When I work out of town I stay with my oldest and dearest friends, a gay couple. They have always been perfect for each other and the most interesting people I have ever known.
One of them has been having severe anxiety and depression for the past two years. He has been on multiple medications, tried and failed many. He has faithfully seen a psychiatrist and speaks with their pastor on a regular basis. On Monday he killed himself.
I drove down on Wednesday, unknowing. Pulled in and parked for a three day stay with my closest friends, whom I had just seen two weeks prior. One was outside waiting to tell me the news. His husband was dead.
We had all been at brunch about a month ago. He told us that he could no longer take the constant stress and pressure. He cried repeatedly over his food. He apologized frequently. He said he felt as though his anxiety would never allow him to be successful again, never allow him to find another career he could enjoy, never allow him to rest. Having always been successful, being unable to work due to severe anxiety was creating more anxiety as he worried constantly about money and keeping them in the lifestyle they were accustomed to. When we discussed how illogical the thought process was, he voiced his complete understanding that logic dictated his anxiety was ridiculous, but that he currently felt it to be far too overwhelming. As a previous anxiety sufferer, I completely understood. I don’t like to give advice, since I hate it myself, but I did gently advise his partner to take him to the church where they performed to speak with the pastor there, as he had said that he felt at peace in that environment.
He told his partner recently he enjoyed sleeping because that was when he “felt nothing”. It hurts my heart that he felt so tired, exhausted, and useless that he ended his life.
He ended his life in his home, while a family friend was keeping him company and his husband was at work. That family friend now has to carry those images for the rest of her life. His husband has to feel the loss even more in their home, which should be a haven of good memories when someone is gone too soon. He took his life, which means most insurance policies won’t pay out, so his fears of leaving his small family without means will come true.
All of these things make me angry. I am angry at a person who was suffering and tired. I am angry with a person I loved. I am angry with a person who felt more alone than I ever have. I am angry with myself for being angry.
My face is puffy from crying. My body is aching as stress exacerbates my inflammatory disease. At some point this weekend I have to go to work at a hospital and take care of people’s children and pretend their families are the most important and that nothing is wrong in my life.
There is no moral to this story. I am too numb to think about it. I can only report the facts as I see them. Someone I love took their life because of anxiety.