Seven years ago I got this text from a strange number. My contact information wasn’t public, few people knew how to reach me or where I lived. A friend of my ex-husband had sent this text thru a website that wouldn’t give my number, but would let people text me.
I had just pulled into the Cort furniture parking lot and decided to call the guy who texted me before I went inside. Sitting in my car I heard words that weren’t surprising. My ex had committed suicide. A range of emotions rushed thru me. Disbelief, anger, sadness, and relief.
Yes, you read the correctly… Relief.
My ex was addicted to pain meds. He had emotional issues he numbed with those pills. Those emotional issues and addiction left untreated are why I left him. Those issues meant that when I did leave him he went crazy. Stalking, threats, and other disturbing behavior. Knowing that I would no longer need to hide was a relief.
The other side of that relief was a deep grief. The kind that feels like it’s ripping your soul into pieces and then burning it. Wondering if I could have done anything to prevent this while knowing I could never fix him.
This talented man never dealt with the demons that lived in his soul. He took pills to function, but those pills ultimately made it all worse.
Dave could build anything. He didn’t need a set of plans. Just tell him what you wanted built and he could figure it out. He loved gardening and plants. Everything he planted looked amazing.
By moments he was charming, and sweet, and the life of the party. At other moments there was no reasoning, he was paranoid, and his anger was terrifying to witness.
In 2007 I left him. After promises to get help were broken, after jobs were gone, after finding random pills hidden… I had enough. The following weeks were exhausting. Honestly, I don’t know how I would have survived without some incredible friends and family.
He went to counseling until he realized that a few sessions wouldn’t make me come back. Then he decided to just do whatever drug he could get.
Three years after I left him he was Baker acted and three days after that they let him out. Less than a day later he took his own life.
The details are sketchy. I don’t know if anyone actually knows what really happened.
What I do know is that this story is one that is told frequently. It’s lived frequently. Mental illness and emotional issues carry a stigma that keeps many people from seeking help. There are other reasons they don’t get help as well, but it seems many don’t want that label that mental illness carries.
Ultimately, many choose to end it all rather than deal with the demons and darkness inside.
This post isn’t to make you sad.
This post is to help erase the stigma. It’s to help those going through this with someone they love… You are not alone. It’s in hope that someone struggling with similar demons reads it and fights those demons. It’s to let everyone know they are loved and that even when you don’t realize it you will be missed.
It’s to heal the parts of my soul that will always ache around this time of year when the memory of this rises to the surface. The scar remains even when the wound heals.
To Dave, wherever your soul is, I hope you’ve found the peace you never could on this earth.
Much love friends. If you find you’re in a dark place, please know you are loved and you can reach out to me any time.