Week 56

Trigger warning ahead.

Jesus doesn't want to end up with 4  different versions

It’s hard to write after such a tragedy. I’ve spent the best part of the last week trying to figure out how to write an obituary that perfectly encapsulates my friend, but each time I’ve sat down to write I’ve struggled to fight back tears. Maybe it’s too soon for me to be talking about him in the past tense, or maybe it’s because I know how young he was and how much of this life he’ll never get to experience.

There’s also the selfish part of me that’s upset that all his knowledge and personality is gone forever. Religious/spiritual types can talk themselves hoarse all they want trying to reassure me that I’ll see him again in the afterlife or whatever, but I just can’t quite believe that myself. The same thing happened to me 10 years ago when my uncle passed away.

He and I were quite close (he was pretty much the father I really wanted) so when he died it began to raise a lot of questions about my own beliefs. I was kind of raised in Catholicism, with most of my extended family being quite devout, doing the whole church every Sunday plus confession. I went to catholic schools, where Catholicism was high on the curriculum. All the way through I felt like I should be a part of this, but something always gnawed at me about these religious bodies. So when my uncle passed away it finally felt like I knew once and for all: if there is a God he doesn’t care about us.

Additionally for me I never felt that there was any definitive proof of any divine presence in society. I’ve always felt that good and evil only exist because people either choose to do good things or choose to do bad things. There is no holy/demonic presence that influences a human being’s actions. To do otherwise is to shift responsibility away from the criminal or do gooder towards the supernatural. People do bad things, but people do good things. Nothing influences humanity other than humanity.

 This is getting a bit ranty, and I apologise. I just find no comfort in people projecting their own beliefs onto my own grieving process. My best friend is dead. That’s it. I have to deal with it the way I need to deal with it, not by justifying his death in some holy cosmic plan. I have to learn to accept that he is gone and find a way to move on. I hope I can find the strength this week to finish the obituary, it’s the best way I know how to honour him with my abilities.

Giving Up Smoking For New Year

Weeks 54 & 55

So I had to take a break last week and not write an update. I’m also writing this earlier because I think I need to get things out, so this is going to be 2 posts in 1. Things have been pretty bad these past few weeks, so fair warning:

 If you might be susceptible to certain “triggers”, this one’s going to be the mother load. Get out of here, and come back next week.

If you’re still here, I thank you, and I’m sorry if there’s anything contained here too distressing.

This week my best friend died.

He was admitted into a hospice last week, after having begun intravenous chemotherapy to treat the 2 tumours in his head. Unfortunately, not long afterwards, he began to rapidly deteriorate and within a matter of days he had reached a point where he was unable to be cared for at home. He was admitted to the hospice on Tuesday 8th; on Wednesday 9th he was told that there was nothing more the doctors could do for him and that he had weeks to months left. They began giving him sedatives to help him relax, and this left him extremely exhausted and tired all the time. On Friday 11th they said he only had days, if not weeks left to live. Nurses began giving him medication to help with the pain in his arm, and as a result he slept a lot and communicated very little.

On the Saturday, 47 people came out to see him. 47. People who he had grown up with, people he’d not seen for years – they all came to see him and to wish him the best. His sister’s boyfriend proposed to her at his bedside, and my friend gave his blessing. He also chose the name of the baby girl they were expecting as well.

I visited him every day bar Thursday. It was quite possibly the hardest difficult thing I have ever gone through.

On the Saturday, his girlfriend brought a package up with her that he had ordered for me. He and I had spoken a few days before Christmas, and again on New Years Eve about a book he’d seen on Amazon called “How to Tell If Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You”. I mentioned to him I had that book on my Amazon wish list and had wanted to read it, but no one had bought it for me. I had initially thought it was the Christmas present he gave me when we exchanged gifts just before Christmas, it turned out he had bought me something else thinking that I wouldn’t be interested in the book. He had, however, realised whilst talking to me that it was actually the perfect Christmas present to get me. I hadn’t fished for him to buy it for me, but I knew something was going on when he mentioned it again on New Years. When is girlfriend gave the package to me I found the receipt still inside, dated 31st December 2012.

That was the type of person he was, always thinking about other people before himself.

He passed away on Wednesday 16th January, surrounded by his girlfriend, his mum, dad, grandparents, and brother and sister. He was 26 years old.

I’m going to miss him so much.

The world is a worse place without him here.

Week 53

So here it is, the first post of the new year!

I decided to keep to the “Week + Number” format, I thought it serves a good reminder of the blog’s roots, but also as a good way to track the blog, chronologically speaking.

Stealing your Air

Anyhow… New Year! Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic time this holiday period and are ready for 2013! Yaaaaay!!!

Happy New Year - Survive A New Year

Ughhhh!

Yeah, this holiday was a struggle. For those who are just joining us, just weeks before Christmas my best friend was diagnosed with a second tumour in his brain (with the outlook looking bleak), another family member was diagnosed with bowel cancer, my grandfather had a reoccurrence of skin cancer, and my own father (who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis) came down with pneumonia just before New Year.

So things have been a little hairy. Fortunately everyone is alive (and for the most part) well. I ended up ringing in the New Year with my best friend and his girlfriend in a rather subdued event which involved drinking world beers and watching TV. Yup, we rang in the New Year like actual grown ups. This makes me slightly depressed, but considering how things have been not just for him, but for everything else that’s been going on lately, it was nice to be able to do something and not really go too crazy. So no drunken adventures and home by 1.

Which was nice.

So in other news – Life (aside from the illnesses mentioned above) has been pretty good to me. I’ve got no conflicts or issues going into the New Year, and all I’ve really been dealing with is my own issues like the chatter in my mind.

To reiterate what I’ve previously written about this; I don’t hear voices, I’m not schizophrenic, I’m talking about the noise of thoughts, feelings/emotions that occasionally run rampant. I used to believe that this was something unique to me, in much the same way that I used to believe that the depression I was feeling was some how false, but this is in fact something quite common not just with people with anxiety or depression, but actual ordinary people experience this too!

I know – MIND = BLOWN!

So for me (and other people out there) a lot of this noise comes just as I’m going to sleep, and prevents me from going to sleep. Over the years I’ve attended various courses which have at one time or another discussed this phenomena and what you can do as an individual to alleviate the problem.

So some say that the best way is to quiet the mind, empty your mind and relax both your mind and body. Which is easier said than done. So then the next step is to address those thoughts/feelings and rationalise them. Again, easier said than done.

This is, however, how I have learnt to deal with negative thoughts/feelings/emotions. Lately, because of my own academic failings these past few weeks, the negative thoughts have been striking with a vengeance with the worst of it all coming at night. This often leads to me not nodding off for several hours, which (if you have kept up with this diary at all will know) leads to me not getting to sleep until 5am some nights. This also coupled with the sedative effect of my medication leaves me unable to fully function lately until late afternoon.

This fucking blows.

Unhappy Cat - I hate you

I moan about my medication and the side effects I encounter a lot here, and how sleep has become this nightmarish love/hate relationship – I love my sleep, but I hate how much sleep I seem to get (it’s either not enough or too much).

One year on from starting this diary it is still a huge problem for me. Unfortunately it’s either this or change medication, and I really don’t want to change medication this late into the game.

So I want to know your medication/side effects story. Have you experienced problems with medication? Have you dealt with you mental health problems with/without medication? Let me know in the comments section below.

The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid ones are full of confidence