13 October 2014

Are You Okay?

I'd really hoped I'd not have to write a post like this for at least another 50-100 years. I am aware that is unrealistic, but a girl can dream.  

It's been a while, but, yet again, I have a reason. I am an unending supply of shitty excuses that I wish I didn't have. I couldn't just go back to writing about films without at least addressing what is one of the most devastating events of my entire life, because that would just be fucking weird. 

I've been going out with my beautiful boy for nearly 10 years. He is my family and accordingly, his family became family too. They are a bunch of wonderful, random, funny human beings and I am very lucky to be able to count myself as part of the madness. 

On 7th September we got a call to say that one of his sisters; one of the brightest, kindest and best people I've ever known, who I was lucky enough to consider a sister too, had taken her own life. There is no way you can even begin to prepare yourself for someone telling you news like that. Tragedy has struck this wonderful family before in 2008, when my boy lost his twin in a car accident. In a way, I'd sort of foolishly convinced myself that nothing else really bad could happen. We'd already been through something so awful, surely nothing else could happen? I was horribly and unbelievably wrong. 
With a car accident, it's something awful and devastating, but at least it's in some way understandable, I guess. Suicide is something you can never in a million years prepare yourself for. Losing someone like this feels like a physical wrench, someone being torn from you and there is fuck all you can do about it. It is such a final act, that leaves nothing but questions, hurt and anger. 

I still have a very hard time believing it really happened, that she is really gone because the notion just seems so ridiculous. She was one of the loudest, bubbliest people I've ever known. You could hear her laugh and her voice from a mile a way, and I'm tempted to say that literally because girlfriend was LOUD. And that was one of the things I loved about her, there was no being discreet, everything was upfront and in your face. Yet it's this irony that makes the whole thing so hard to understand. This wonderful woman would tell you everything, regardless of whether you wanted to hear it or not. The amount of awkward conversations we had, her brother cringing away in the corner trying to cover his ears so he didn't hear all the details, is both hilarious and appalling. But when it came to telling us the things that mattered, she couldn't, words failed her. She constructed this almost perfect image. She had 3 wonderful kids, she'd lost loads of weight, she'd got a new house, she was going out and having fun, she was going to New York, she posted endless inspiration quotes on Facebook, and yet inside, that image couldn't have been further from the truth. And it causes me an actual physical pain that she went to that much effort to construct a picture of perfection, rather than being able to say 'look, I need help'. The last conversation we had, she told me how happy she was, and remembering that makes me so confused, angry and hurt. And sad. Sometimes I feel such grief that it feels like I can't breathe. Nothing makes sense to me anymore. It hasn't quite hit me as real yet. I feel like we're all free-falling and just waiting for the inevitable crash, when we'll realise that she's actually gone.

Losing someone like this hits me a little closer to home, because I know the thought pattern that goes along with depression. We had spoken about how she had struggled in the past, but she kept saying that it was getting better, and I guess that it's that part that I'm struggling with. I am so angry at her, and it hurts to say that, but I am so fucking pissed off. And it's not rational, I know, because I can understand what she must've been thinking, but on a selfish note, she knew she could've talked to any of us.  I'll indulge myself in my anger for a while; I'll curse at her, I'll rant at her and then all of a sudden that self-indulgent anger is cut short because I'll remember the reality. Then, just like that, the grief will smack me in the chest, face, stomach, with all the grace of a tonne of bricks. And it hurts everywhere. 

This feeling of waiting for the reality to hit is an uncomfortable one. You carry on with everyday life, you laugh and joke like it's all okay. And then you remember. Every time I laugh, it feels like it's coming from someone else. I feel like I'm looking at myself from the outside and I hear this stupid fake laugh and I hate myself a little. And yet, if I'm left alone she is the first place my head goes to and it hurts. I am a mass of contradictions. I want to be alone, but at the same time I am so scared of being left to my thoughts. 

I don't have the words to fully say how this hurts and I don't think I'll ever be able to understand what has happened. All I know, is that we lost part of our family and it has destroyed us a little. All we have are questions, shock, anger and grief, and to be left with that and nothing else is an insult to how fabulous Kellie was. 

If you are struggling at all, in any way, please, please tell someone. I am literally begging you. Save your loved ones this grief. I'm not trying to make you feel guilty for wanting to do it, I understand the temptation when your head tries to convince you, but it's not worth it. You can be helped, you can be saved, you just need to give someone the chance. 

We lost a beautiful, wonderful, funny woman. The kind of person who laughed first, who talked loudest, who'd speak to anyone, who made you feel welcome and loved, who put her family above all, who loved her children fiercely, who was an awesome friend, who was loyal and remarkable. She deserves a legacy so much bigger than someone who lost a battle to depression. She deserved so much better. 

I'll link some helpline numbers and information here and here. Even if you just want to talk to me, you can find my information on the side or in the 'Contact' section. There's no judgement, only understanding. 

I hope you're all well, and if you're not, I hope you talk to someone. Ask yourself everyday, 'Am I Okay?' and if the answer is ever 'No', tell someone. You are too important to not give yourself a chance.

I want to try and get back into writing, try and get back in the rhythm of life, otherwise I'll feel forever stuck in this little snapshot of grief and horror, and I can't cope with that. So hopefully, I'll chat to you all soon. Be safe and be well.

Becca.

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