To Be Ok

I don’t need good. I don’t need really good. I don’t even need sort of good. I just need ok. I just need things, life, to be ok. I say it –over and over again. I say the word like it takes no effort. As if saying it enough will somehow be ok. I say it because it seems like it is within grasp. Reasonable. Reachable. Doable. Ok.

But it is anything but, ok.

I don’t want good. Good ends. Good leaves. Good dies. Good hurts. I don’t want good. I don’t need good.

But ok. I can handle ok. I can do ok. I can be ok.

Sometimes it seems that ok is out of my grasp. That I am just one small step away from being so not ok.

I just, need to be ok tonight. And I’m not. And I don’t know what to do.

I am so…tired of not being ok. I want to be ok –so badly, that I hold onto the blind hope that there is something to be ok.

So this is me. Not being ok. Because that is the closest I can get to being ok. And right now…all I need is to just. Be. Ok.

I Failed Him

I never realized that something that seemed like it could be so good –could end, so bad.

Something that had so much potential to be good –could end in such disaster. Could go from being something that should have ended well, to something that should have never started to begin with.

Most will say that they saw it coming. That from the outside looking in, they knew. Because they always know. They always know what is going to happen, after it happens. They always have the answers when it isn’t any of their business and can always set you straight –so long as you would listen.

I suppose I was blinded by my pride. Blinded by the fact that I wanted this, so badly, that I didn’t care to think of any other options. That perhaps if I had honestly stopped and looked at things through a different perspective, I too, would agree: It wasn’t ideal. It isn’t that I ever thought it was, it was that I consider it to be the best option –for all involved. Instead of listening to sound logic, the voice of reason, a little bit of common sense perhaps –I carried on. Not thinking that others, or someone in particular, could be hurt in the process.

How could it?

I suppose you could say the only thing I did is prolong the inevitable. Clinging to blind hope, and wishing on falling stars is no way to live…and it isn’t any way to raise a child. Yet that’s exactly what I did.

He asked me months prior if I was upset with him. If I was disappointed in him. The truth is, I’m not. I am not angry with him for his decision. I am not upset that he couldn’t see another way out. I am not disappointed in him, or with him, or at him. That isn’t to say I’m not disappointed or upset. Because I am. Just not with him.

Rather, I am disappointed and upset that I failed him. When he was needed someone most –I let him down the hardest. When he needed help –I walked away. When he needed understanding –I didn’t understand.

I failed to get him help sooner. I failed to see things differently than I thought. I failed him. I failed him because I wanted to believe that it would be ok. I wanted to believe so badly that he was ok. I wanted to hold onto the blind hope, the falling stars, the invisible ropes –I wanted to hold onto them so badly that I failed to realize that he was dying right before my eyes.

I never realized something like this could or would end so badly –and yet I should have. I should have listened, I should have seen, I should have paid better attention to the warning signs that were coming years prior. I should have…and yet I didn’t.

Countless times I flew on the blind hope that everything would be ok –because it had to be. As if wishing would change the course we were on. As if.

I wish I could say it weren’t true. I wish I could say I did everything I could, but I didn’t. There is help. There is awareness, support, answers and solid help for this. And yet. I failed to realize just how badly he needed help.

I failed him.

I failed him.

The very thing I said I would do, the very thing I promised, the very fight I said I would fight –I failed to do.

Because when it comes down to it –I should have seen it coming, far before anyone else. While others gather around saying that they saw it coming, that they saw it coming for years. That they knew he wasn’t ok and wouldn’t be ok –I held to my invisible hope that flying blindly would work.

Because it had to.

And yet it wasn’t.

It never was.

Three Months

Three months, came and went. Without a mention of his name, or a whisper of who he was. It came and went as if he never existed, as if he were right –that it wouldn’t matter now that he was gone. Except that it does matter. It did matter, and it always will matter.

Except that, as time slowly ticks by –he is forgotten. By everyone. I am expected, in a sense, to forget him as well. To move on. To not remember. To ignore. Because this loss? Isn’t mine. It isn’t for me. It isn’t about me.

