I hate the sun that floods my room through the gap in my window in the morning
I love the dark
Peaceful, alone, dark
But the dark has its shadows – they wake me with a sickening, cold knot in my gut
like the feeling of vomit in my throat
after the schoolyard bully slams a basketball into my stomach
flooding the depths of my soul with burning fear
that I will never sleep again
that I will never stop fighting for breath
that I will never stop trembling
that the money will run out
that they will take what little pain medication I have away
that my twisted bloodied fingers will snap
and I will plunge into the eternal terror
that tears at my flesh
and crushes my bones
I will scream
but I will make no sound
while never to reach the end
of the cold, jagged and bottomless crevasse
that is to be my final and eternal fate
So, when I was in the hospital in August for pneumonia among other things they sent a medical social worker out to check on me after I got home. Without going into all the sordid details of my rather complicated disabilities, suffice it to say severe chronic pain makes it difficult to take decent care of myself or generate sufficient income. And that breeds depression and anxiety, yadda, yadda, yadda. I can’t sleep, can’t eat, it’s impossible to work – hell, taking a shower and putting on clean sweats is a major undertaking. I don’t hardly ever go out of the house anymore because it’s not worth the effort it takes.
What helpful words did this social worker have for me? She looked up over her stubby little reading glasses at me and said “You are too young to be so old.”
Well, fuck me to tears. Maybe there’s been a clerical error somewhere and I’ve just lived too long.
One of the biggest frustrations in my life is the reality that most people don’t understand disabling conditions like depression, PTSD, anxiety, severe chronic pain – the sometimes “invisible” things that can take away our will to live. I hate to put it in such simplistic terms, but if you’ve never cut yourself you have no idea what it means to bleed no matter how empathetic you think you are or how much sympathy you believe you have for others. Doctors and psychiatrists frequently have no clue what we go through when they swear an oath that they will provide patients with responsible care and treatment, which includes issues affecting quality of life. But all I’ve ever found are providers that either go into private practice to make bundles of money from a specialty or back yard wrench monkeys that work for HMO’s so they can have job security no matter how incompetent, lazy or stupid they are.
All I want is to crawl into a hole somewhere and die. After all the years I have worked to carve out some kind of life for myself nothing I do works. It has all been for absolutely nothing. As a nurse said to me a few weeks ago, “You are too young to be so old.”
The Christmas depression is here. But it is worse this time. Much worse. My daughter at least until last year was still interested in getting a tree put up and putting together some kind of meal on Christmas day. But not this year. We don’t really “celebrate” the holidays much anyway but this year I feel like I have become such a burden for everyone that they just don’t want to deal with things. I don’t ask much of the two of my kids that live with me – I don’t go out really anymore but we share the basic expenses. My son takes care of the weekly trash and my daughter runs to the pharmacy for me once a month and she will take me to appointments when I am forced to go to the doctor. But I fear being alone more and more, and I don’t want my daughter to waste her life taking care of me like my sister took care of my father the last three years of his life.
I feel like my asking them to live here so I can keep the house puts constraints on their lives. But i have no where else to go and I don’t know what I would do if they moved out. I know it has to happen sooner or later but I have no hope of my health becoming good enough to be totally independent again. I feel like a giant boil on everyone’s ass. I’ve ruined the holidays for my daughter and knowing that makes me hurt through and through.
I want it all to end. If there is no way for things to get better all I ask for is a way for things to be over.
Life was new
All to see; all to hear
All to feel, all was real
Then there was a bend in the road
The stars come out
With wonders and thrills
Miracles and spectacles
Then another bend in the road
Dreams and love
Hands in hands
An embrace; a kiss
And yet another bend in the road
Time and age
Love is now rage
Peace becomes pain
Then again, a bend in the road
No path remains clear
No wonder just fear
Seeds have been sown
Now, my load is end of the road.
I’ve always had two insurmountable fears. First is the fear of drowning, and second is the fear of being buried alive. When I was a kid I was deathly afraid of dying in a falling elevator but I outgrew that for some reason. Lately though I have been feeling like I have been buried alive. Trapped in a dark, silent coffin in a concrete burial vault beneath six feet of cold, hard dirt. I can kick, I can scream until my tonsils bleed (oh wait, I don’t have any tonsils), I can pound and scratch until my fingers are bloodied and all that I can do is just wait for the oxygen to deplete and the growing feeling of hot, sweaty suffocation.
I am at a fork in the road. It’s likely the last one I will ever face. I chose the path but now I am buried under all the things I need to do to move forward. I am not the sort of person that can move forward by taking things one step at a time. I do that for a while, but then I stumble – I lose momentum and begin putting things off. “There is always tomorrow…” but not when health fails or money runs out. Deadlines close in and choke me and that just serves to make me stuck and immobilized even more. It’s a fucking curse.
