I tried to be her friend, really I did. At least this is what I told myself to assuage my own massive guilt. But the truth of the matter was is that when the going got tough, I bolted. I cut my own losses and chalked her up as a “lost cause.” I’ve felt guilty for years about this, as I know how badly I really fucked up.
In truth, I’d reached that pivotal point in my life where I realized that I had been heading down the wrong street (hell, I was in the wrong state) and I promptly bought myself a map and changed directions. She had not. Her bad decisions seemed to top each other in a frightening pattern of self destruction.
And I know self destruction.
Maybe it was self-preservation on my own part. Having dealt with pill-popping alcoholics for parents, I knew what a tricky situation that could be. I happen to be the only one in my family who confronts these situations and tries to make them right. Mainly because I have this vision of being at the funeral of someone that I loved very dearly and remarking that “I wish that I’d done something to help them.” But as you cannot help the dead save from letting them be, I was stuck wishing and wondering what could have been. Shoulda, coulda, woulda.
I ran into her mother today (again), and recieved some devestating news. She was back in the hospital after another gruesome suicide attempt. And I realized that now it was my time to help. I’m done with excusing my inaction to my fears, I’m done with hiding behind my children and my (not really so) busy life, and now I must act. She had once been a good friend of mine, and now I will try like hell to be one to her.
This is where those of you who know her must help me. Get over the fact that you don’t know her as well as I do and buy a card. I’ll give you her address. Hell, if you send it to me, I will address it and stamp it and send it myself. She needs to know that people who knew her (however well it may or may not be) care about her. Period.
No one should ever, ever, ever feel as alone as she does now. No one.
(Is there anything else you can think of that I can do for her?)