4193-2017

One little pill makes it all stop. One little pill to put you to rest. One little pill to turn off your mind. One little pill for peace. 

In a cup staring back at you, a combination of one little pills rests at the bottom. Rocking back and forth in the candle-lit lights of your apartment, you hum to the music. Here alone, remember it. Lists, lists, lists. Never ending replays of words. Dreams. Hopes. Fears. Torment. Tears. Oh the lists and lists of tears that flow through your brain. It’s nauseating. Migraine induced. So much. Too much. This year. These past years. It never ends. No matter what you do. It never ends.

Sip sip sip. One drink to wash it down. One drink to numb it out. Sip sip sip. One drink for peace. 

Your body grows cold. It’s been cold for years now. You can’t remember the last time you were warm. Well-wishes sent. Well wishes missed. I’ve been wasting water, got no where else to be. The sun stopped shining like it used to a long time ago. It hasn’t shown since the sixth grade. Maybe next year. Maybe next year. Maybe next year. Stop it. Maybe that’s it. No more maybe’s. No more next year. No more. No more. No more.

Search for laughter. Laughter. Smile. Good. One. Good. Thing. 

Your family knows you love them. Love them. Fixed. Strengthened. All is good, they are good. They will be good. Selfish. Stop it. Don’t be. But maybe. Never let them know you don’t love them. You want the world. You just don’t want it enough. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you forever.

This is the good part of goodbye.

Cocktails of one little pill.

Sip sip sip. 

Peace.

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2017: Opening of the Gates

I’m old enough to leave home but way too young to know what I should do – Emily Hearn

Fresh powdered snow. Sun beams melting your skin as they shine through the window. The sound of steamed milk in the background as the barista makes their 15th latte of the morning. Students bent over books cramming for that final, friends laughing over coffee, a single businessman going over the projections for the afternoon meeting. A quite corner, out of sight and mind to many, but the perfect place to people watch and reflect. As December comes to a close, you can’t help but think back to all the things that had happened throughout the year. A lot has changed, for better or worse, you still don’t know. Globally, the US has a new “president“, Iraq declared victory against ISIS after 3 long years, the UN declared worst humanitarian crisis since 1945, Australia finally entered 2017, the first terrorist attack in years occurred in Iran, a total solar eclipse took place on August 21 and finally, the #Metoo campaign was named “Person of the Year”. These are simply a few of the major events which took place this year and with 2.5 weeks remaining, there is no telling what can happen.

You sit back in awe, remembering where you were when you heard about the events. How you felt, what you thought, who you were with. Yes, on a global scale, the events which transpired in 2017 will be discussed for a long time. However, a lot has changed in your personal life as well. Sitting at a cafe, in a new city called home, surrounded by strangers, this year is not what you expected. But then again, you didn’t really know what you expected. You learned that perhaps, you’re the toxic person in the lives of those you care most about. You finally acknowledged your mental illness and are taking the steps to fix it. Your heart broke into a million pieces and slowly glued back together. You reconnected with childhood friends and made new ones. You traveled across the country you get to call home with the most amazing individuals, and mended your relationship with your siblings. You both got and defeated cancer. You moved to a new province with nothing but a car and suitcase and started grad school. You traveled to Central America, climbed a volcano, surfed sunrise and sunset waves, and embraced the kindness of locals. You did your first open-mic in 3 years and laughed with strangers you now call friends.

The year had its ups and downs. Sometimes you focus too much on the bad that you forget the good. Don’t forget the good. Don’t let the good become overshadowed. But also don’t ignore the bad. It’s the combination of the two that shaped your year, and years to come. You may not be where you thought you would be but life doesn’t care about schedules, so maybe you shouldn’t either.

Maybe you should stop trying to be everything you thought you’d be and just be who you are.

Just a thought. 

 

Somewhere in Between

How do you express yourself for something you can’t describe?

How do you scream at the top of your lungs or breakdown and cry for something you can’t explain?

How do you love yourself when you can’t find anything to love?

How do you forgive yourself for all the things you did not become.

 

I’m trying to be okay with being alive. I can’t say it’s going very well though.

Why are am I always like this? Why can’t I be normal? Why can’t I shut off this god damn brain? 

It comes in waves. One moment you’re laughing with friends and the next you’re laying on the bed, soaked in sweat and tears, and you can’t stop shaking that overwhelming and crippling fear of life. Your skin is clammy, your voice shakes, and your brain is playing reruns of all your failures and all those yet to come. Ah yes, mental health. What a bitch.

