The lessons that our friends teach us often are more valuable than we originally think that they are. We all learn different things from people, especially when they are opposite from us. What I have learned over the past few years from my friends has taught me more than I have learned in school about life itself. I didn't realize how many of my friends struggled with life until I hit high school and expanded my mind. People looked at the world in such a different way than I did, and it completely shocked me.
Having a suicidal friend taught me to love, more than anything. We don't realize that today could be the last time that we see somebody, and we don't tell those we love, that we love them, as much as we should. Sometimes all that people need to hear is that somebody cares about them. They need to know that somebody wants them in their life and that they are not as useless as they believe they are. After people are gone from our lives, we find ourselves with so many things we wish we could have said. So say them now, in case you don't get another chance to.
I learned that it is never too late to fix things or get a second chance at something.
I have learned how to be compassionate, even if I cannot be understanding. We do not know how people feel or how things affect them, even if we have been through a similar circumstance because things take different kinds of tolls on different people. More often than not I have been left unsure of what to say, while my friend has sat next to me breaking down, but I have learned that it is often the presence of another person that simply helps. Even if I don't necessarily have the right thing to say (and I never will) simply being there helps. Sometimes people need someone to sit there and let them cry and say everything that is going on in their mind just so they can get it out.
I learned that I didn't know everything. Because no matter what Google tells you about living with depression or being suicidal, you don't get it until you experience it. So I learned how to shut up and stop trying to be the smart person with all of the answers, and to just be the person that was there for them.
I learned that the little things count. That handwritten letters are still a thing, and they have a way of brightening somebody's day in a way that nothing else can. I learned that all it took was a "hey how are you?" text message or a CD with a note that said "this made me think of you" to pull someone back from the edge. I learned to pay attention to what people like and don't like, and what upset them the most. I learned to distract them with topics that would get their mind off of things, and I learned how to be a better listener. I learned to not judge someone by what others say because people get extremely good at pretending. I learned how to be a better friend.
No person is the same. Not everything will work for somebody. But I learned a lot about life, from someone who didn't want to live. And to this day I am beyond thankful that they are still here with me, because I couldn't imagine life without them.