Shortly into my first year at Cal Poly, I met Aaron Wolf. He is undoubtedly one of the most talented and smartest people I’ve ever met and I had the privilege of spending almost a year of my life in a relationship with him. Aaron and I spent almost every day together but one morning in January I walked out of my apartment, not knowing that it would be the last time I would ever get to speak to him again.
Aaron committed suicide on January 9th, 2016 and I miss him every day. For the next year I was depressed and angry and confused. Honestly I am still angry and confused and feel abandoned and I miss him more than anything. I missed a lot of school and when I started going to classes again I routinely skipped every class I could. I barely ate. I walked around campus and smiled at people but slept most of the day and cried every night until I was exhausted enough to finally fall asleep. I was a mess and preferred to revel in the pain at night while I was alone because I had to spend all day acting like everything was “fine” and “I’m fine”. The reality of it all is that I lost the person I love and my best friend and there is nothing fine about that and being a mess, even in front of people, is okay. I wasn’t the only person to lose Aaron and I would not be where I am today without others that loved Aaron too. Growing and moving forward is not something I did myself. I didn’t do anything. So many times I felt like I was being dragged forward and forced to keep going by people that love me and that loved Aaron. My support system is unreal. Sydney, Skyler, Luke, Luc, Dane, Kent, Marcia, Amanda, my parents. I can’t even imagine where I would be without them.
Following Aaron’s death, I did not necessarily feel comfortable sharing my own struggles on social media. I didn’t want people’s pity and at the time I didn’t really know what benefit sharing my own struggles could have. This combines with the prominent stigma facing mental illness and suicide kept me with an instagram that acts a “highlight reel” and not an actual representation of what was happening with me. What I failed to realize is that when you eliminate the struggles, you deprive yourself the opportunity to connect with others who may be going through a similar struggle as well as stunt opportunity for to create further awareness of valuable causes, such as suicide prevention awareness.