Shut up. Get out of my head. But then again… all your points are valid. And I’m tired. Oh, I’m so tired. 

When you’ve been fighting for so long, it starts to wear you down. You’re exhausted. Your muscles ache. Your brain is throbbing. Everything hurts while being numb at the same time. You start to dread going into the lab. What if everyone can see that I’m a failure? How do I hide that? Your desk is covered in MCAT books. I can’t write that exam. I can’t handle that failure. Everyone expects so much – I can’t live up to that. You know exactly what’s going on and you’re spiralling out of control. The only way you know how to reach out is by pushing away. Your logical brain explains how you’re not making any sense but logic has no say anymore. Nothing makes sense.

Everything is dark.

Everything is numb.

Why can’t I stop crying?

How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard – Winnie the Pooh

 

 

. . .

I want to live, but a larger part of me hopes something goes horribly wrong and I finally get to leave this place. I finally get to rest. 

It sucks when you’re lying awake at night thinking “if I died, would anyone even care.”

It’s even worse when you know the answer is “no”.

 

Alone, I scream to the Unknown

Are you kidding me. I can do this, but I don’t want to do this. I’m tired of fighting. Please just let me rest.

They say that if you look back on your life and the majority are happy thoughts, then it doesn’t matter how long or short your life has been because you’ve lived it. In a sense that’s true, that if you’re 24yrs and you can say with confidence “yeah, there were ups and downs but I won’t change a thing”, then you’ve probably had a decent time on this earth. So you should be thankful. Grateful of all the opportunities and experiences you’ve been given. After all, you’ve done more in your 24yrs than most have done in a lifetime. No need to be upset, right?

What if all of a sudden your life expectancy goes from 100% to 83%? What if you’re in the middle of work and all of a sudden you can’t breathe and collapse in the kitchen? What if you’re told that you, a relatively healthy, active, young adult, has a disease that kills? How do you react to that? Do you say “thank goodness they caught it early and it’s treatable?” Do you sit down and say “well it could be worse?” Do you take the news, let it slowly manifest inside of you, and then burst into tears when you accidentally burn your toast, knowing that you’re not upset over the burnt bread but that after all of the silent battles you’ve had throughout your life, you still aren’t allowed to rest. That you’re expected to “stay strong”, laugh it off with friends, comfort your loved ones, and not mention a peep of the rage that has boiled inside of you, in fear that you’ll come off as “annoying”, “attention-seeking”, “dramatic.” How do you tell those closest to you? Do you even bother bringing it up, or just suffer in silence, as you do for most of the things that happen? Do you talk about it? Can you talk about it? It’s on your mind 24/7 and all you want is a break, but it’ll never happen. After all, the disease never quits, so neither can you. So you sit there in silence, let it take it’s toll as you urge it to slow down, and carry on with your day as though you’re not fighting the battle of your life – literally.

My body hurts. My bones hurt. I want to break down and cry. But I can’t do that. Always keep smiling. Laugh it off. Don’t let them know you’re scared. Terrified. Don’t show weakness. No one really cares about your battle. 

How do you bring it up? You don’t. They tell you they are there to help but you know it’s just formalities. No one can help. You keep it to yourself. When you get lightheaded, you hide it. You’ve gotten quite good at that now. You slyly grab hold of a wall, a chair, anything to keep you stable. Your esophagus burns from the side effects of your medications. When they tell you to eat something because you look pale, you give them a soft smile and politely decline. I can’t eat. Everything makes me sick. Chemo does that to you. When a coworker points out how your hair has thinned ever so slightly and is turning grey, you laugh it off, saying it’s just stress from work. I pulled out a small clump of hair in the shower this morning, then I cried. But I don’t think I’m going to lose all of it, thank goodness. When it’s the end of the day and you finally get to lay in your ever-so-comfy bed, that’s when it hits you. That’s when you want to scream. Cry. Laugh. Yell. They don’t tell you that the drugs heighten every single emotion you’ve ever had. That for someone who is used to suppressing everything, it’s like being hit by a tsunami. And all of a sudden, you realize how alone you are.

They tell you it’s a group battle, but they are lying.

At the end of the day it’s just you.

Alone.

Screaming to the unknown.

Run Wild, Run Free

To the friends I had to leave behind:

Know that I will always care for you. That I will always wish you the best and the most wonderful, beautiful life. And that my decision to remove myself from your world was a hard one, one that was not made overnight but one that was analyzed, debated, and internally fought for a very long time.

