Monday, August 5, 2013

Small Triumph

Every life has mile stones and triumphs that should be celebrated in their own way.  Mine has been that I've stayed away from "Google Death" for 2 months.

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.

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