So what is Google Death? It is a phrase I made up to describe what I did every time I experienced a new symptom, or heard of another passing. Every time my cough worsened, or my armpit felt tender, I would hole myself up in my room, not eating, not sleeping. When I found out that someone died, I researched that death extensively, comparing my odds to theirs, studying their journey from onset of illness to ending.
Heart attacks were always comforting. Hear me out, I know this sounds horrible, but I can live with a heart attack. I can make peace with a car accident. It is cancer that gets me every time. There was a point where I had to leave the room if the word was even mentioned. Then those around me started getting cancer, and my world started closing in around me, pressing, until I literally couldn't breath. As the weights on my chest grew heavier and heavier, it was all I could do to keep from suffocating.
I grew depressed. I was anxious, but I could never express myself. Every time I tried to talk about it, my throat closed off. I drank a little to often, mostly with friends. The times I had wine (often too much) were the times the weight lifted, and my airways opened up and I could talk freely. This freedom came with a price, and I ended up distancing myself from those I cared about. I've never fully redeemed myself, and I'm still incredibly saddened when I see the life I once had continue on around me. I'd like to continue bridging these gaps, but for now it is one step in front of the other.
I'd like to say I did it all on my own, but that is really a nonsense statement. Anyone that says that mental illness can be conquered completely without medication is dangerous. That isn't to say that medication should be relayed on. I try to do as much without drugs, but I can only control the chemicals transmitted so much. I haven't gotten drunk (though I still enjoy a wine or two) in a very long time, and I've been working really hard on putting my energy back on others (the ones that will have me).
It was my small triumph I had just recently that made me smile. I just found out that another in my life is gone, and for the first time in a long time, I didn't care why. I am finally able to mourn appropriately. More importantly, I can celebrate life the way it was meant to be celebrated. I know my struggle isn't over, but it is these small things that keep the walls from caving in.