It might not have been long since I’ve last seen you but it’s been a long time since we’ve been the friends that we used to be. We may have known each other since we were kids, giggling about high school crushes, playing make-believe as we climbed trees, and stressed over university exams or we could’ve been new friends, having only met but felt like it’s been a lifetime. For reasons, some obvious, some still covered in an air of mystery, we are no longer friends anymore and it may sound selfish, but it’s for the best.

I just want to put it out there, I don’t hate you. I never could, there’s too much history between us, at least on my end, and so many fond memories of our time together. I also wanted to say that I don’t think you’re a bad person. Life happens, we grow up and we grow apart, but the respect and admiration for you never wavered. Overtime we grew into the people we are meant to be, started to figure out our lives, and during that time we realized that we no longer fit into each others.

For what it’s worth… I am sorry. I’m sorry that we couldn’t talk it out like we used to. Sorry that we had to end the friendship the way we did, sorry that you think things of me that you believe to be true, and I’m sorry that if I had done any action to allow the formulation of those thoughts. At one point, I considered you one of my good friends but I see now that we were too different of people and were never fully trusting of the other person.

I know you will probably see this as insensitive. That after all this time, I chose my own well-being over yours. It pains me to say that in the re-evaulation of my relationships, the bad outweighed the good in our friendship and I couldn’t force myself to get back up when I wasn’t ready. I was always honest with you and never lied, so please believe me when I thought I would wake up on countless occasions and be over it, miss you, and want to make amends; I never woke up with that feeling.

My dear friend, I can’t promise you many things anymore but I can promise you this: I can promise you that I won’t forget you. I won’t forget our movie marathon sleepovers, the nights we spent sitting on the roof and laughing with the stars. The concerts, the bonfires, and the life-talks. We were there for each other for some of the darkest moments in our lives, and some of the lightest. I couldn’t be more grateful for the time we had. I will watch from a distance as you grow into a fantastic human being and will always be cheering for you on the sidelines, but I don’t see myself coming back into the game anytime soon. I am sorry if I hurt you, that was never my intention, but I hope that in time you will see how this was for the best. I can promise you that if I ever wake up with the feeling that I’ve made a mistake, I will come to you, no matter how uncomfortable it will be.

I don’t write this out of spite, out of anger, or from hurt feelings. I write this from the bottom of my heart, to a truly wonderful human being who we just grew apart, and I do end this letter with the sincerest wish that one day, maybe, we will talk to each other again.

I don’t know if you’ll ever understand, but our friendship grew thin and we needed to let each other go so we can begin to heal.

To grow.

To Be. 

Let Me Be

Let me be by myself for a while, I’m still learning who I am. 

Maybe it’s a quarter life crisis. Maybe it’s the constant comparison of your life to that of your peers. Maybe because, at the end of a brutal 12 months that comprised the nonsensical year of 2016, you’re sitting on a couch back in your parents house, wondering how on earth you got here.

All you know is that something is wrong. And it has been for months now. You can’t put your finger on it and that fuels the irritation. You’ve tried to ignore it, play it off, hope that it will eventually go away but there it lingers, your new shadow. You want to scream at it, destroy it, get it as far away from you as possible but how can you run from something if you don’t even know what it is. Why it’s there. You can’t talk to anyone about it. After all, you’re supposed to be the one for everyone else to talk to. You’re the one who takes on the stresses of your peers and you don’t complain. You don’t make a sound. When their worlds are crashing down around them, you’re the one who’s there to pick up the pieces. To remind them that they will be alright in the end. And you don’t mind. Part of you, a large part, enjoys it – you like being the dependable one. You know how it feels to be so completely alone that you refuse to let that happen to anyone else. But what about me…?

How do you say goodbye to your friends? How do you explain to your family that there’s something wrong, you don’t know what, but you need to leave. You need to figure it out. Do you tell them? Or do you just pack up and go? You run through a list of names in your head. You know deep down that some of them deserve a courtesy goodbye, after-all, they did nothing wrong and you do care about them and wish them the best in their lives. At the same time, you can’t help but think, will they even notice if you’re gone? Would they even care? Probably not. So you start. Baby steps first. Delete your twitter account. Then Snapchat. Finally, facebook. You keep one of your social media platforms, but the one that just says “yes I’m alive” and nothing more. A war is going internally. One one hand, you’re happy to be erasing yourself from your old life, on the other, your past shapes who you are today – is it right to let it go like that?

“I’m going away for a while. I don’t know where and I don’t know when I’ll be back. I wanted to say goodbye because you’re my friend and I owe you that much. You’re going to do great things in your life and I’m so proud of all that you’ve done. You are truly a beautiful person. Thank you. “