friendship, stronger than promises, stronger than love. Make no mistake, I love my best friend. And I’m sure in some shape or form he loves or has love for me. But that love, it does not supersede sadness. So I’m not saying that Jay didn’t do everything in his power to attend my wedding. In fact, I’m sure he probably did. It’s just in his case, the depression he battles is more powerful. To lose your parents, a close sister, your job, and probably some of your sanity, Jay feels alone. No matter how much you call him, visit, attend to and give attention, in his mind, you will never be able to experience his sort of loss and pain. And for him, as he told me himself, the only way he feels he can cope with that sort of pain is death. That way he can be with his mom and sister and no one here has to worry about him so he wouldn’t feel like a burden
So here lies my dilemma, the problem I am now faced with. Last year I searched and searched for Jay, trying my best to be the best friend, or brother I could be. What I found was a man who looked like my best friend, but on the inside was someone completely different. Sure he gave me hints of his former self, but the years had changed him, and the memories I had of what used to be, this team of kids who ran around NYC together and laughed and joked, those were exactly that, memories. I’ve come to the conclusion that the years had changed me as well. I no longer feel like I have to save Jay. I spent years trying to prove everyone wrong and that who he now was wasn’t a permanent thing. But maybe it is. I haven’t spoken to Jay since June of 2019. Not surprisingly his phone does not work, is social media is inactive, and he doesn’t keep in contact with his family enough for them to give me any information. I even had to take screenshots from the video of our conversation to use for this blog. I’m sure he’s alive and will turn up eventually but as of now, my best friend is missing. The only thing is, he’s been missing for years. Even when he was right in front of me.
4 thoughts on “Depression 101: Missing”
Its definitely rough witnessing and knowing your best friend falling victim to depression like this. Life can have a way of taking away your will to live by taking away the right things you hold value in knowing will always be there for you. It turns hope into fear and loss, I have a bestie that I fear might be going into this sort of phase soon and I dont have it in me to hold myself accountable for their pain anymore. I hope to see more recovery from this sort of thing. Anyway, cool blog bro.
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It’s tough. But thanks for taking the time to even read it. Means the world to me.
One of the hardest lessons to learn, especially as a caring, compassionate person, is that not everyone can be saved. And, furthermore, it’s not your responsibility to do so. I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to help people, because you absolutely should. What I’m saying is that it’s not always within your power, and you can’t be held responsible for not overcoming something that was never even yours to overcome.
It’s difficult to realize sometimes that it was never about you in the first place. I’m not saying this to be insulting, or critical; I’m not trying to provide a commentary on your specific situation so much as paint a general picture. Human beings, as individuals, tend to be very self-centered. Not selfish, necessarily, but self-centered in that they tend to insert themselves into everything even tangentially related to them. It very often even comes from a place the complete opposite of selfish; I think the motives are frequently altruistic. That overwhelming desire to help the people we care about, to lend our support to the fight, to take some of that weight away to make things easier to manage. It’s the very definition of noble. The mistake, I think, is forgetting that, even though you have a stake in it, and as much as you care, it’s still not YOUR fight. You’re not the main character in this story, you’re not the hero that gets to swoop in and save the day. Sometimes it’s just not up to you…and it fucking sucks. But at the same time, being able to recognize that might be exactly what you need to do in order to continue lending that support without hurting yourself at the same time. Sometimes it’s not about being down in the pit with them, it’s being able to throw down the rope when they’re ready to climb back up.
One last thing I’d like to specifically comment on, is this part: “So I’m not saying that Jay didn’t do everything in his power to attend my wedding. In fact, I’m sure he probably did.”
This is so important to remember. It’s easy to feel slighted and start to harbor resentment, to become jaded and hold a grudge. But, like you said, none of what happened means he doesn’t still hold love for you. So many times it’s exactly that love that leads to someone with depression isolating, because they can’t bear the thought of disappointing you or letting you down again. I can’t speak for Jay, but I still believe he appreciates everything you’ve done for him. When he’s ready, you’ll see him again. Do what you can to support him, remind him he’s loved, and help in the ways you have the power to. You’re a good friend, Sheem.
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Thank you for this. It’s EXACTLY what I needed to hear. You are so right and I understand your point completely. Thanks again for reading and this awesome assessment!