Out of the Darkness

Hi honey,

Yesterday was the walk for suicide prevention. I am very glad I went. I purchased a new shirt to support the cause, as well as a water bottle and button. I also preordered a different shirt. Joanne and Thanos walked with me; their support was very appreciated. They walked to honor you as well. I posted a picture of you in the remembrance tent.

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I had the chance to hear quite a few other stories about others who have lost their loved ones. There was such a huge turnout. So many other people who, like me, have been touched by suicide. I was given beads: red, blue, and green. Red represented losing a partner, blue represented being a supporter of the cause, and green is for those who struggle with mental illness. I am saving them as a momento.

Right now, I am at Tabby’s. She should be arriving soon. It is her birthday today! Later tonight, I will be driving back to San Diego. Hopefully, my anxiety isn’t too bad for the drive. Please watch over me if you can. I love you.

Yours,
Alex

10.17.14

Dear Laythe,

I was studying just now and came across a passage in my text. It describes depression in behavioral psychology terms. I thought I would share it with you because the example given fits perfectly.

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I love you, handsome. Tomorrow, I am participating in the Out of the Darkness walk. Joanne and Thanos will be joining me for support and to honor you as well. I will be taking a photo of you to post in the remembrance tent. I will try to take pictures so I can show you. I’m going to get back to my studies now. Miss you!

Lovingly yours,
Alex

10.09.14

Hey Laythe,

Remember this song?

There May Be Tears

I cried my eyes out to this song one day, and you were there to comfort me. I miss you so much right now. I told you I would update you about my presentation. It went well, easier than I anticipated. Now I have a challenging expressive take home midterm for ASL that I am stressed about. It doesn’t end. Sigh. This weekend is going to be a long one preparing for 3 midterms next week, plus finishing this expressive portion. I have to keep reminding myself that my value is not based on my performance in school. I hope one day I come to truly accept that fact. I have therapy on Monday which is probably a good thing going into midterms. I love you. I know if you were here you would be supporting me 100%. It would be nice to see you in a dream again as it had been quite a long time. Again, I love you and I miss you. Wherever you are, I hope you are happy, well, and smiling that bright smile of yours.

Love,
Alex

Seven Months

Dear Laythe,

Today marks another month that has come and passed since your voluntary departure from this world. I spent a lot of time today listening to music we used to listen together. It helps me feel closer to you. I imagine you are listening along with me and watching me make a fool of myself dancing around and singing. I wish I had actually let loose more when you were here. I was too embarrassed to do that before.

I don’t have much to say at the moment. I am pretty stressed out and anxious about a presentation I have to give tomorrow morning for ASL. Wish me luck. I will let you know how it went.

My stepdad is going to come over now because he knows I’m feeling down and out of sorts. I know you’d be glad that I have company. I’ve been alone too often lately.

I love you, Laythe. I miss you very much. I think about you multiple times a day. Rarely are you far from my thoughts. Your name echoes in my head as do my memories of you. You are loved and missed.

Sincerely,
Alex

09.29.14

Dear Laythe,

I went for a walk tonight and thought about you. The last time I was there, I was with you in my car listening to music. I probably shouldn’t have been out walking alone so late, but part of me felt like you were watching over me and that it would be okay. I miss you very much, honey.

Yesterday, I went to my stepbrother’s birthday dinner. I had been uneasy about it because of the fact it was at the exact same restaurant as last year. You had been with me there for it last year. I even remember where we parked and the conversations we had. My lock screen on my phone is a picture my stepdad had taken at that restaurant last year. Here is the picture. Do you remember it? You bought me that dress, and you wore the shirt I ordered for you.

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I tried, but I ended up crying quite a bit. Everyone was understanding, though, and said they were glad I had come anyway. I miss you so very much. I don’t think you understand the depth of my devastation. It may not look like it now that almost 7 months have passed, I carry myself better now, but there is still a lot of unresolved sadness and pain. I need to get some sleep now to be prepared for class in the morning, so I’ll let you go.

