This I Believe

Lucy - St. Louis, Missouri
Entered on September 24, 2007

I believe that trying is enough. Even if you fail, being able to say that you tried should be enough. There are so many things that people try to do that they fail at, but you can’t let that get you down. You have to keep trying and move past failure, because failure is one of the biggest teachers of life.

One of my best friends killed himself. For seven months I felt like such a failure, like I should have done better, I should have done more. I knew that my friend was going down hill. He started with drinking and smoking, and although he knew I didn’t agree with it, I never told him not to. It wasn’t until he started doing drugs that I finally stepped in and said something, but by that time it was too late. I asked and I pleaded with him so many times to stop. I finally told him that I wouldn’t be hanging out with him until he got clean. I hoped, even prayed, that the sacrifice of our friendship would eventually turn him around.

Less than a month later I was sitting at his funeral. Completely lost. I felt like the worst friend in the world. I thought, “How could I have abandoned him when he needed me the most? I should have tried stopping him sooner. I should have seen this coming.” I knew I had failed, and that is all I could see.

I only realized that trying was enough about a month ago. Since my friend died, I have been blank. My thoughts, feelings, and emotions, all just blanks. My friends told me that it wasn’t my fault, that I couldn’t blame myself, and although I knew they were right, I couldn’t stop the guilt. Finally, one of my best friends sat me down and explained it to me. She said, “Lucy, I know that we have been through this before, and I know that you don’t want to talk about it, but all I am asking is that you listen to me. Don’t say anything, just listen.” So I did. She said, “I can’t tell you not to be sad, because the only person that can change that is you. But I want you to know that trying is enough. You tried to help him, you tried so many times to help him, and we all know that. Even if you feel like you failed him, even if you did fail him, you can’t let that hold you back. You have to use this experience to better your life. Failure is a part of life; it’s how we learn. We have to keep going, and we have to use those failures to guide us.”

I realized that she was right. I needed to use this experience to help myself, and the other friends that I still have. I realized that trying is enough. I tried to help him the best way I knew how, and I did the best I could. Even though sometimes I still feel the guilt, and I still have the blanks, I tried. And in the end, that is all that matters.