Just over a year ago I experienced what could unquestionably be called the most painful personal trauma and heartache I've ever experienced. Though there are unquestionably worse stories out there, the pain I felt still occasionally haunts me, though I know enough now to dismiss it. As the value of certain friendships were called into question, the value of others shined brighter than anything I could have asked for.
Here's a short-list of the people I want to say thank you to:
Mark: When I was falling apart... barely able to drive through tears... unable to find anywhere that wasn't a reminder of the pain that was tearing me in half, you were there. I had nowhere else I felt I could go, and yet somehow I had this inner feeling that if I called and was forced to leave a voicemail, you wouldn't leave me hanging... and you never did. Because of you, I was able to survive the moment. Thank you.
Elyssa: Of course, my best friend in the entire world, when I needed to be far enough away that I could imagine the possibility of getting better, you let me live with you. I was broken, and all you did was let me be broken, because it was exactly what I needed. In my pain, you gave me a place I could call comfortable, and safe, and home. You gave me a world to live in when my world was destroyed. I love you. Thank you.
Ira: I had no one, and needed someone... to make me feel like I could possibly still have a life somewhere. I needed someone to hold my hand as I dipped my toe back into the pool of life and realize that I didn't need to be afraid. You gave me the comfort zone I needed to feel safe outside of my own misery. You went beyond yourself to give me the tenuous sense of happiness I desperately needed to feel. Thank you.
John: After all of it was over, and I was willing to really begin to live life again, and I needed someone to pull me out of my shell, reluctant yet rebelious, scared yet craving... when I needed that little nudge to realize that it was more important to live in the moment than live in the memory... when I needed to be around friends, even if they weren't my own, you were there. You were persistent, encouraging, unwavering, allowing, tolerant, accepting, and always completely understanding. And you still are. Without you, I wouldn't have a life now. Thank you.
There are others that contributed in other ways, some more, some less... but to everyone else, Thank you too.