Some days life just moves along and it is what it is...interesting or exciting, fun maybe intense, sometimes stressful... etc. And after nearly 54 of life and living, often on the very edge of flaming out, I have learned that things rarely stay the same. Suffer through a bad stretch...no worries...the sun will rise and tomorrow is another day. So I have always acted accordingly....and mostly don't stress the small stuff. When one of life's major crisis's comes along I always seem to go auto pilot and do what I have to do. If there is a suddenly a tragedy or major crisis...I seem to just be at my best.
I am not bragging...trust me it is probably that I have a great deal of experience dealing with such events: Losing my 3 closest friends and my very first "real"love (and girlfriend Debbie) in the very same auto accident. Compounding the shock and heartbreak was the fact that I had committed to going with them and backed out at the last minute with a lie....a made up excuse because I felt like I shouldn't go. Did that feeling save my life...perhaps, except I was abstaining from drugs and alcohol at the time and I was not the type to let a drunk person drive when I was sober. So I've always felt like my decision to back out and accompanying lie killed them and the innocent WWII veteran that also died when they crossed the center line of two lane Hard Rd (in Columbus, Ohio) and all four died. I carried that guilt around for decades....until I sought therapy for being sexually assaulted at the age of 12 and the story came out one day while talking to my therapist, who was treating me for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
So I have been through a lot and usually manage to stay positive, creative, thoughtful, active and a lover of life....except that now I am struggling to do so. The last three years of surgeries (31 full blown operations), hospital stays (over 70 days), life threatening Infections that seemingly were immune to treatment, my normal terminal pain (a result of a severe auto accident at age 17) and finally the amputation in December 2014 of my right leg below the knee have taken away everything but the last shred of....HOPE.
Those medical issues led directly to financial ruin and ultimately all of this has moved me from a realistic yet positive leaning, a believer in God (or call it a Higher Power in the earlier days) to a realist who sees and thinks and feels intensely about the never ending darkness his life has now entered.
As a teenager and young man I never trusted anyone, having been terribly hurt by certain experiences. But as I endured and learned and persevered....I continued to live... because I would not give in to the Darkness. I then slowly began to trust, to forgive and ultimately to truly love people for the very first time in my life. It was an epiphany and it changed me forever...I was so grateful for that change too because I had seen so many people struggle and give up...to addictions, to suicide, Insanity or they just went away in their minds...lost in fear, hate, mistrust or anger. I knew I didn't want to experience that again and felt free from those feelings for the first time in my life.
But now....I find myself drifting back...I talk it out, I'll share my feelings,I am honest and try to work through difficult times but I only find myself NUMB. But these last four years have been one long, un-ending NIGHTMARE. The physical pain is unbearable and treatments now are no longer effective. Even when I have done the right thing...tragedy prevails.
I am feeling my soul slip away...at first in tiny increments but now I go numb and realize later that I am shutting down emotionally, psychologically, spiritually as my physical body is beaten down by illness, injury and the subsequent treatment for those injuries/illnesses. I am beginning to stop caring.
Then a couple weeks ago a friend I have know since first grade or so takes his own life and that stark truth devastates me.I am one of those strange souls who can accept and understand his own suicide but never will "get" the suicide of others. I was very ill at the time and did not learn of it until several days later. My first thought was what if he tried to reach me, to talk, to vent...anything and I was unavailable because of my health. I would never been able to forgive myself. Turns out he did not try to reach ANYONE but his passing added another brick to my emotional tomb.
When I feel down...hard, unforgivable and lost I tend to find music that expresses these things. I lose myself in it and have often come out the other side feeling better for it. Here are two songs the I am lost in right now.
I Know people don't like to hear hard truths sometimes...it is easier to navigate life putting on a happy face. Sorry....not my style and quite frankly, finding a method to express this chaos inside is often the very thing that saves me. I am hoping for that result once again because the nightmares have returned and now I actually seem to be living them. Life has a hard, brutal side to it...and right now within me....it is winning.