Love you,
Alex

09.26.14

Dear Laythe,

I was just making my schedule for tomorrow and opened up my email to find this little gem in the Survivors of Suicide Loss announcements:

Grief never ends… but it changes.
It’s a passage not a place to stay.
Grief is not a sign of weakness or a lack of faith.
It is the price of love.
~Author Unknown~

It really speaks to me and it is so true. I continue to grieve for you and I wouldn’t change it for anything. If I were to wish it away, I would be wishing that I never loved you. I never plan on letting go of the love I have for you. My love will change over the years, as it has gradually changed over these months, but it will always remain. I love you my handsome man.

I slept over at your family’s house yesterday. Christian, Rihanna and I slept together. We had a good time. I got to see Mom, too. Dad is away on business. I was able to help Christian with some of her math homework today, so I was glad about that. Now, it’s time for me to start winding down because I have a Deaf event I will be attending in the morning. Wish you could come and join me. Love you, sweetheart.

Yours,
Alex

09.15.14

Hey Laythe,

I miss you. I donated blood today, and it didn’t go so well. I was able to complete the donation, but halfway through my body was not taking it so well. I wish you had been there with me. Afterwards, I nearly passed out and ended up throwing up a couple of times. They lied me down on the floor and put ice packs all over my face and neck because I was burning up and sweating bullets. I guess I went very pale. I don’t think I will be donating blood again for awhile. Something similar happened the last time I donated also. I wonder why that happens now.

I also went to see Dr. Allen today. He is taking me off of Seroquel and putting me on a beta blocker instead. It should really help my anxiety. The way it works is it blocks the body from absorbing adrenaline, at least that’s what I gathered from his explanation. I am willing to try to anything at this point. I really hope it helps me.

I am stressing about next week’s exams. I really hope I do well. I’m afraid because the exams are such a huge part of my grade. I know worrying over it isn’t going to make anything better, but I just can’t help it. I’m looking forward to going back to therapy. Maybe Dr. Hahn will be able to help me overcome my issues surrounding school and perfectionism. I guess we shall see.

I’m very tired tonight, love. I think I am going to go to sleep early. I need to be up at 5am to get ready for school anyway. I really miss you and wish you were here. I miss being able to talk to you about my day and hearing about yours. I miss the sound of your voice, your laugh, your smile, your hugs. I wish things didn’t end up this way. I wish you had chose life instead. I don’t love you any less, though. I’m sure you were confused and in a lot of pain. Wherever you are, I hope that pain is gone. I love you, my handsome.

Yours,
Alex

09.11.14

Laythe,

I really missed you today. I wore my The Color Morale T-shirt to school that says “Hold On Pain Ends” because it is Suicide Prevention Week. I hope some people on campus received the message. I’m under a lot of stress right now. I have a challenging take-home quiz and a video project from ASL, and two psychology exams coming up. I briefly entertained the idea of offing myself to be able to avoid the stress altogether. I am going to push through.

I stopped going to therapy a couple months back, but I really think I need to return to my sessions. I have not been attending my support groups either. I called Dr. Hahn today and left him a message. Hopefully, I will be able to be seen soon. The suicidal ideation is a bad sign and is becoming worrisome. The sooner I can deal with it, the better off I will be. Additionally, I think I need better coping skills to deal with the anxiety and stress of school because I clearly am not managing well with the tools I have now.

Lately, I have been missing you more and more. It feels like a dull sadness that stays with me all day, coupled with a mild sinking feeling in my chest. I miss you terribly. I wish I could hear your comforting voice and feel your arms around me to help calm my nerves. I would kill for one of your daily back massages. I don’t want one from just any person, I want to feel your hands on me again, your touch. I long for you, my handsome. How do I come to terms with the fact that you will never again exist as a physical being in my lifetime? I don’t know the answer. I don’t even know how to adequately express how much I miss you. Words are so limiting. I hope you can understand. I love you so much. Please give me the comfort I need to deal with the present. I can’t do it alone. I hate that I am this way, Laythe. You know that better than anybody. I’m starting to cry again. I just want a sign that you aren’t completely gone. Is that silly of me? I felt your presence a couple times before, but I feel like I am not as in tune anymore. I want to feel you around me again. I know I miss you, but do you miss me at all? I’ll leave you with that question. I probably won’t get an answer any time soon, but I guess that is just how things are going to be from now on. Good night, sweetheart.

