Sunday, September 4, 2011

I can't sleep

I'm known for not getting a whole lot of sleep. Partly due to crazy work hours, partly due to a somewhat active social life, the bags under my eyes have become as much a staple of my look as my lightning bolt earring.

But my lack of sleep has always been due to activity - not insomnia. Until now.

Laying awake at night, in bed, while dead tired, is new to me.

It started a few weeks ago, with, of course, a phone call at an odd hour. A close friend delivered the shocking news that a childhood friend had committed suicide.

I was left stunned. Speechless. Sobbing. Everything felt tilted, shifted. Nothing made sense.

In a tearful exchange with my parents later that day, they begged me to never do that to them. To seek help if needed. To care for my friends and loved ones, and encourage them to reach out. It broke my heart.

I didn't expect her death to hit me so hard. We hadn't been close in years. But we had so many things in common - shared upbringings, lofty goals, independent streaks, workaholic tendencies and, after rocky relationship endings, both of us had seemed to have finally realized our childhood dreams, with our careers and lives seemingly on the right, and similar, paths.

In my parents' eyes, it could have just as easily been me. Practically, two years ago, it could have been me.

I can't seem to stop dwelling on it, wondering why I kept going and she didn't. And, it's sent me into a spiral of stress, sorrow, confusion and introspection. I wonder how I can make the most of my own life. What I want for the future (a satisfying career. Close friends. A partner-in-crime. Maybe even a kid). I wonder how I can assuage my parents' fears. Take care of my friends. And how I can finally, hopefully, find the peace to get some sleep.

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