For the longest time, I hated the realization that time goes on. I felt time stopped when my boyfriend died by suicide, and in a lot of ways, it did. In so many other ways, it’s marched on, whether I wanted it to or not. So much is different now. Time is always viewed as the enemy, but time is the only thing that made this loss even slightly bearable for me. No, time does not make it better (as many, many, MANY people feel the need to point out). Time does, however, ease the pain and sting of the initial loss. With each passing day, it does get a little bit easier to make it through the day. Time is what made me want to swim instead of sink.
For the first half of the year or so, I had been mostly medicated. Suddenly, there I was completely dependent on medication to make it through the day. Let me reiterate that – I was on multiple mind-altering medications just TO MAKE IT THROUGH THE DAY. No other reason – just to survive another 24-hour cycle. Wake up, stumble through the day, lay in bed for hours unable to sleep, and then finally sleep off and on for what only feels like seconds. My heart actually physically hurt. I can’t tell you how many days I stared at the wall aimlessly. I lost track of time. I forgot what I was doing mid-task. I couldn’t go more than 10 minutes without crying. Slowly and surely, these things got better for me, just like I know they will for you. Let time do its thing and trust it to do so.
What does all this mean? One year later. So many sleepless nights. 12 months. 365 days. Where should I be? What is the proper amount of grieving time? If this were a natural death or a break up would I be in the same place I am now? Is there a timeline? There are so many questions, with so few half answers. Only I can come up with my answers. In this first year, I became an advocate for suicide awareness and prevention. I have become his voice. The voice I wish with every fiber of my being he would have used to ask me for help, but he simply couldn’t. The voice he felt so desperately he did not have. I started this journey the day he died, and I have a purpose now. My purpose is to raise awareness, and take part in prevention and make sure his life meant something. He should not be forgotten. He was too special to just be forgotten. He was such a wonderful and loving man with so much potential, yet he felt he had no voice. I have become his voice and I’ll shout as long as I live for anyone and everyone to hear.
With that, this marks the end of the “first-year” chapter of my life. What does the next chapter bring? Who knows? Whatever it is, I know it will be a good chapter. I know that I can learn to keep his memory alive and keep my love for him while learning to love another. I have really high hopes for that. I am capable of moving forward without forgetting him. I will forever have an open wound that will never heal, but I can keep that wound doctored and live my life to the fullest. Friends, I am okay, and you will be too.