Thursday, June 12, 2008
Sad, sad, sad, but you're gonna be fine...
You know that Rolling Stones song?
I've been waking up sad for the past few days, and I realized it has to do with my upcoming trip to NYC.
It's the first trip I'll be making there since two people I cared about very much, who both lived there, died - my friend Ward in 2003, and my cousin John in 2005.
Friday is the anniversary of John's death; Ward's birthday is the 30th.
I heard a statistic at work yesterday that people with mental illness can die as many as 25 or 30 years earlier than those without. If that isn't a call to action, I don't know what is.
John and Ward, now that I think about it, had more in common than I had ever considered. Both had mental illnesses and both had inner demons. In John's case, it made it difficult for him to be in relationships of any kind with people, although he seemed to have a million friends; in Ward's case, he was suicidally depressed off and on his whole life.
And though neither of their deaths - Ward's from a heart attack, John's from cancer - were directly related to mental illness, I believe the stress definitely contributed to it. Ward's depression drove him to drugs and alcohol before I met him, for years at a time, and I think the damage was what triggered the heart attack.
Either way, they're both at peace now.
I just miss you guys.