The topic of suicide can be difficult to discuss. But, in this very personal post, I finally open up about how Buddy and Bali saved my life.
I think at some point we all hit rock bottom. Something happens and it completely wrecks us. Some people are able to pull it together fairly quickly. Others, not so much.
For me, it was a break up. And it took me a long time to recover.
You see, I had been dating this guy in San Antonio. We’ll call him Billy. Billy and I had been together for 2 years. He had promised me the world. Every day he told me I was beautiful. Every day he told me he loved me.
After living together in an apartment for a while we decided to buy a house together. It was technically only under his name since I already owned a home that I was renting out, but he constantly told me to think of it as “our” house.
We had the house built. Every week I went by the lot. I saw the concrete foundation poured. I saw the wooden frame go up. Every bit of it, I was involved in. I picked the kitchen counters. I picked the tiles. It was the house we were going to grow old in.
Because he said he wanted to marry me. We said we’d do it in Austin, because that’s where he had asked me to be his girlfriend. We talked about the cake and how many people we would invite.
We had moved into our new home. We’d had parties and poker nights. Everything was going so well.
And then he was told he had to go away for a few months for some training. It was going to suck being apart, but we’d make it work. We spoke every day. I flew out to see him a few times.
One day, he didn’t seem as talkative. I knew the classes he was taking were hard and stressful so I didn’t think much of it. But after two more days of him being distant, I asked him if there was something else wrong.
He said it wasn’t something he wanted to talk about over the phone. I told him we’d have to because my next flight out to visit him wasn’t for a few more weeks. I was concerned so I asked him to please tell me.
Basically, he decided that he needed to have kids and that we shouldn’t be together anymore.
I felt sick to my stomach. I felt like I’d been hit by a bulldozer.
I’ve never wanted kids. And I was upfront about that before Billy and I got together. He had told me it was ok. He said, “I want you.” So for him to suddenly reveal that in actuality he wanted kids… I was left speechless. He said he’d thought he could change my mind.
I wanted him to come home. I wanted to figure things out, face to face. I kept telling myself that once he got home, to our house, we’d be ok. But every day we talked less and less. Then days would go by without me hearing from him.
I cried. Friends told me it would be ok. That they knew how much he loved me.
Then he finally came home, after being gone for so many months. And he told me, “I’m not sure why you’re still here.”
Again, I was nauseous. He told me I needed to leave. That the next day he would be gone for a week to spend time with family and that during that time I needed to move all of my stuff out of the house. I sobbed as I packed a small bag full of clothes and drove to a friend’s house.
Over the next few days, I tried going to the house and packing. But it was hard. I’d break down crying. My dear friend JM offered to help me when she was off from work so I could get it done.
On the day that I went to get the last bit of my stuff, I saw a car in the driveway.
I text Billy and asked if there was someone in the house. He sent me a nasty message saying he’d told me to get everything out of the house and that I’d had days to do it.
I text him back asking for him to please understand how difficult it was for me and explained that that day I had planned to get the last few things. He responded to come back in half an hour. I immediately messaged JM, who agreed to meet me at the house.
As I pulled up to the house again, the car was still there. They must have left in Billy’s truck. She worked at a gym. Her work ID was hanging from the rearview mirror. And she had a kid. I could see toys in the back seat.
And when I walked inside…
Her gray sweater was hanging over a dining room chair. Her razor was in the bathroom. Her toothbrush was by the sink.
I collapsed. I lay on the ground sobbing. How could this have happened? How could my whole world have fallen apart so quickly?
I can still see it all as if it was yesterday. I can feel the tears welling up as I write this, remembering the horrible pain I felt.
JM took charge. She helped me to get up and gather up the last things I had. Including photos of Billy and I that were still all over the house. Had that chick seen those photos as she walked around the house? As she walked around my house?!
The next few months were a daze. I went from one friend’s house to another. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I lost 40 pounds and had dark circles under my eyes. I was sent home from work because all I did was sit at my desk and cry.
I wanted to kill myself.
I was Googling ways to do it. Because I just couldn’t stand the pain anymore. I felt like the rug had been pulled out from under me, but instead of landing on my ass, I just kept falling and falling into a dark abyss that kept going and going.
Then one day, I walked passed a mirror and didn’t recognize myself. I literally jumped back in fright because of the skeletal person I saw in front of me. When I realized it wasn’t some random crazy person, but that it was my own reflection, something finally snapped.
I needed to get better. I needed to find a way to be happy again.
For the first time in my life, I cut my hair to shoulder length. You know, to change things up. I started getting my nails done. I bought myself expensive jewelry. And I took a trip home to Miami to hang out with friends.
It was on that trip to Miami that I went to a Miami Dolphins game and saw Buddy at one of the souvenir shops inside the stadium. I no longer slept with the bear that Billy had gotten me, so I figured I’d buy myself my own stuffed animal. And he’s slept by my side ever since.
But even though I was trying to be better, it was still rough. I found out that within six months of our breakup, Billy was already engaged to his new girlfriend.
I decided I needed to leave San Antonio. I couldn’t heal being in the same city as him. I was constantly terrified of running into him. And what if he was with her?!
I quit my job, packed up my stuff, and moved to Denver. And a few days after arriving, I was getting on a plane to Bali.
I had been planning my trip to Bali for weeks. Where I would stay, what I would do. On my bad days, it was the only thing that kept me going. And my wonderful friends rallied behind me when I set up a GoFundMe account. They helped me pay for the flight to Bali and I will be eternally grateful to those that donated.
I spent almost two weeks on that little island. And I finally felt like the broken pieces were starting to fit back together. I was doing my own version of Eat, Pray, Love.
I met with Ketut, the same medicine man that Elizabeth Gilbert spent time with while she was in Bali. I rode on the back of strangers’ scooters down tiny side streets. I was attacked by, and survived, the monkeys of Sacred Monkey Forest. I got a chocolate massage. I went white water rafting for the first time. I helped grind coffee at a coffee farm. I was blessed in holy temples. And I got three marriage proposals.
During the day, I was busy. I had something planned for almost every hour of every day.
At night, I still cried over Billy.
I would curl up into a ball, holding Buddy. At my absolute loneliest moments, Buddy was there with me. And I’d cry myself to sleep.
But those tears would be some of the last tears. Yes, once I got back to the US and started my new life in Denver, I still had bad days. But that trip to Bali helped me climb out of that dark hole I had been in for months.
There have been other breakups since then, but none have affected me in the same way. Once you’ve hit rock bottom, anything that comes afterwards doesn’t seem as significant.
When I look back, I’m glad I didn’t go through with what I had originally intended. I wouldn’t have wanted to cause any pain to my family and friends. Everyone knew what I was going through. But only a select few knew just how bad. And for years, I was ashamed.
I was ashamed to say that I had wanted to kill myself. Over a guy? People would surely laugh at me. Silly girl! There are plenty of fish in the sea! You’re pretty, you’ll find someone else.
I didn’t want to feel judged. Because they would never know the pain I felt.
No one ever really knows what others are feeling.
But times are changing, and after that devastating breakup in 2012, I finally feel like I can tell this story.
I’m not gonna lie, writing this has been hard. It’s brought back a lot of painful memories. But I hope that in telling this story, it helps others in some way. In any way.
And I hope that if you’re struggling with something, you’re able to mend and heal. What helped me was traveling to Bali with Buddy. For you it may be something else. Whatever it is, I pray that you find happiness once again.
If you still need help, however, please call the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
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