Today is the day of the great 20SB Big Blog Swap! The entry below is written by the Dutchess of Kickball. Just as the word "swap" implies, she's posting here, and I'm posting on her blog. Should you be interested in reading my post, follow her link, and be sure to check out more on her site. For years I've yearned to sit down and tell this story but for some reason I never fully did. Part of me was always a little embarrassed that I got myself caught up as deep as I did. Part of me just couldn't explain the gut wrenching pain these life changing events brought to my world. And I'm not entirely sure I'll be able to delve into as deeply as I would like...

When I was 22 I fell madly, deeply in love besides all my better judgment. He was kind, sincere, enthusiastic and a drug dealer. I used to think that the beginning of our tragic love story was the worst part. That nothing could get worse than three months into our relationship when he was busted be the DEA. I assumed that once we got over that aspect then things would be smooth sailing, because really, how much worse could it get.

The DEA entered his apartment about twenty minutes after I had left under the guise of an AC technician. He learned an old friend had narced him out. His phone had been tapped for two years. The agents said I sounded nice on the phone. I felt raped. But the cops were actually pretty lenient on him, well, if you consider getting yourself into a situation that will get you killed lenient. He was given the option to get off scott free, just wear a wire and buy from his supplier... with mob connections.

He made the buy, and never returned to his apartment.

He spent five years in Oregon after that. His parents and I were the only ones who knew where he was.

Every six months or so one of us would contact the other. Sometimes we acted like nothing ever happened and we were together again if only for a few weeks. Other times it would only be a one off phone call, just to make sure we were both still alive. Every time we spoke he seemed to have fallen deeper and deeper into a depression. He was on the top of the world with $80,000 in cash and now unable to pay the rent. He was somber and melancholy. His once exuberant spirit was broken. He was a different person and yet my heart couldn't give up on him.

At some random six month period I called and heard the news I had secretly been waiting for, he had come back home. While he was still miserable he was seeing a little light at the end of the tunnel, he had a glimmer of hope for the future. And I was going to be in it. It had taken five years, but it seemed like love does conquer all. It was our hearts that had pulled him through his dark years and brought him back where he belonged. I had helped him.

And then he panicked.

We broke up (again) in a thunderstorm of words. I was terribly angry. I had stood by him through all of his terrible times, all of the horrific situations that ultimately could have gotten me into a world of trouble. I had never wavered from my love and devotion to him. And he throws me away as quickly as he did for reasons I will never understand.

The fight made us say evil, stinging things. But as I couldn't take it anymore I told him "Your just going to get drunk and high until you get arrested or fall off a cliff" and I hung up. (Important note, he was working at a mountain top resort, hence the falling off a cliff.)

A year and a half later I got an email from an old mutual friend informing me that he had died. Phone calls to his boss and friends confirmed this, and that he had in fact, fallen off a cliff. I will never forgive myself.

Had I put the idea in his head or was it a coincidental accident. I'll never know.

I used to think he was the love of my life but I haven't thought that for a long time. He definitely was the great tragedy of my life. But more importantly he unknowingly taught me so much about myself. He taught me how to hold on to what's important, and to let go of what isn't safe for myself, physically and psychologically. He taught me to recognize depression, and I did realize that I had been in those mental places in my life, and I got help.

But most importantly, he taught me to live life to the fullest; every day really could be your last.