Trigger Warning- Suicide 

Five years ago on April 24th, 2011 I lost my best friend. I lost her to suicide. I didn’t know about the Depression, Anxiety, and the feelings of being worthless. She was always happy, cheerful, and in a good mood. No one ever expected my best friend to take her own life on that dreary October morning. I never expected to get that phone call that would completely shatter my well being. I never expected having to say goodbye to my best friend who by all means acted as if everything was okay. I never knew about the problems she was having and if I had, I would’ve done something about them. I would’ve gotten her help.

It was in the springtime, if I remember correctly it was April. It was on a Sunday morning when I received a phone call that I never saw coming. I was half asleep when my cell phone starting ringing and I knew it was early because it was dark out. It kept ringing and I finally grabbed it and opened it up and said,” Hello?” The next words I heard shattered my world.

“Megan, she’s gone. Paige committed suicide.”

I fell apart, I got up from my bed sobbing and threw the phone on the floor and crumbled to the floor hysterically crying trying to figure out what just happened. It had to be a dream, it had to be. She had to be alive and I had to see her. She lived very close to me and I hurried out of the house seeing my dad up. I can still hear him yelling and screaming at me to come back. This had to be a dream. All I can remember is Paige’s mother holding me as I cried begging for this not to be true.

But, it wasn’t a dream. It was real life. The following days, I struggled to make it through the days and I didn’t go to school. I couldn’t face people because without my best friend at my side, I felt alone. We grew up together and went through everything together and I couldn’t imagine my life without her and now I had too. Paige believed that if she told anyone how she felt, they wouldn’t believe her, they would think she was a burden, or she was trying to get attention. I wish I could tell her it would’ve been the opposite. I would’ve been by her side and we would go through together like we had everything else.

I never really thought she would take her own life and the more and more I read her diary, she vented her frustrations about everything and I came to learn a different side to her. One that she didn’t show to me. She was afraid, embarrassed, shameful, and tormented. Even though she was no longer here, she could be finally free from the pain she experienced. As I went through the journal, the tears poured down my cheeks s I read the entries and one in particular broke my heart.

I don’t like putting on a facade for people when on the inside I’m screaming ready for the pain to end. I don’t want to be a burden, I don’t want to talk about my issues. I can’t burden my best friend with this.

The last line killed me. She felt that she couldn’t even tell me how she felt. It broke my heart that she felt like this way. My heart was broken because I had lost my best friend and I didn’t even know the pain she was suffering. She put on a mask and played the game until she couldn’t anymore. I felt guilty, shameful, lost, and like I had failed my best friend and her family.

I remember the day her mother called me and told me to come over and go through her stuff. As I entered the room, I felt the immediate lump in my throat seeing the posters on her wall. Some that I helped put up, the trophies from the sports she played and seeing pictures of us together made me choked up. The amount of time I spent in this room is more than I can remember. I sat down on her bed and immediately burst into tears now knowing she would never come back. She was gone. Even at her funeral, I didn’t accept it. But, sitting there in her dark room I knew that my best friend was gone. The realization finally hit me and I would have to pick up the pieces and continue on for her.

I go to her grave every year and lay flowers down and bare my soul to her as if she was still alive. There is no closure for me like many people say closure will happen. Not for me, I still mourn her loss every day and still think of all the times we chatted until we had nothing to talk about which rarely happened. I never knew the pain she experienced and never knew she felt like she would be a burden. If I had known these things, life would be different but that’s not how it ended up. Everyone was stunned because no one, not even her parents knew the pain she felt and they were super close. She hid her pain so well that no one knew and that’s what she wanted.

I miss her every day. I no longer blame myself and I work to educate others on Mental Illness which is something she would be proud of. I’m living my life for her because she was my best friend and always cheered for me. I wish she was her but I have to accept the fact that she won’t come back. I will cherish the memories and when I’m down, I hear the words she would tell me to cheer me back up or look at old journals that we used.

Mental Illness doesn’t have a face and you don’t know if someone has a Mental Illness by physically looking at them. You don’t know their demons, you don’t know the struggles that people face so be kind to everyone you meet. My best friend was cheerful, fun loving, always smiling, and willing to help people out. You would’ve never expected her to be tormented, depressed, numb, and felt as though ending her life was the best option. This is why I educate people. Mental Illness is a serious matter and needs to be taken so especially suicide. You don’t know the struggles people face so be kind to anyone you meet. You might just make their day.

13043570_10100840959423195_6494643748625618523_nMy name is Megan and I am a Mental Health advocate. I advocate for those who fear the stigma and feel ashamed of the way they feel. I am co-leader for Team Not Ashamed and a senior in college. I have anxiety and have suffered depression in the past. I also blog for Student Minds and even have a blog of my own. I’m an open book, love helping people, lifting weights, running, and being with friends and family.

Megan can be found on her blog and Twitter