To anyone else –he was just another boy. Another number. Statistic. He wasn’t closely related to me, therefore, the loss is not mine. While it isn’t said in those words –it is implied. Heavily. In the tones of voice and change of attitude. He was just my nephew. But as the numbness gives way to the intense pain that comes from losing someone –I am reminded, painfully, that he was more. So much more. Yet I don’t have the words to say this.

My heart skips to an irregular beat, my head spins with memories that shouldn’t belong to me. My mind, filled with should haves, could haves, would haves –is silenced. The pain I feel is not warranted.

Why would I seek out help –when I know there is none?

I am not afraid to admit that I am not strong enough to be rejected, once again. Friends have returned to their otherwise busy lives, and stopped asking –mere days after he died. It was as if there was a silent relief that filled their minds…because finally, I could stop talking about him. Finally, I could just admit that he was a lost cause. Finally, I could return to ‘normal’ –except…

He wasn’t a lost cause, and there is no normal.

He was hurting. He, among countless others –was not given the help he needed. The help that everyone says is there –but isn’t. The help that is ‘just a phone call away’ is too far. Especially when you are hurting that badly. When you can barely keep your head above the water –there is no point in making a phone call, because you just cannot handle the rejection –again. All over. Once more.

I have searched just about every avenue I can, looking for something –someone –to relate to. But instead I am met with empty doors, and silenced friends. As harsh as it sounds – I cannot bear to hear their happy news. I do not want to know how well their children are doing, or how successful their job is. I don’t want to hear how great their lives are –because it contrasts just how horrible mine is. It isn’t that I do this to be mean, or selfish –it’s just that the hole in my heart from losing ‘just my nephew’ is so large –I cannot fathom that anything good can be happening.

I don’t need people to fall over backwards, I don’t need people to say his name everyday –but a simple acknowledgment –really could do wonders.

Tell me you remember him. That he wasn’t a lost cause. That his life mattered. That he was important. Tell me that he didn’t die in vain. Tell me that you don’t know what to say. Tell me anything –just don’t ignore the gaping hole that has swallowed me alive, and expect me to acknowledge the goodness that has surrounded you.

Because I am just barely keeping my head above the water…

…and don’t know how much longer I can.

I Just…

Sometimes, there just are no words.

People tell me I need to keep writing. That it is ‘good’ to keep writing. Yet I don’t feel this way. Because I just…

I just…

I just.

It is all that comes to mind. All that seems to sum things up. It is the only thing that makes any sense at any given moment. When my words only seem to tie my mind up, holding everything else hostage in its mangled mess of madness “I just” is the only thing that will set me free.

I just…

I just don’t understand. I just can’t deal with this. I just don’t want to deal today. I just. I just. I just.

When the pain is so thick, when I feel it pulsing through my veins and come through my fingertips, when I can barely function –yet smile at the crowds and comfort those around me with an “I am fine…but really, how are YOU?” The words, they comfort me. “I just…”

Why bother others with my tales of woe? Why disclose how I really feel when there is nothing that can be done. When it only brings on more pain and more empty hope? When every stone has been overturned, and every avenue explored –why bother looking for something when there is absolutely nothing? When I search for answers, purpose, meaning and help –the words are always there to bring me back around…”I just…”

I just don’t know. I just can’t wrap my mind around it. I just don’t know how I will do another day. I just don’t know why I would want to.

When people tell me well-meaning things, when people seem to have moved on, when people don’t understand, when others forget, when guilt moves in…the words are there to help combat and offset. “I just…”

Because they hold very little meaning. They mean absolutely nothing. They hold no greater meaning. They just sum up what I can’t in a neat, two word sentence…they say everything and nothing, because I just…

I just don’t know anymore.

I just don’t care.

I just can’t.

I just.

I just.

I just.


“I lost my nephew.”

The phrase itself doesn’t seem to mean much. The questions that follow are usually related around his family: his parents, siblings, etc. The ones that were (or were supposed to be) close to him, the ones –that should have been here to walk this difficult path with him. Yet instead –he was stuck with me. Me. Who thought –like the blind fool that I am –that he, of all people, would be ok.

