Tuesday, June 24, 2014
You know that voice? The one that screams, yells, bangs, cries and demands your attention? The one that insists that you listen to it? The one that comes any time of the day or night, uninvited and cruelly convincing? Yeah, that one. The one you need to tune out. Right. Good luck with that. But so far, I’m winning. Barely.
What I notice when I hear that voice, the one that tells me in loud whispers “What’s the point?” “Why bother?” “What does G-d want from me?” is another quieter voice behind it, speaking softly and telling me not to panic, all is well, hang in there and when it’s time, don’t be afraid. I wish that were the louder voice, but that’s not the way it works, I guess. Truth be told, if you practice listening to the quieter one, it sometimes flip flops and does become the louder one. But I never know whether or not to trust it. Could be a trap (LOL).
Looking in the mirror scares me, as does looking anywhere on my body. I think about people with skin that is smooth and blemish free, people who freak out at little moles and bumps and I have to laugh. I mean, I know skin cancer is a great fear for people, as is melanoma, but with all my lumps and bumps and moles and lesions I just can’t even think about it. I wrote about that in “One Square Inch” but now, it’s like one square millimeter. They grow, and they grow and they grow. Like the dandelions I used to pull up by the roots when I was a kid. Maybe there was a part of my trying to yank the tumors out of my body. When I wrote “Bumps of Beauty” I was more hopeful, more positive, less riddled. Trying to keep my own words fresh in my mind is not an easy task.
The tumors in my head give me unreal headaches, mostly due to lying flat and my head resting on a pillow. But I need to lay flat because of the tumors on my legs and spine. I used to be able to balance a plate of food on my leg and eat half sitting up but I can’t have a plate (or a book) on my leg anymore.
I live in Washington State, which, along with the state of Oregon, has a death with dignity law. However, it only applies to people who are in fact, dying. And one must be signed off with a bunch of doctors and have a long checklist of things they must meet in order to qualify. Someone like me, who lives her life in agony most days, does not qualify. I could live like I have been (for the past 10 years) in a continuing downward spiral of pain without death. Torture with non-effective pain management. From my screaming meanie point of view, it’s outrageous. From my reasonable view, I get it. Where is the cut-off point? Many people can accept that if someone has a knowable expiration date, it would be okay to end one’s own life (apart from religious viewpoints).
If the powers that be make an exception for people like me, who is next? Someone, perhaps, with bipolar disease who doesn’t want to live in the grey world of medication but cannot live in the topsy turvy world of being bipolar? How about someone with severe depression that medication doesn’t help, who has lived institutionalized most of their lives? Or how about a convict with no hope of getting out? The list goes on. It’s a slippery slope, but I’m sliding down it all on my own. And whose business is it anyway?
One of the main reasons I have not given into it is fear of doing it wrong and ending up worse off. And also, believing, right or wrong, that if I don’t live my life all the way to its natural end, I will be destined to repeat it. No. Thank. You.
Posted by Sherri at 5:44 PM