I used to not want to leave a note. I feel like I have spent my entire life trying to explain myself to people. Family, friends, clinicians…and nobody ever gets it. Ever.
There is one person in my life though, who has tried harder than anyone else to “get” it. And frankly, she doesn’t get it, but she’s come closer than anyone else ever has.
This person was a really good friend to me. Such a good friend that she actually took me into her home so that I could have some time and space to get well. I wanted, so badly, to get “well” (whatever that means…). To get on my feet again and to be able to someday do something–anything–to try to repay her kindness.
In hindsight this was wishful thinking. She wanted to save me, and, after all these years of pain, I wanted to be saved. I think we both had this magical idea that I would come live with her and I would just magically be “cured”.
And the thing is, it has helped immensely. But…it hasn’t fixed everything. And I’ve got to go now. I’ve just…got to go.
I feel like I need to leave a note to this wonderful friend of mine, who I think is going to miss me. I’m just not sure what to say…
I’m really sorry. I know how many resources–financial and emotional–you poured into trying to help me. You have shown me such kindness and I know I let you down by making this choice.
I know it wasn’t fair of me to do this after living in your house. And I want you to know how much I enjoyed living with you and X. You guys were this beautiful little window into a world full of hope and love…
But, as hard as I tried, I could not get close to really living in that world. As wonderful as it felt to be in such close proximity to the beautiful life that you have, I know I can’t build one for myself. I know you disagree with this. That you think if I could just hold on a little longer, and find the strength and wisdom to do things differently, whole worlds of possibility would open up for me.
Your unrelenting optimism is something I really love about you. I want you to know that, even though I wasn’t able to stay alive, your kindness meant the world to me.
Because of you, I had some wonderful last moments. A beautiful Christmas. I will forever remember sitting with you and X on the couch and laughing uproariously at those Will Ferrel movies. And our pedicures and manicures.
I’m sorry to leave you behind. I know this is going to hurt you, and I’m sorry. I know your response is “no you’re not”–you would say that if I really was sorry I wouldn’t do this.
And here is where I am going to ask you to tap into one of the other qualities I love about you: your empathy. I know you don’t get this. I’m glad you have never (and hopefully will never) feel what I am feeling now. What I have been feeling chronically for years. But if you could just remember seeing how much pain I was in. And how that pain persisted, even when I was living with two wonderful people who would have gone to the ends of the earth to help me feel better. Just remember how hard it was for you, that week that you said you felt held “hostage” by my illness. (I appreciated how careful you were to differentiate me from my illness. You didn’t say “I” was holding you hostage, but that “it” was.) Now imagine feeling held hostage like that throughout your entire life…
Imagine trying, over the course of years, to make things better, but the harder you try the worse it gets. I really wanted to turn things around and make you proud. I wanted that more than anything. I wanted to get back on my feet again and move into a tiny little apartment and invite you over for tea. I wanted to stay friends with you forever, and to have the opportunity to give back to you at least a scintilla of the love and support you showed me.
But…I just can’t do this anymore. I don’t have any fight left in me. I am ready to surrender. And I’m sad because I’m going to miss you and I’m scared because I don’t know what’s next. But I know I can’t fight anymore. So please, just let me go.
Just let me go. And keep living your beautiful life. Keep loving X, and all your friends. Live your life to the fullest–live it for me and know that wherever I am I want the best for you.