Love always,
Alex

Six Months

My dear Laythe,

Today marks six months since you decided to leave this earth. I know it has been awhile since I have written to you. I guess I am still struggling with denial. I still think about you every day, that has not changed. Sometimes when I am missing you, I use your shampoo- sparingly because I want to save it for as long as possible- to get your familiar scent. It brings me comfort. Your toothpaste still sits in it’s proper place in your sink drawer. I still go to sleep holding Teddy Laythe. I haven’t been sleeping with your T-shirts only because it has been so hot at night lately. All in all, not much has changed since I last wrote to you, besides the fact I started school a few weeks ago. That has put me under tremendous stress. My anxiety has rocketed back to it’s old levels. It feels as though all the gains I made in therapy have reverted to zero. I am doing my best despite my anxiety and depression.

I wish you were here. Every day, more and more, I wish I could just talk to you again. I miss my best friend and partner. You can find me alone at home most of the time that I am not at school. If I’m not doing homework, I sit around anxious about what exams and homework assignments are coming up. I pace a lot. I get antsy. This house is very empty without you. I still avoid cooking. I’m trying to be vegetarian at home. It’s less involved and easier for me right now since I lack the drive to cook. I miss cooking for you, Laythe. You know it gave me such pleasure and fulfillment to see you enjoy the meals I prepared for you. And I associate eating dinner together with watching anime. That still is not the same for me. I only watch animes that Christian suggests I see, and even those take time for me to watch all the way through.

Something else that has happened since I last wrote was the birth of your niece. Vye and Rebekah named her Emma. I haven’t had the opportunity to see the baby in person, but I have seen pictures on Facebook. She is so darling. You would be such a proud uncle.

I wish with all my heart you could take back your decision. I hate how permanent and final this is. It really is not fair. I am sure you would reconsider if you could. I have been having suicidal thoughts off and on. My mom told me I have to think because you didn’t think it through, and she is right. This is one of the few times I will ever agree with my mother.

I want you back home, my handsome. Time has helped mend me some, but missing you will never go away. I will always miss you. My love for you will always remain as well. I cared about you so much. Maybe it didn’t seem that way at times. I got after you because I cared. I got upset out of worry because I cared. I did not always know the right way to communicate this to you. I am so sorry for that. I wish I could have done better back then. Being able to do better now isn’t much consolation. I find myself mentally kicking myself for you. By that I mean, what goes through my head is,”I can’t believe he did that, and why didn’t I see it.” I am pretty sure this is something that will also stick with me for the rest of my life.

I find it interesting how our mind’s protective instincts help us to move forward. Right after your suicide, I was devastated, frantic, guilt-ridden. I didn’t see myself ever getting beyond that. A person simply cannot sustain that sheer amount of mental stress for too long. I am still devastated by what happened, but not in that same debilitating manner. I think about it, and my heart sinks, my mood drops, but I can still carry on. I don’t break down in tears. I do need to cry sometimes, though. I usually call up my sister or stepdad or mom if I am missing you and need to let out some of my sadness through tears and verbal expression.

I am not mad at you. I am sad you are gone. Very sad. I miss you so much. I’m not trying to idolize you, but the more I see and experience, the more I feel you were such a gem. I mean it, Laythe. You were amazing. I want you to know that. I love you, sweetheart. I hope you are happy wherever you may be. I hope you check in with me in some tangible way one day soon. Another dream would be nice, or a visit from a persistent butterfly. Or you can surprise me, that will work, too.

Good night, love. Muah!

Yours forever,
Alex