A horrible loss

One of my online friends ended her life on Thursday. I found out on Sunday. She was a regular reader and commenter on this blog and she also joined a benzo withdrawal group that shes learned about on my site. We were friends and I’d talked to her on the phone once. She was an absolute delight to talk to and I was looking forward to talking to her again sometime. I felt like I had found a kindred soul when I talked to her.

In her desperation to rid herself of the benzos that were making her so ill she chose to go to an untested treatment facility where the “technology” behind the drug assisted cold-turkey withdrawal was unfounded and as her husband later found out had only been done on twenty clients before her. The outcome was, clearly, catastrophic.

I had a very sober day Sunday and I’ve continued grieving today and yesterday. Her desperation simply became too much. I see so many people who have become toxic on meds in utter despair everyday in my email groups. Most people ride their way through it and find that, yes, all things change and if they take control of their lives and hang on things will incrementally improve. We all, as members of these groups, help each other through the dark times and usually do so successfully.

But what might have been only temporary despair, proved too much for my friend. I think most of us reading this blog have at one point or another had an inkling of how bad she was probably hurting when she chose to go. And so it’s incredibly painful to imagine that pain that she was feeling when she made her decision.

So now I only wish to say peace to you my friend. That you may be in the arms of a loving universe and no longer in pain.

19 thoughts on “A horrible loss

  1. I’ve been away on a vacation seeing the geology of Colorado and Utah with family. You have really gone through a lot in the time I was traveling. Many of the recent events in your life are huge–most people would have some sort of stress related problem. This post of your friend taking her life gave me some gratitude. I was feeling low trying to cope with today’s high dew point and trying to face all the chores that need done after a time away. I forgot how bad my life used to be. I forgot how I wanted to kill myself each and every day. My list of tasks to do today do not seem so burdensome now. Thanks for keeping this blog up and running.
    Jim S


  2. Gianna, I’m so sorry for your loss of your dear friend. I can relate to the despair she felt, I am going through some of it now., It’s never easy to lose someone, especially this way, take care all my prayers to you and her family..Mary


  3. Polly I’m sorry you had to deal with something similar.

    I think you’re right that people wouldn’t do it if they had a bit more perspective….as Sara notes as well.

    It’s really good to see you!


  4. I’m so sorry to hear this. An online friend of mine killed himself eight years ago, and it still hurts. I honestly think that if people who kill themselves had any idea how much pain it causes other people, they wouldn’t do it. But that’s a really hard thing to remember or believe when you’re suicidal.


  5. Yes Sloopy, it is thoughts like Dorothy’s that have always kept me from seriously considering suicide though I’ve had my fair share of ideation.

    I think though, that some people, in their utter and complete despair can lose that sense of perspective and I can easily forgive that.

    The only person I’ve know who I’ve been angry at for committing suicide was a friend in high school who did it violently with a gun in front of a dear friend of mine. It destroyed her completely. I could never find compassion in my heart for him. It still makes me angry.

    In general, I only feel pain and sadness, as I do for this friend.


  6. That’s awful. I’m so sorry for those who were close to her.

    A suicide makes me so angry. Angry that there was no one there at the crucial time to dissuade against it.

    For no clear reason, a friend of mine took his life a few years back. He was just 25, universally popular, very good looking, had just moved into a nice flat, and was training for a new career as a draughtsman. To an outsider, he had every reason to live.

    His blameless mother insisted on blaming herself. She phoned me several times after his death, just to ask “why”. I had no answer. But I could relate to her confusion and frustration at the senselessness of his demise.

    His mum had gone out for the evening with her partner and had left her son at home. Before she left him, they had some trivial squabble. He wanted money for cigarettes. She refused because the shop was some miles away, and she was already running late and couldn’t give him a lift there. When she returned, he was dead.

    His mum was torturing herself that it was all her fault.

    What if she hadn’t argued with him? What if she had got him the cigarettes, or money? What if she hadn’t gone out at all? What if she had taken him with her? He would still be alive?

    Dorothy Rowe, the celebrated author and psychologist, offers an extraordinary insight into the thought train of the suicidal mind, and how to escape from it.

    I am sure her written words alone have saved many many lives..

    I often recount what she writes when I’m feeling down.

    (very roughly..)

    “So you’ve finally done it.. You’ve killed yourself! The pain at last is over! Now what? You’re going to look down on them with deep satisfaction as they discover your body? You want to watch them weep as they read your farewell note? You want them to feel the pain, just like you did? … But you’re dead, you’re gone, no more, so you can’t do any of that…”


  7. Gosh, that’s so sad and frightening too. Withdrawal is a challenge that needs to be taken so seriously and done with so much support and preferably wisdom. I guess there are a lot of people that do somehow bungle through it but I don’t think anyone can be too careful. It’s very dangerous.

    Whenever someone takes their own life, a feeling of profound sadness comes over me because I know that often it was just a temporary and intense wave of despair (or worse, psychosis) that came over the victim. I honestly think that few of these people had a long term desire to die. It is such a great loss. I’m so sorry.


  8. Sympathies to you and your friend’s family. Life at times like this seems so tragic. The coming to terms with this sad news takes a lot of time – the understanding and logic of it all is very hard to fathom.


  9. It’s nice to get so many understanding comments, thank you.

    I’m so terribly sorry for your loss. There is nothing like losing a young adult child to suicide. Unfortunately I have two friends who lost young adults to suicide and I have some vague inkling of the terrible suffering you must endure. May you find peace in this somehow.


  10. I’m so sorry for your friend’s loss. We lost our 20 year old son to suicide 4 years ago. The grief is unbearable.


  11. I’m at a loss for words, this is beyond sad. So sorry Gianna, and the loss for her family as well. This just brings tears to my eyes


  12. So sorry to hear about your friend. When you’re in the midst of this–and feeling so bad that you never remember feeling good–it’s understandable that suicide seems like a viable option. It’s just so darn sad because that awful time always passes–if we can just get through it.

    I’m just grateful that my husband, son, and mother were always there for me, and that I always remained at home–where I knew how much I was loved, despite sometimes feeling so numb with pain that I could barely function.



  13. That is really, really sad news, and like Cricket and so many of us here, unfortunately I understand the despair too. I share your prayer that she is in the arms of a loving universe.


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