for the sake of this story and for privacy the person in this story I will refer to as Jake.
- 1 A Story About Losing a Friend During My Mental Health Struggles. – Meeting Jake
- 2 Our Friendship Was Growing
- 3 Going into A Mental Health Hospital.
- 4 The Friendship Is Over; Reality Starts to set in.
- 5 I Was A Bad Friend – A Public Apology
- 6 The Conclusion.
- 7 A Message From Li Jean-Luc Harris
A Story About Losing a Friend During My Mental Health Struggles. – Meeting Jake
Back in the day, I had a blackberry phone with BBM. We all used to add random people from broadcasts and I happened to add Jake without even knowing what sort of friendship would be formed from this.
I remember posting as my status one day the following: “I Think This is it, Goodbye Everyone!” No one picked up on it. No one but Jake replied to that. Jake Jumped into my private messages and said something along the lines of: “Are you Planning to Commit Suicide, Please Don’t!”
I stopped to think. I had struggled with suicidal thoughts for a while now. School was a struggle and making friends was hard. I spent my life isolated on my computer to keep myself distracted from these thoughts. This day has been rather hard. But why would Jake, someone I had never spoken to in my life, be interested in convincing me to reconsider suicide? Om that day, I really wanted to commit to it, but I had to find out.
I replied: “But Jake, I Appreciate you caring but I’m rather confused on why you would want to stop me. I don’t know you so why would you care?”. Jake Responded: “Li, I don’t know you. but I have an idea on how you feel, I’ve attempted suicide before. I struggle with mental health and it really hurt my family when they discovered my attempt.”
Our Friendship Was Growing
Jake turned out to go to school. He was also a bit younger than me. I was 15 at the time and Jake was around 13. We spoke multiple times a day, checking in on each other and making sure we were both managing. Although we did not have things in common, we shared the struggles of mental health.
Over the next 6 months our bond grew. Jake was one of the first few to know about me being Gay and supported me through coming out. We shared a lot of our darkest Secrets, which we both had promised not to share. And even though we don’t speak, I still won’t go back on my word.
During the last few months before getting Sectioned under the Mental Health Act, there were physical signs of me struggling. Jake had picked up on this and consulted me beforehand. But the issue was, I knew we were both struggling, so I shrugged it off and told Jake I was fine.
Going into A Mental Health Hospital.
I had the notification that I was getting admitted to hospital. I told Jake before anyone else. He was shocked and worried. He started asking me to remove his phone number. His anxiety kicked in. And to this day, I still don’t know why… but this is where things got interesting. I spoke to Jake a lot less often for obvious reasons. Although as requested, his number was not on my phone but I still had him on BBM and his phone number written down on paper which I kept on me.
Check out the blog post that explains about me being admitted to a mental health hospital.
There was this one phone call with Jake I can never forget. He agreed while I was in the hospital to talk to me on the phone. Even though it had to be via The Communal Hospital Phones, we spoke for about 15 minutes which was our limit. He was asking me questions about the hospital like are the walls all white?, Do we have to have our heads shaved? And wear straight jackets? etc. But none of these existed in modern Mental health Hospitals in the UK. (At least that I’m aware of.) We then spoke about each other but this happened to be the last time we spoke on the phone.
The Friendship Is Over; Reality Starts to set in.
I was getting ready to be discharged from hospital. One of my tasks was to sort out schooling plans. I was asked when visiting my school (For what turned out to be the last time) if I wanted to see any friends… I mentioned a few that I knew would want to. I also privately spoke with Jake. His response was: “No!” He also requested me to never contact him again. The following is where things went bad for me and probably worse for Jake.
I Was A Bad Friend – A Public Apology
So for years to come after, being someone who struggles with rejection and as someone who seeks understanding of things that happened, I harassed and stalked Jake. Not in person but online. Creating fake accounts to work out what happened. To seek closure to why and to what went wrong. For years to come, I had tried multiple times to reach out to him and annoyed the hell out of Jake with my persistence. I honestly only wanted the best for him in his life. In that short period of time, he changed my outlook of life.
From this story in my life, I’ve learned lots about myself and others. I realised that sometimes you just got to drop things and move on with life. People of importance come in and out of our lives all the time. And sometimes you should not rely on one person to place all your eggs in. At that time I was avoiding therapy and using Jake as a substitute. When in reality, Jake had his own problems and struggles he was dealing with himself. When two people deep in the trenches of depression offload to each other the stress, anxiety and depression can only get worse. For both parties.
Even though Jake changed my output on people and even trust, I should have been channelling that trust to someone who could have helped me more.
For many years after and even somewhat now, I really wish I could have got back in contact with Jake and re-spark our past friendship. Now we are both in better frames of mind and are getting on well in life. But the damage is done. And sadly it can’t be fixed.
A Message From Li Jean-Luc Harris
Thanks for reading this months story. This one has been planned for a while now but for reasons unknown, I’ve only just put it to priority. The time just felt right I guess.
Thanks to the loyal readers of the blog, the page has now hit over 700 likes on facebook and I love connecting with all of you. Life has been getting really hectic with me recently. And next month in particular there is a chance I may not be able to release a post like last time. I will make up for it with a double post the following month.
If you’re unaware, I released an announcement on facebook on a new website idea regarding a place for people to anonymously post stories about their life online. You can read details about that here: https://facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=487359888489631&id=307937076431914&sfnsn=mo