I’m not particularly lazy, except for the lack of ability from health issues. And I’m not stupid. I have many diverse skills – too many to list. I’m not bragging; that in and of itself can be a weakness because I bore easily and I will go nuts if I focus on or do just one thing. Consequently, even the things I have become very, very good at I could do a hell of a lot better. You know, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” And it is all because I set off on thousand mile journeys with only 900 miles worth of gas in my tank.
So here I sit, day after day, under my tree in the forest, loaded rifle in hand surrounded by prized game with the sun setting and I can’t pull the fucking trigger. It’s partly because I’ve had the gun blow up in my face so many times I feel predestined to fail. I’ve been slapped down so many times I expect it. It’s really damned hard to push ahead with something important when I’ve spent the last ten years of my life being forced to incinerate and dispense with most of the things that were ever dear to me, knowing I’ll never have those things again. I’ll likely never write and perform music again. I won’t ever be able to walk on the beach or experience the peace and solitude of camping in the middle of nowhere. I’ll never again have the touch and companionship of someone I deeply love. Never again will I have the joy of cooking an incredible meal for others or helping a family in hardship by repairing a leaking roof or a broken car. I will never again feel the thrill of building and driving a car that will pull off a 7 second quarter mile or fly an airplane. I will never climb another mountain.
I know, most will say “If you’ve already done all those thongs then be content with the memories.” Maybe I’m just a blithering asshole – most of my memories serve only as reminders of what I no longer have. And then there are so many others worse off than I am that are content or that can still do something worthwhile with their lives. That is when I truly know how completely worthless I really am.
I post this from time to time – it seems most relevant to me when things simply overflow.
the pendulum sways
one weight rises
the other falls
but where is the cuckoo?
the hands slowly move
the hours come
and the hours go
but where is the cuckoo?
one thought makes me frightened
another turns my stomach
I pull my hair
but where is the cuckoo?
crawl out of my bed
turn on the light
go to the mirror
the damned cuckoo stares back at me
before you died…
Again. Another day. I hear my two youngest that share my home leave for work. My daughter’s little dog comes into my room after she’s gone to work and cries to at me to be picked up. I do, and she digs under my blankets and falls asleep.
Hour by hour goes by. I fight to stay asleep. Noon comes. Noon gives way to one o’clock. Then it’s two o’clock. I dread the searing pain of getting up. It’s the end of the third week of the month and pain meds are dwindling. Not enough. My bank account is dwindling. I should be up and looking for gigs or finding ways to replace the job I lost in October.
But I can’t care anymore.
What I had to live for was gone ten years ago. I am feeble and weak. It’s like fending off cannon balls with a feather. Every breath, every step – it’s all too hard.
I just want it all to stop.
I can’t quite bring myself to include the word “happy” although I wish I could. At least that is my sincere wish for all of you. But I know there is much pain and suffering, and these things make no distinction regarding new years, new days, hours or seconds.
As we do pass this sort of chronological demarcation, I genuinely hope that each of you can find the one hug, one smile, one friend or just one touch from another that makes a difference for you. If but one person finds a few moments of comfort it’s worth all the effort put forth to find it. And I wish that for all of you.
With the new year fast approaching I thought it might be interesting to engage in a little fantasizing. A bit of a fantasy never hurts now and then and it can sometimes tell us where we are grounded and where we are not. So here goes. Just answer the question in a million words or less…
If you were approached by the devil and offered a price to sell your soul into eternal damnation, what would you want in return?
To offer some food for thought, I was contemplating something like this: Being returned to the year 1969, with a 20 year old body, one billion pounds sterling tax free and a guarantee I would live to at least 99 years of age disease-free regardless of lifestyle.
What about you?
I used to love the sound of rain. It calmed me. It drizzled through the leaves in the tree in the rose garden when we huddled together and ate sushi one afternoon. That is all gone now. Gone forever.
I can see her dancing in the yard with nothing but a big floppy hat. The rain made her happy. It washed away all of her tears and all of her fears. There are no more tears. She is no more.
How I loved to walk in the rain. Walking for miles on end. I could leave everything I hated, and that hated me behind. I was free.
I know because I hear it on the roof. But that is all I can do. I can’t walk in the rain anymore. Everything hurts so much I can’t walk anywhere. I don’t want to live anymore. I hate going to bed because I will wake up every hour in so much pain I cannot breathe.
But it’s raining. And I don’t fucking care.