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Rotting Out From the Inside

TW: Loss, Death, Suicide

Hey! Kristen here, co-owner/ founder of Mable Syndrome. It's been a while since I've written a blog post. I couldn't sleep last night and decided to put some of my thoughts down in a blog on Mable for two reasons: first, it can be helpful when processing feelings to write them out, and second, perhaps my experience can be helpful to others, or at least perhaps others can relate.

It's coming up on 5 years since my best friend killed herself. She struggled with both mental and physical pain for many, many years prior, and family and friends were all very concerned about her. It was a weird feeling when her husband called to tell me. It was both not surprising, and shocking. It was a lightning bolt to the system and then a deep, deep sadness set in. I called on others to watch my children for days because I couldn't stop crying. I went through all my voicemails and listened to the ones from her. She sounded fine. I went through all my text messages and read our conversations. She didn't sound so fine over text and I beat myself up for not reacting more firmly when she assured me she had all the help she needed. She lived far enough away that I couldn't get to her quickly. But, like I said, she assured me she was fine and her last words to me were, "I love you."

Katie was my only female friend. While other women seem to work hard to narrow down all their amazing friends to decide who will be in their wedding party, I just had family, and Katie. I had really bad relationships and experiences with girls in high school, so in college, I kept women at arms length. I hung with the guys and played Tony Hawk Pro Skater and drank beers until I stumbled back to my room to pass out. But Katie pushed her way in. We were friends in college, and then lived together after college. She was the only woman I knew who didn't put up this pretend, "all is great" front. She was honest, candid and made me feel seen and heard.

Another time I was lost was when I had my first baby. All the other mothers seemed to know exactly what to do and I felt bad about my crying, colicky baby who wouldn't latch. Most days I was able to dress him but certainly not myself. Katie came to the rescue. She sent me probably one of the most important books/ gifts of my life: a satirical comic book about mothering. She let me know that all of what I was feeling was normal, and she never held back from admitting her own faults, "You got your kid dressed today? Mine is still in a onesie with milk stains!" Ahhh... realness. We punks appreciate transparency and honesty. Katie was a pro at those things.

Losing Katie has been the biggest loss of my life. I think about her every day, and well-up often when reminiscing.

How would I ever trust another woman again? I tried in high school and that was an epic fail. I trusted Katie, but she left me. I decided to trust one more woman. I made a new best girl friend. Well, for reasons I don't want to get in to in this blog post, she left me too, during one of the hardest years of my life.

People often tell me I seem guarded. I can be polite, outgoing, and I genuinely love meeting new people. But, it's the next layers of letting someone "in", that I just can't let myself do. I'm not sure I ever will again. I just expect people to leave me. Why get close to people if they will ultimately break my heart? No, I'm genuinely asking.... how do y'all do it?? Life just feels like a cycle of love and loss.

I'm tired of people leaving when I need them most. I'm tired of empty proclamations of love.

Wow, this is so emo. LOL. Please don't worry about me. I have two amazing little kids that make my world spin on its axis. I have other friends, including one best girl friend, Jessica, my Mable co-owner/ founder, who, by sticking around is helping me understand the concept of friends who walk the walk. We've had some ups and downs, as likely any two people running a company together would experience, but she's never abandoned me. She's the one who keeps my heart just the tiniest sliver of open.

For any of you who have experienced loss, I'm sorry. Punk rock gets us through though, right? Songs like Bro Hym by Pennywise, Velocity by face to face, practically any song by Off With Their Heads... these are the anthems we can scream when life feels too hard.

We can get through and we will get through. Look after your friends. Communicate. Love openly and honestly. Walk the walk.

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal ideation, please never hesitate to reach out to a hotline, call 1-800-273-8255.


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