Eight years ago I decided to give it my all. After weathering a couple of the most difficult years in my entire life –I gave up everything –everything –to pursue them. I changed my entire life, for them. I fought like nobody’s business to get them back. Because I thought it was the right thing. I ignored everyone who thought other, and pushed my way to the top –choosing to believe that these kids were my second chance. I fought so hard that I failed to realize the logic, I suppose. I was blindsided. I was zoned in. I had tunnel vision. I refused to see any other option: Because if I looked any other direction –I would have given up.

I would have given up eight years ago, because I had lost everything that meant anything to me.

Except that I didn’t. I chose to fight. I chose them.

No, it hasn’t been easy. I have questioned myself –countless times, but the one comfort that I could always give myself was that I was doing the best for these kids. I was giving them everything I could. I was doing my best. The rest just had to be ok.

Except that…

I failed to realize, that, it perhaps, wasn’t the best.

…and ten weeks ago, I “lost my nephew.”

Or rather, I signed the papers and watched as they unhooked the machines keeping him alive –because let’s be honest here, he really died last year sometime. Or perhaps, he died ten years ago –with the rest of his family.

Yes, I lost my nephew. But I also lost a whole lot more. I lost my focus. My goals. My reason. My logic. I lost my hope. My security. My safety net. I lost my footing. My grip. My hold.

Perhaps it is unfair to say that. Perhaps it sounds like I put too much weight on these kids. Like I depend on them too much. But the truth is…I do. I worked so hard to get them back, to love them, to give them the life they deserved. I worked so hard –I pushed everything, literally, everything aside for them. I was ready to give up –eight years ago, and some reason –I felt compelled to give it one last shot.

…and now.

Now all that has been reduced to a simple statement that means absolutely nothing. A statement that doesn’t seem to mean anything to anyone. A statement that doesn’t seem to say just what has happened.

When I say the words: I lost my nephew, inside –my heart screams out. He was more than that. He was more. Why can’t you see. Why can’t you understand. Why don’t you see:

I lost everything.

Taking a Break

Looking back, I often wish I would have written more. More especially during those dark and early days where up and down don’t seem to have an order. The days where you really don’t honestly know if what is happening is real, or if it is all just a big nightmare that one day (hopefully soon) you will wake up from. But living through it, yet again, I have a different perspective. Many times I have sat to write –and come up empty handed. I simply have no words. There are no words. There is nothing that can be said. There simply is, nothing.

The reason I wrote very little wasn’t because there weren’t a million and one things racing through my head, causing train wrecks at every corner, it simply was because there was nothing to be said. While there was plenty going on, plenty of angry thoughts, empty threats and useless words –nothing made sense and nothing would form into thoughts. Sentences. Paragraphs. There was nothing. There is nothing.

Just a bunch of hot and angry thoughts that demand to be answered, yet are deemed unanswerable.

Life is more about living in the moment. Living through the moments. Living for the moments. It isn’t made up of days anymore. In fact, there hardly are days anymore. I don’t know what today is, or what tomorrow is. I have a rough idea that there are days passing by, but not a solid idea on what today is. I rely on others to tell me if there is something of importance that needs to be done, because right now…right today, I am living in moments. Brief snippets of life. Desperately trying to regain something…from absolutely nothing.

I’m taking a break. From life, from writing, from work. From everything. I need some time. Some time to regain my mind, my composure and most importantly…my words.

A few days ago I boarded on an airplane that took me far, far away from that familiar world of mine. After spending hours on an airplane –I landed in a seemingly familiar, yet all too foreign land. A place where I am free to live confused and on a timeless basis. A place where I have no responsibility to the outside world, or an image to withhold. A place that isn’t riddled with questions, and reasons. A place that sees me as I am now –the same as I was before. And not a changed or different, damaged or broken version.

A place where I can truly just be.

Without having to try and string together words. Or make lunches, and deadlines. A place where I don’t have to pretend to be ok –but can honestly just be. Ok or not ok. And no one knows the difference.

