Contemplating suicide. I have been there. Many people have. But what is it like to actually see death? I have taken this life for granted. Over the past few days, and into the New Year, I have been writing about my woes with bipolar, my damaging behavior, and just an overall unpleasantness. I even asked God to take my life. What an outrageous request. What a spoiled brat I have become. I am sitting here, mostly in shock, way past my bedtime, with a deafening pounding in my head.
I played around online tonight, and as the night turned into morning. I visited some of my old websites — forums, Skype, and Facebook for the first time in what feels like ages. Well it wasn’t ages for normal people, it was just since October, however in Social Media time, it was basically ages.
There were many messages and requests from people I haven’t talked to in a good long time on Facebook. When I resurfaced in October of 2017, I had basically shocked the shit out of everyone because I vanished right after my last hospitalization. In my manic, dramatic episode, I had basically cursed out everyone right before I deactivated my account and left Facebook, which I thought was for good. Upon my return, I quickly deleted that post from two years ago, and posted a current selfie letting everyone know I was alive and well, and wished them all the best. I was surprised at how many comments and messages I received; it seemed that not only had people remembered me, but they missed me and if they saw that crazed manic post they must have forgiven me.
One person in particular who messaged me, was my old friend Tracy Holden. She was so quick to message me right away with a jovial “Hi!!!” and was so excited to see me again. Tracy was one of the first female friends I made on AOL back in 2005. It was all the rage back then, and chatrooms were the place to be. It was all about fun and jokes, some trolling, (of course), camaraderie and a place to perhaps find true love. I mean “You’ve Got Mail” had just come out a few years prior, so everyone basically wanted the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan magical love story in cyberspace.
As we all came together in a common chatroom, we all became “regs,” shortened for “regulars,” kind of like what happened in “Cheers,” but in cyberspace. People formed relationships there, (including romantic), and we all sort of spent our nights fooling around, gossiping, and having a good time. There was PLENTY of drama of course, and honestly, being a “reg” in that chatroom was probably the most fun I ever had with a group of people, (as sad as that sounds). I mean, sure real life would have been better, but we formed bonds that lasted YEARS, and one couple from our chatroom even got married, and is STILL married to this day.
Anyway, Tracy and I became fast friends. We exchanged phone numbers and chatted and talked on the phone all the time. She wasn’t far, just a few states away in Erie, Pennsylvania, and she even came to New York one year for a visit, by train. My mom even remembers her visit, because she was always going outside to smoke. Boy did we have a good time that weekend, we got absolutely wasted!
But, As time passed, I became deeply immersed in my mental illness, and I lost track of Tracy, even though she had tried to call/text me many times over the years. She even sent me a Christmas card every year. Being a horrible friend that I am, because I am so busy with my own drama, Tracy became a distant memory and our friendship faded into the past.
But on that faithful day, just a few months ago, when I made my grand return to Facebook, Tracy was one of the first people to message me, and she treated me like we were the same best friends we were all those years ago, like no time had passed. I was in my usual impatient mode of course, like I always am, so I didn’t spend the time with her to catch up like I should have, because it seems there is always some more pressing matter that I have to attend to. Most likely it was sleep, because I am always in some kind of manic frame of mind when I decide to take a trip down memory lane.
Which brings me to tonight. It was sleep deprivation and a manic mind that sent me back to Facebook early this morning. As I answered some of the messages left for me since October, I glanced by Tracy’s page to see if she had taken any more pictures. I had forgotten to congratulate her on all her weight loss and tell her how fabulous she looked the last time we spoke. What I found on her page though, stopped my heart right in its tracks. There were countless “digital memorials” and condolences plastered all over her page. She couldn’t be dead, could she? I JUST TALKED TO HER IN OCTOBER!!! But it was true. There was a link to her obituary on her page. She died of a massive heart attack, at the tender age of 35.
Words can’t express what this feels like. I won’t profess to say she was my best friend, I honestly put her out of my thoughts, and didn’t even stick around to talk to her back in October. I am such a shitty friend for that, because that was the absolutely LAST time that I would ever talk to her. The guilt is palpable and it such an eye-opener. The fact of the matter is I threw away our friendship and basically abandoned her. Abandoned a person that took the train all the way from a small town way out in Pennsylvania to come and see me and spend the weekend with me in my home. I know that at any time, I could have picked up the phone and called Tracy, and she would have welcomed me with open arms. But I discarded her, like I have done with so many of my friends, and I am sure many people done to their old friends too.
The fact is you will never know when someone will leave this world, and for Tracy, her time was way too early. She was just two years younger than me, and even as I am writing this, I still can’t believe that she is gone. I was a horrible friend, and I forgot about her over the years, and even when she remembered me and reached out to me right away, I didn’t take the time to talk to her like we used to, and to my despair and detriment it was the very last time I would ever get to speak to her. I have no words, or excuses for my behavior, or what it’s like to know that the old friend that was so close to me that I turned my back on, is now dead and gone.
I am so ungrateful to ask God to take my life, when Tracy’s life was taken from her way too soon. She was such a selfless person too, and always remembered her friends. I just wish I could talk to her now and tell her that I always appreciated how kind she was to me, and that it wasn’t her fault that we drifted apart. I will never get that opportunity, and as much as it hurts, I think it’s fair judgement. I didn’t deserve her friendship, and as much grief as I have in my heart, God Himself knows that this is a lesson I needed to be taught. Even if you aren’t a believer, let me tell you this, God works in mysterious ways and He DOES in fact HAVE a purpose, and when he teaches you a lesson, listen, and learn, because sometimes He doesn’t show you His miracles in grand gestures, sometimes they are very subtle. It is up to YOU to pay attention.
If you have a good friend out there that you used to be close with, but drifted apart from, give them a call or message them. Please. Even if it just to say ‘Hi.” Don’t be like me. Tracy deserved more from me in her short life, and I didn’t give it to her. It’s amazing, now that I know she is gone, all I can do is think about her, I just wish I would have thought about her more when she was alive.
I am so sorry Tracy, wherever you are, please forgive me. You were taken from the world too soon. But know this, I have found a new appreciation for life in memory of you. I won’t be so careless to throw my own life away so easily anymore, no matter how much pain I am in, because yours was taken from you when you had so much more to give to the world.
Rest in blessed peace my old friend.