Well, today marks four years to the day since I had my close encounter with death, when an aneurysm at the base of my brain burst and landed me in intensive care for a few weeks. I'm not going to recount the whole story, but if you're interested, you can find it here.
Unfortunately, year four has not been a good one. I finished year three sliding into a depression that has never gone away. I've beaten it back for a little while at times, but it won't leave me. Medication isn't working, therapy isn't working, nothing seems to work. I'm starting to think this is the new normal. It has truly been the worst year of my life.
And I don't see any improvement on the horizon.
If I had known back in 2009 that 2013 was coming, I think I would have refused to get in the ambulance. In fact, as it stands now, if it happened again, I definitely would not go. I would say my goodbyes, swallow a handful of pain pills to take the edge off, and slip away.
When I first got out of the hospital, any headache (and they were frequent) was a cause for alarm. I wondered each time whether it was happening again. Now, with every twinge of pain comes the hope that it will finally be my time. I find myself rooting for it. Unfortunately, they mapped the blood vessels in my head, and didn't find any cause for concern.
I'm considering revoking my medical power of attorney and rewriting my living will to say not only no extreme measures, but no measures at all. I don't even want to be taken to the emergency room, because they will feel it incumbent upon them to do something, regardless of my stated wishes, as they will fear a lawsuit. I'd like to avoid that possibility/
There would be those who say there is a simple solution to the problem, which there would be, if I didn't believe in the eternal nature of the human spirit. Without that, it would be simple to just go away forever. But, knowing what I do, that would just create more suffering in the next world. If I could just will myself out of existence, I would. Just stop being. End the pain. But I can't, so on I go.
I know that God wants us to endure to the end, but is it a sin to hope the end comes soon? I'm tired and I'm hurting. I know he saved me for some reason, for some work. I hope I finish whatever I need to do soon. I feel like Han did in Star Wars: "No reward is worth this." Also, I think of Luke telling Han that the reward will be "more wealth than [he] can imagine. And Han replies: "I don't know. I can imagine quite a bit."
It's like that old Footprints poem. I know there's only one set of footprints, and I know God has been carrying me for some time now. I just don't know if I will ever be able to walk on my own again. I know, too, that he's always with me, but I still feel lost and alone. I've gone to a place where my family will not follow, and while I can't turn back, I don't know if I can continue forward.
This is year four.
I hope I don't see year five.