These past five months have been long; in June 2016, I lost a friend to suicide. It has only been recently that I’ve began to sort through and figure out all these emotions and feelings I have. To be honest; it has changed my beliefs, the way I look at and treat others, even the very way I look at the world…basically, it has changed me.
I’ve seen friends go through this kind of loss and my heart went out to them. But now, going through it myself, it has felt overwhelmingly unbearable at times. However, if there’s one thing he taught me that I’ll always hold on to, it’s that ‘It Gets Better’.
We met while we were both in high school, a dark time in both our lives. It was a time when we were both just coming to grips with our sexualities and ourselves. As he found his way out, I couldn’t shake my shroud of helplessness. He never gave up on me though; he was always there to when I needed him.
Once he got to college he made an “It Gets Better” video. His video was the first I had ever seen and hearing his words finally pulled me out of the dark and into the light. That saying became so powerful to me that I even got it tattooed on my arm and, eventually, I made my own video. I think that was one of the reasons his death shook me so much; because of him, “It Gets Better” became almost like my life motto and, at first, his death made me question this motto that has meant so much to me.
I asked myself for months, does it really get better? It’s because of that question that I’m now writing this. Writing this, to reassure others and myself out there that it does get better.
It truly does.
Life is hard, and sometimes it seems like each day it just keeps getting harder and harder. Unfortunately, not everyone makes it through those hard days. Even if you do make it out sometimes people relapse; that’s ok. I was ignorant to believe that once your were out of the dark you’d stay out of it for good. There’s a fine line there and sometimes, you can slip back in. But please, don’t let it consume you.
You have family, friends, loved ones, and even people you barely know that will miss you immensely; more so than you can understand. Life is so wonderful; it’s full of adventures, love and excitement. A bad day doesn’t mean you have a bad life and the only way to experience all life has to offer is simple: you have to live.
I’ve cried, I’ve acted out, and for now, I’ve said all that I need to say. I might have ‘It Gets Better’ tattooed on my arm, but it’s the marks I made myself that remind me of him. They are a reminder of the dark place he pulled me out of, they are a reminder to push forward, and they are the true reminder that ‘It Gets Better’.