My Guide to Ending It…


If you have read my stuff over the past 20 months, you know I’m sick.  Let’s push aside the depression issue that came with a few episodes and stick with the cancer diagnosis.  It’s killing me slowly and I have a new plan.

I’m going to help it along in a more definite way.

There have been talks with doctors.  Talks with lawyers.  And recently had a more exacting series of discussions with a few people so that we understand what I need to do and what I need from them.

In Massachusetts they don’t look kindly on people ending their lives.  It’s a criminal act and in some ways a financial lose if your insurance company wants to be difficult.

I’ve made sure to map out those details so there is no issue.  And cashing in my policy was easier than I thought.  A phone call, sign a piece of paper and the money was in my account a few days later.

There’s a stack of pills that could make even the best college rave a tame event.  Whenever they shifted some medicine, I just kept the leftovers.  And for anyone who has dealt with cancer or really any long term illness, they know the piles of colorful little capsules and tablets.  [the economist in me only sees the colossal waste in all of this!]

That conversation I tried to talk a out yesterday, all about how someone basically insisted on being there to hold my hand.  The argument that went with exposing someone to the potential pain.  I was loudly reminded that whether she was in the room or not it was going to hurt.  And the less said about the other people who have offered to stand in a room the better!

In plenty of things, control is a illusion.  We try to plan but something always gets lost along the way.

Not this time.  In my mind those things don’t matter anymore.  Which is where my mistake resides, I get that.

So I picked a date.  Circled in my mind.  There are no triggers for anyone.  For a brief moment I came up with a different date, but realized I chose for the wrong reason.  Revenge.  [yeah, still have some anger issues that fortunately remain mostly under control!]

There are a few things I want to do over the time I have left.  Simple things like visit my daughter’s resting place one more time.  [at least before I take up residence?]  Go to the aquarium and watch some penguins?  And definitely go sit at that baseball field I played so many hours on and remember when the only concern was keeping my eye focused on the ball.

So I have a plan.

That Time I Almost Killed Myself

There are a lot of pills sitting on my bathroom counter.  There are even more sitting on the counter in the kitchen.  Some are the same, just spread around so that I don’t have to trudge around looking when the stairs are not very Lary friendly.  Anti-depressants, painkillers, drugs to help fight various infections, the list is amusing and might on some level violate my security clearance.  The amount of Schedule One Narcotics alone might make someone consider taking my car keys away!

One night I sat around and the depression had truly taken me by the balls and ripped me apart.  The voices in my head were so loud and so nasty that I kept staring at the collection in front of me and started doing the math.  Not in my head, I took the opportunity to sit with a piece of paper and look up how things could be mixed and what effect they would have.  I wasn’t looking to wake up the next day having had my stomach pumped, I was looking to kill myself.

Even while writing this I can still hear my ex’s mother blaming me for things she has no idea how much I tried to correct.  Situations where it was just easier to say it was my fault rather than wonder how to fix the problem.  The look on her face the last time I saw her, telling me I was worthless.  Sorry, didn’t know.  [I wish I still didn’t feel that way, 8 months later.  But I internalized so many things when I should have spoken up that I don’t know when I will finally be able to let them go.]

I can hear those voices telling me that as soon as I decide to head back to my own house, they are going to start playing the same tune.  “Hey Lary, you haven’t spoken to anyone in months.  What the hell does it matter?”  And I worry that they’ll find that time when I least need to hear that.  But then that is the fun of depression.  Staying 300 miles away, yet even avoiding the people here who know me, smart plan!

Writing about whatever fantasy still exists in my heart about my daughter is the only way I have left of dealing with it.  And with every word, I know that if someone were in the room when I write them they would see the pain and anguish.  No need to ask, they know where my thoughts are.

One of those days, when the pills were about to win I forced myself to get in the car and I drove over to my doctor’s office.  I just sat in the waiting area for a while until the receptionist figured out I wasn’t waiting for anyone.  She asked if I was okay, and the only thing I could do was shake my head.  I couldn’t express what my head was screaming.  She led me back to an exam room and after some time someone came in and asked “Lary, do you need to go to the hospital?”  I didn’t know the answer.  I just sat there shaking.  Fortunately someone thought to call my mother to come and get me.  [this of course was before I had changed the notification form, so my ex was their first call.]  I lost it by the time she came in the room.  I hadn’t said a word, but obviously everyone knew what the problem was.

That combination of cancer, dead child and having watched a relationship blow up all in six months had finally gotten me.  I was broken.  No, I am broken.  Hey guess what?  That also keeps me from talking to any person about this aside from the therapists.  No reason to drag them further into this.  I thought I had friends I could truly talk to, but I figure they are more of the “How’s the weather/work/price of tea in China” variety.

So I tried to kill myself not that long ago.  Those pills and my cancer would have made it real easy to do.  Sucks when your mind thinks that is the best solution to a problem.  The answer, ironically different drugs!

Lately I feel something building back up, my inability to sleep is a sign of that.  I’m scared of how it will work it’s way out of me.  But I know to keep trying to find help, to admit it is a problem.  Those questions about a few things continuing to fight their way to the forefront.  Damn it, time to get moving to the doctor for some tests.  Another issue I wish would just end!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Mystery Wrapped in an Enigma.”

What I Fear – Day Seventeen: Your Personality on the Page

Day Seventeen: Your Personality on the Page

Today’s Prompt: We all have anxieties, worries, and fears. What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears.

