I have a question that is probably different from any that you have ever got. I am not a homosexual, but I have many friends that are and I need some help. One of my best friends, who was 7 years older than me and was gay, recently committed suicide. We were extremely close even though he was so much older. Many people (including his family) believed that we were soul mates (if that is possible). I have not done very well with the loss. I cry every night and I am always sick or angry. I feel like no one understands. I lash out at everything and anything. I have recently started cutting and I am starting to scare myself. I can barely control myself anymore. I am scared that if I don't get out of this depression that I am in I might never heel. So my question to you is: Do you have any suggestions that could help me through this that does not involve professional help?
When someone close to us dies it can be extremely depressing and painful, as you have recently experienced. That pain can become excruciating when a relationship is as close as yours was with your friend. You may feel empty, alone, abandoned and that a part of you has been lost.
When you've lost someone due to suicide it can be even more complex. It can raise many questions, including, “Why did they do it?” “Was there something I could have done to stop them?” It may help to understand that when people commit suicide, they are in a place of such severe pain that it becomes unbearable. They may feel there is no hope and that their life will never get better. Unfortunately, they don't always disclose their anguish even to those closest to them, thereby closing off the possibility of help.
In addition to the questions that arise, you may feel many emotions including intense sadness, shock, and, as you mentioned, anger. At times, people feel guilty about that anger. They wonder how can they be angry with someone whom they love and who has just died? These emotions can result in many behaviors including isolating from friends and family, crying, lashing out, or behaviors that are harmful to oneself. It's very concerning that the depression you're experiencing has become so severe and that you have recently been cutting yourself. Is there no one in your family, a teacher or school counselor you can confide in about what you are going through? Even though you specifically asked for suggestions that don’t involve professional help, I feel that it is very important that you do obtain professional help, given the severity of what you are experiencing. There is nothing wrong with seeking help from a counselor when you are struggling to make sense of such strong emotions. S/he can help you understand what you are feeling and can help you move gradually forward from your pain. Of course, you can also call The Trevor Helpline at 1-866-4-U-Trevor, if, for some reason, you are unable to confide in anyone close to you. You will be able to speak with someone sensitive to and understanding of the devastation of suicide.