Back in January I posted about my own battle with post natal depression and how I very nearly killed myself. Tomorrow, May 5th is the 18th anniversary of the day that changed my life forever. Its always an odd day for me. It doesn't get easier with each passing year but actually more painful as I move closer to it being half a life ago.
Of course I wasn't the only person deeply affected by what I did and today I have a guest post, written by one of my best friends, Kirstie.
Kirstie was a very big part of my life during that time and I know now how painful it was for her to see me crumbling before her eyes, knowing that she couldn't do anything to help me.
Here's her story...
18 years ago I experienced a life changing experience, one that nobody, no one or any book could prepare me for, an emotional roller coaster or just 'life?
Let's just say that it was one of those experiences that you never, ever expect to happen to you, you know, the type that you see on the front of those shitty magazines in doctors waiting rooms on the front of 'Bella and Chat magazine', and on occasion one that has been mirrored in an episode of casualty or Corra, the far fetched ones that you watch in that fictional mindset that isn't real!
I was 21, and through a friend grew very close to someone, a mate that was relatively new in my life, she was a fresh energy, an enigmatic person that drew me in immediately and connected something somewhere for some reason, someone who would become poignant in my journey of life and naturally unbeknown at the time to me, a soulmate, a new best mate, Sian, some described her as bonkers, to me she was just a funky Smiths fan, dancer, mother of the cutest little boy you ever saw!
To this day I have still not understood fully with the sight of hind why our paths did cross back then, and why now, randomly, and not as often as our lifestyles permit, we will hold that unique bond we have been blessed to experience.
Anyway, 18 or so years ago i moved out of home and into a little box room with Sian and her little man, situated within close proximity to my workplace, it seemed like a perfect solution, independence, helping a mate out, you know the score, coming and going as you please, no hassle from the parents. It was like being a student without the escapism of real life and bills!
As time went on I felt like I had become an auntie, bezzie and housemate quite easily. To this day would like to assume that i am right. I loved having a little man wander into my room and on occasion looking after him was like having that little brother that didn't annoy you etc.
Time went on and we were best mates, there was no doubt about it, we were inseparable, like sisters almost and I will, to this day, having never had a sister, and having little, if any involvement in Sian's life would say if I could at the time have chosen one it would have been Sian.
I remember the day 18 years ago like it was 18 seconds ago... Just a normal day until the phone rang. "she's jumped off the Haymarket" it was Simon, Sian's one off boyfriend at the time, "it's Sian she's in hospital". Temporarily paralysed in shock the were no words, I couldn't talk, naturally assuming the worst panic set in, frozen in shock, my best mate, my housemate, mother of little man, nah, she couldn't, she wouldn't. Why? So many thoughts and scenarios flashed in front of me, the laughs we shared, and she does this, totally unexpected, incomprehensible, why, how!
Leaving work in the drizzle, one of those shitty days, crappy fine drizzle, horrible fine rain that drenches you, if my memory serves me right I went straight to the hospital, the drive seemed to take forever, tears flowing and adrenalin pumping me through the traffic, a drive which seemed like the longest drive ever, after arriving at the hospital I lied saying I was her sister so that I could see her, moments before she had been bought out of surgery, she was in the room, battered, dried blood surrounded the silhouette of her feet that i must say in no way resembled feet in any way shape or form, she was alive, but just, was it fair that she survived, a desperate unpredictable act that previous to her no one had ever ever survived , by a miracle, thankfully she did.
As my eyes focused and through wiping my tears upon focussing I realised the extremity of what no magazine, book or episode of casualty could ever ever emulate, never ever had I seen anyone in such a battered shell, nor did I ever contemplate that in my 21 years I would, before my eyes i saw a sad sad, once strong, beautiful woman who I adored as a now frail, vulnerable ,desperate hopeless bed bound cripple, completely broken, splintered and shattered like a bag of sugar.
The worst aspect for me, as well as the obvious was telling Sian's mum, lying that she was in hospital and that she had a broken leg to protect her, as per Sian's instruction. Months went on and a long rehabilitation was inevitable, hours or surgery, operation after operation, numerous surgeons rebuilding that body resembling a dropped bag of sugar, a once confident dancer facing facts that she would never walk again. Being dependant on others kindness and diligence in the long painful hours ahead.
As a bestie on the receiving end my life was consisting of running around, hospital visits until like running at full pelt into a brick wall, I was smacked head on by an emotional train, Sian said she didn't want anything to do with me anymore. By this time I moved out and we lost contact for a long time, exactly how long my memory fails me.... That to be honest bares no relevance in the present light of day, we are still mates with a unique undestructable bond, there for each other although we speak sporadically if at all, those days are not forgotten because once again she has defied all expectations, three more kiddies, numerous businesses and a very respectable mom, business woman and home maker, not only walking but more recently dancing again!
How can you tell someone you are so happy for them and proud of what they have achieved by themselves through hard work, grit and determination?
One thing is for sure her story sits within my soul every where I go, helping others to comprehend their situations of despair, inspiring those whose path crosses mine, and when I walk past the spot a shudder hits my spine. I came out of it ok, bruised mentally and a dented pride at the time, but as the years pass I appreciate and understand the dignified and painful decision that was made to cut all ties in a protective way to recuperate independently and becoming nobodies burden, the guilt she felt eating her emotions back then is deep under the surface of what is exposed at face value that is, an inspiration, that is today to all Sianie To.
Love you like you will never know 'sista'x