I once knew this guy. His name was Phil Soden.
He graduated a few years ahead of me in high school, but I was in school with his younger sister. Phil worked with me at my first job.
To be perfectly honest, I was rather intimidated by Phil when I was so young and shy. I'd heard that he did a lot of drugs and he was never particularly friendly to me. So I avoided him when I could.
This morning a friend that knew him much better than me told me that Phil killed himself back in October. It seems that he had struggled with bipolar disorder for much of his life and had gone off of his medication in an attempt to "fix" the problem and to stop masking it behind drugs. He was married and had two kids.
I looked at his MySpace page where friends had posted the funeral announcement and their thoughts and sadness on his comments. I read his wife's blog about how angry she was with her husband for leaving her and their babies.
I am so, so upset by all of this even though I barely knew him. It breaks my heart that someone lost their battle and gave up. It breaks my heart for him, and for his family.