On this day 8 years ago, my life changed in a way that I never could have anticipated.
On August 9, 2008, my best friend Patrick took his own life at my home.
Suicide is an absolute game changer, nothing in this world has ever felt the same since that day.
I see everything in a different light than I once did. I look at people differently.
I look at situations and sense things that I never did before.
The fragility of life has given me an awareness that I never had before that day.
Patrick suffered from depression/anxiety/panic disorder.
These 3 disorders together can prove to be a deadly mix if not treated.
I didn't know all this then. How could I have known?
And that is what suicide does right there...it creates all of these questions inside of you.
How could I have not known?
Could I have said something, done anything different to prevent this outcome?
Did I say or do something that encouraged this outcome?
The questions eat at you every single day. It can drive you crazy if you let it.
I have learned how to quiet the questions on most days but there are still days that they scream so loudly that I cannot ignore them.
So I have learned to ride the wave, go over it all once again in my mind and reassure myself that this was not about me, this was not my fault.
But then the realization hits me once more that it doesn't matter who is to blame because Patrick is gone and no amount of reasoning will ever bring him back.....
And then all I can really do is just breathe.
I shift my focus to the days before, the years before...to all of the laughter...because we had some really good times. He was so funny, so witty, he was a good guy, a great friend. If I concentrate, I can hear him and his sarcastic tone and soon I am smiling once again..
Suicide has a way of taking memories and shoving them to the side. People who die by suicide are so often remembered for the way they died instead of the way that they lived.
I try not to allow this to happen because Patrick's life was more than just how he died.
DEPRESSION IS AN ILLNESS THAT IF LEFT UNTREATED CAN LEAD TO ANXIETY AND PANIC DISORDERS . KNOW THE SYMPTOMS, IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE OR THE LIFE OF SOMEONE YOU LOVE.
IF YOU THINK YOU ARE ALONE, THINK AGAIN.
HERE YOU WILL FIND INFORMATION
THAT MAY BE HELPFUL AND FIND PEOPLE THAT HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN THERE.
Suicide Prevention, Awareness, and Support
or visit Patrick's Blog
I also wrote a news article here on Deviantart right after he died about his Suicide with the details of what happened that day. The article turned into something I did not expect and to this date there have been over 500 comments. It was actually my therapy those first few years to answer every comment. I still check it for comments even today.
Here is the link to that Article
In memory of...
June 12, 1965 - August 9, 2008
~May You Finally Find Some Peace~
I remember when I first came to Deviantart 9 years ago...I had no idea at all what this place would eventually mean to me.
I was a new Photographer, mostly as a hobby then. I had a strong interest in Photoshop too.
I don't even know what I was looking for when I signed up here but what I found has helped to shape me not only as a photographer but as a person as well.
I have met friends here, real friends that I am still friends with today.
I look back at my Journal entries and its like taking a step back in time...I see posts about my daughter she was 2 years old when I first came here, she is 11 now. I see posts about my cat Mikey, my best friend, he was 4 years old then and he is 13 now. I have lost animal friends along this way and it's all here and I have lost human friends and that is all here as well.
It is like having a memory book, a visual one but this book is different because I can see all of the support that I received along the way.
What an awesome gift this is.
I remember the first time I realized that I could download free resources here, it felt like Christmas to me. LOL I spent weeks downloading so much stuff, I didn't even know what to do with it all. LOL
I was like a kid in a candy store.
It was because of the resource section of this site that I would end up making my own Free resources to give back to this amazing community. And this would also be the reason I would eventually have my own resource site ibjennyjenny Photography and Free Resources which has now over a million visitors. Yeah!
I remember my 1st Daily Deviation, I was so flippin excited and what an honor to receive my second.
It is amazing to be able to meet people from everywhere, to get to know them, to love them and have them be a part of my everyday life yet never meet them in person.
So much has happened here over the years, so many people have come here and many have left but I know they haven't forgotten this place...how could they?
I choose to hang around here even still today because it's home ...no other place on the web has this feel for me.
I have a great support system outside of DA but this community seems to offer something else, something that I have never really been able to figure out totally...all I know is that I love it here, even through the bad times I have felt nothing but gratitude for what I have learned here, what I have felt here.
I do not know what the future holds for Deviantart but you can bet I will be here to find out.
Just my random thoughts for the evening, I love you all so much, Thank you for being my friends.