This week was another relatively ok week! Huzzah!
That is until Thursday, when I received some rather shitty news: a friend of mine who has a brain tumour learnt from his doctor that not only had it grown, but that they had also found another growth which maybe cancerous.
Yup, that was some rather shitty news.
Additionally, due to the chemotherapy and medication they put him on immediately he’s been so unwell he’s barely been able to hold a conversation via telephone. He called me the day after the diagnosis because of the difficulty he was having coming to grips with this news, and now the side effects are hitting him. I’ve been trying to see him for the past few days, but because of how ill he has been on this new treatment he hasn’t been up to seeing any visitors.
This whole thing has been crazy. I guess we all knew in the back of our heads that this thing was still serious, but everyone, including my friend, became quite blasé about it. In all honesty, considering the close calls I’ve had in the battle with depression, I thought there was more chance he would outlive me!
Hearing the news only brought home the truth. That again, no one is indestructible, and whether I like it or not there’s a very good chance someone close to me could die quite soon. I’m trying not to be fatalistic about this; chances are he will recover, and still out live me. And I’m trying not to make this about me, but this is a blog about me and my depression and so I’ve got to talk about this from my perspective.
The reality for me is that I have a sort of abandonment issue. I don’t know how it developed when I was younger, but I became more and more aware of it over the past 10 years with close family passing away and relationships ending. I have a fear of being inadequate and that unless I behave in a correct manner I’ll drive people away. This is something I have only really begun to understand within the last 12 months or so. It took a therapy session to connect the dots between major episodes of depression and people leaving my life. It was also a reason why I had struggled to move away from home for so long – it was a fear that I would lose my family.
With my friend having received his new diagnosis I had to really assess myself. I had to ask myself if I would be ok with this, and, fatalistically, will I be able to cope in the event of his death?
It’s really not easy. To be honest, I really don’t think I would be ok – a guy in his mid-twenties dying from cancer is just absurd! Where’s the justice in that?
But I’ve also got to think, how is he feeling? I’m probably not the best person in the world to be a friend at this time for him, but he’s going to need support now more than ever. So for now I need to be that good friend for him, I need to be that optimistic person for him, and I need to be there for him regardless of how I feel.