“Hey, time to get up! There’s something I want to talk to you about…”

And that how my day begins, my brain screaming at me hoping to jar me from whatever rest I was able to achieve. The thumping, no pounding, in my chest tricking my body into thinking that something is very wrong. It’s not until it gets to my ears that I really give it any credence, but when it does I jump running for another room, another place to be. Anywhere but in my bed, even if it means sitting in a robe on the couch in the basement, I run.

I have a few things to be anxious about. Some are things that would knock others off their game if dealing with but a single episode, I’m dealing with three. Fear took over making some rational thoughts some time ago, my knowing that picking the wrong path would set me back even further. In a world where I was measuring wins by weeks and months, I am scrambling to find a small victory in the simplest of things done on a daily basis.

The brain is a nasty, rotten thing when it decides that play time is over for you and it gets to call the shots based on whatever mixture of chemicals is currently flowing. Panic, fear, happy, elated; those are all things I feel in a single flash, all at once and with no ability to separate. Even when I should be feeling the warmth of a single smile, I’m flashing back to some other time when the smile was from something or someone else. My mother joking recently that the nurse had a crush on me and all I could do was frown and ask “why should she care an ounce about me, I’m nothing.”

I hate depression. Almost as much as I hate the cancer that keeps moving about my body. But at least that doesn’t come with such a high price, I can take a pain pill and get past most things. I don’t, because I want to feel the pain. But I also fear what it has left me with. A broken spirit to match my somewhat broken body.

My fear is bolstered by these questions I feel I need to understand. There are a couple of whys that will never be resolved because the answers lay within someone who has told me I don’t deserve to know. That my pain is my issue and they just aren’t going to help no matter what the circumstances. It’s a cruel joke that this person has the ability to control everything because I created a world based on my trust of her.

But while that pounding still rings in my ears, I run from everything and everyone. Hide from the world because I can’t allow any more fear to enter it. If I don’t give anyone the power to help, they also can’t have the power to hurt. There’s a disturbed irony to that.

I hear words like brain chemistry and emotional distress, they make me laugh. To think that the same machine that allows me to remember the level of detail it takes to rebuild entire equations from memory also uses those memories to remind me almost daily of some negatives that I wish never happened. Small children shut me down because I still have questions about my own daughter’s death. Creating a binding trust for something that protects my ex is hard to explain to anyone, even the lawyer! You ever here someone talk about how they wished they could remember everything, I’m telling you it’s not a great thing.

Every smell, every glimmer of positive balanced with seeing and feeling every negative thing all at the same, and all at once.

Fear is an ugly thing. I wish it were just spiders, or snakes, even a water tower; but it’s not. I’m afraid of myself. The guy who looks back in the mirror and thinks that karma has caught up to him. Having internalized someone telling me that everything was my fault, it just let’s the fear have more power.

At least I recognize it. Even while trying to control it, I know it is in the room waiting for me to slip up. It would be so easy to let it become anger and lash out, but that’s just shifting the fear to someone else. In a world were people around me count on using my grumpy demeanor for getting things done, at times it is true anger that wants to burn the world down. Only I fear letting that beast ever come out.

So while this has taken me days to write, it’s short and concise. I know fear right now, and I hope that the most you fear is heights or forgetting to check the stove when you went to the movies. This is not the type of thing I want others to know or understand. But I fear some of you do.

This, Right Now!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Beyond the Pale.”

Yesterday I( was reading another posting by someone and they mentioned how they had contemplated suicide in the past.  My heart sort of left the building for a minute and wanted to search out this person.  I knew I couldn’t fix anything for them other than maybe listen.  Interestingly the television was turned on ESPN and a Public Service Announcement about wanting to hurt yourself began playing in the background.  The message was getting louder and clearer, tell someone.

There are a lot of nasty thoughts that have gone through my head.  All of them ending with my existence being removed from the playing field.  Drugs, cars, randomly creating an “accident” around the house, they have all been there.  Maybe I should be honest, they are there right now.  Yesterday I caused me to double up my time frame with the therapist.  The topic I thought I could handle became something so much darker and so much quicker than I anticipated.  She just looked at me and said, I’m going to skip lunch and we need to keep talking.  Right now!  The force of her voice wasn’t the “I’m asking if you want to talk variety”, it was more “We can talk here, or someplace more secure!”

How does this meet today’s topic?  Saying this to anyone is so outside of who I have become that I am afraid I’ll delete this and substitute it with some passage about wanting to go skydive!  (don’t read anything into that, it would also be out of character for me to jump out of a perfectly functioning airplane.)  That article I was supposed to post for Writing 101 talked about fear.  My fear of being left alone.  Being forgotten while I’m still here.  It’s just another sign that my brain is playing games with words, but without the friends.

Right now I need a hug so badly I’d take it from a toothless, homeless 400 pound transvestite who looked at me and went “Damn son, you don’t look happy.  Let Momma make it better.”  Instead I need to write a letter to someone whose birthday party I have to skip because my medical stuff means not being around “unknown illnesses” that might further set back the chemo.  I even have to lie about what’s going on because this man is so empathetic to others, I don’t want him to know just how sick I physically am.  I don’t want that to become a topic for discussion when celebration is the rule of the day.

So today I plant my flag firmly in the category of people whom fight that demon every damn day.  Hoping that the “win” they need comes in some minor package, wrapped with a note that says “Hi!  I know you’re still here!”  Such sad words to write, knowing that for some they mean the difference between whether or not they will see the sunrise tomorrow morning.  Now it’s time to go make a joke of this all.  I know the Cancer will get me faster than anything else, but it’s a fun race in my mind!