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.


Scarlet said...

Ironically, I wrote about the Stones today.

I know how it feels going back to a place after a sad experience. When my brother-in-law and mother-in-law died three days a part in Boston, we thought our next trip up there would be a bummer, but it wasn't as depressing as we imagined it would be.

I hope your trip is better than what you imagine it to be. Hang on to the memories and have a great trip!

Darth Weasel said...

sorry for your loss. hope you come to peace with it.

as for your theory, I firmly believe it is true. the human system is a finely tuned instrument and an imbalance in one area causes breakdowns in others as it tries to compensate. That is one reason I fight so hard against using medications. They all have side effects that don't always seem to make sense as far as being the more we can get by without them, the better off I suspect we are.

of course, we could be wrong.

Jessica said...

It seems like you really love people with your whole heart! I'm sure Ward and John were quite glad you were in their lives!

JLee said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your friends. I hope today is a happier day. Have a great weekend. xo

vivavavoom said...

So sorry to hear about your friends. It is amazing how much a persons mental health, even if not diagnosed as having any illness, can impact their overall health. I am seeing so many more people who come into my office for things like shoulder pain or stomach problems that end up being offshoots of a core dx of PTSD.
I also realize after the last month, which has been unusually overwhelming for me, how fragile we all are. I felt so depressed 2 weeks ago that the thoughts going through my head were not healthy. I am lucky I could snap out of it in a day or two. But I realize how close we all are to the edge sometimes.
I haven't been back in NYC since 1998. In my mind the twin towers are still there. But I miss it very much and we plan on going in the next 2 years.

Hope you have a great time.

Riot Kitty said...

Thanks everybody - Viva and Foster, good to see you again! And V, glad you are feeling better.

Green tea said...

So sad Kitty..and I understand your feelings of melancholy.
Since my one and only trip to NY
my two friends who were with me
are both gone too
One from a heart attack the other
my best friend and soul mate from a step infection which caused Toxic Shock.
I don't think I can ever go back to NY City..
I hope you can find a way to enjoy..

Coby said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Life has a way of mending itself. Mental illness is a horrible disease that affects millions. Stay strong. Your friend Coby