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One day in mid-March of 2014 he told me he was beginning to feel overwhelmed, and said he wanted to “quit his job, go on disability, and possibly have himself committed.” I promised that I would support his choice no matter what and would always be there, but, days later, he changed his tune and everything was fine.
I remember getting in the car and crying hysterically on my way to meet him.
Something inside of me told me this would be magical yet wouldn’t last very long, and I suppose looking back, I was scared to lose him for a second time. He called when I was around the block to let me know he was at the restaurant waiting for me.
I nervously went over to him, and the first thing he said as he proceeded to shake my hand was, “Wow, you grew up well.” The night went smoothly, like no time had passed at all, and, before we parted ways, he apologized for breaking up with me as kids.
From that night forward we began to talk daily for hours on end, driving to one another frequently. I was touched as he opened up to me about his battle with depression.
There he was, my first love, not only back in my life but back with me.
We were building a new relationship, different and better, planning adult things together. He started sleeping more and wouldn’t communicate for a day here and there, and it lasted for a few weeks.The most supportive, he once wrote in an email that it was a brilliant idea that would benefit the world, thanking me “in advance, for helping the human race.” After his suicide, I felt too weak to be able to help others but slowly found myself reaching out through peer support, finding others who were battling depression and helping a few stop the act of taking their life as they were in process. I had to keep true to my word, and one morning, in August of 2016, I decided to go back to school to earn my master’s in psychology and was accepted this spring, three days before the three year anniversary of his suicide, in to a top program for just that.Still actively participating in suicide prevention awareness, education, and advocacy, I have hosted my own walks, and recently became the moderator for a peer support group to those bereaved by suicide loss.I remember feeling pangs of jealousy when I saw him in the hallways with new girlfriends or heard stories about him, missing all the fun we had together.I stuffed the feelings of love I had for him as far down as possible and just went on with my life.I’m not sure if I’m just making this up, but I feel I’ve heard it before: “you never recover from your first love.” Do you remember that feeling, falling in love for the first time? I remember walking past him in the hall in middle school, and looking at him felt different from all of the other crushes I’d had in my 13-year-old life.And how, when it ended, you were sure you’d never recover, never fall in love again? There was something different and beautiful about him.Years went by and we stayed in and out of touch until the fall of 2013.It’s an impossible dream, to think that the one who got away will come back.So when he and I began talking daily, not just through Facebook but by text and phone, I found myself scared and confused by the overwhelming way all of my childhood feelings of love came flooding back.He asked if I would meet him for a date…obviously I said yes.