The red flags were everywhere...
But at the time I couldn't see them.
One of the hardest lessons I have learned is that I CAN NOT blame myself now for what I didn't know back then.
But I did. I chose to. For almost 5 years.
I allowed the intense feelings of anger and guilt consume me.
Not being able to do something to prevent her from taking her life was eating away at me.
𝐁𝐮𝐭 𝐈 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐈 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐧𝐨𝐰...
I thought she was being honest with her doctor. At least she told me she was.
I believed her when she said she was fine. She wasn't.
I believed her when she said she was in a bad mood and just needed some alone time. It was more than that.
I didn't know how bad it really was.
I felt a sense of responsibility, that her death was somehow my fault. Was it something I said? Was it something I did or didn't do? Was it because of the argument we had that night?
𝐈 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐈 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐧𝐨𝐰...
I was allowing it to drive me crazy. It was affecting everything I thought, did, felt... I was a wreck.
On top of it all... I felt guilty that I felt a sense of relief. How could I? Didn't I love her? How cruel can I be to feel this way?
Living with someone who suffers from severe depression and mental illness isn't always easy. Sometimes it sucks.
𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐨𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐧 𝐝𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐧 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐢𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐚 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐥 𝐠𝐮𝐢𝐥𝐭𝐲.
The guilt I felt was unbearable.... and then it changed.
One day, just like that.
𝐈 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐳𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐈 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐈 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐧𝐨𝐰...
I had to let it go, the anger, the blame, the what ifs, the could haves and should haves... All of it.
It was torturing me and I was allowing it to.
So I chose to let it go. I chose to remember the love. It wasn't easy. But I did it anyway.
We learn through pain.
We grow through pain.
We become stronger through pain.
Or we don't.