One day, I plan to return. To life. To my words. To everything that means the most to me. To the broken land of hurt and pain. To the place where I have to come to terms with what has happened, but until then…until then I choose to embrace the moments. I choose to immerse myself with the unfamiliar, new and adventurous nature that doesn’t come naturally –but pushes me.

I’m not ready to plunge head first into the details of what happened. I’m not strong enough to fight for awareness, or bring attention to the things that happened –regardless of how many lives it may change. I’m just not there yet. One day, I will. I promise that one day –all this will be for something. That this life and this death will not be in vain…but that day…is not today.

Today. I am living in the moment. The moment that says time has no restraints on me. I live by the sun that comes up in the morning and sets by night. I don’t wear a watch, don’t carry a phone and don’t live on my computer. Today, I live. Surrounded by moments that one day –will carry me through the rough realization that this…is not reality. But today. Today I live. In the moments.

When The Walls Fall In

2f803f3fa71ab35b018623a239fc7c65I woke up last night in a deep panic. It took a few hours of talking myself down before I was calm enough to make sense of what was happening. The main reason being that I couldn’t argue that the things I was dreaming / thinking about, weren’t true. Because they were, in fact, very true. There were fractures of untruths scattered in, but in the moment of panic -deciphering truths isn’t my strongest suit.

It’s ironic that on the one day that I just want to bury my head and not be ok -I have to get up and show the world how its done. For reasons that are still unknown to me.

It’s terrifying to know that I’m falling -and this time there is no safety net. Nothing to stop me. I simply don’t know if I am strong enough to save myself from falling deeper and deeper.

It’s as if the entire world has forgotten already. Two short weeks later, and the entire world has moved on. It continues to spin -uninterrupted. Lives continue to move on unobstructed. And as if I am supposed to somehow be moving on with them I try. I put one foot in front of the other. I smile when appropriate, and laugh on demand. I say I’m ok, and inquire about the status of others. I listen as they tell me the details of their own lives -their own unobstructed lives.

…and at the end of the day, I pull the blankets up over my head and stare into the darkness.

Because there is nothing left to do.

There is no walking away from this. There is no being ok. There is no recovering. There is nothing anyone can do to make it better -so why put that burden on them. Why seek out answers when there are none. Why seek help when there is none. Why attempt to be ok when there is no definition for ok.

As if it matters, I attend meeting after meeting. I hear the words, and recognize that people are talking to me. Asking my opinion. Looking for my input. Hoping I will make the decision. It’s up to me, they say. It’s in my hands. His future, his school, his education, his life. The very thing I worked so hard to achieve for them all -and failed, miserably at. Is still somehow in my hands. The only difference is I no longer feel adequate to make these decisions.

It isn’t a matter of what if, it’s a matter of when. When will I screw this up. When will I fail this. Again.

Against my better judgment, I make the call. Not because I think I should, but because at this point all I can do is keep on pretending. Until that day arrives and I can finally admit the very thing that everyone already knows: I am not cut out for this.

These kids were the only thing keeping me from drowning, ten years ago. The weight of the responsibility, enough to drown me, was the very thing that kept me afloat for so many years. And now it is gone.

I get up, I get dressed. I carefully walk the thin balance beam of routine that has been carved out to help the remaining kid, and then we go our separate ways. I wonder how much longer I will be able to keep up the persona that everything is ok. We are ok. Until that too comes crashing in.

Relief, perhaps.

When I no longer have to carry the burden that I know what I am doing. That I am ok. That this life is just fine. That we will make it. Because when it all comes down to it, the only thing that is left is to give up.

There is no coming back.

Not this time.

Not ever.

But until then, I am fine.

We, are fine.

Dylan Thomas

December 12, 1998 – July 14, 2015

Two years after unearthing the cold truth that there was something more than “Just being a teenager” wrong, eight months of constant worry and wonder, therapist and meetings, two months after an official diagnosis, seven months after his sixteenth birthday and countless hours of time spent in pain -it is over.

For him, at least.

After riding the rollercoaster and walking the tightrope of trying to find help, and wanting to believe that he was ok -it has all come to an end. An end that no one but he wanted. In a way that no one but himself wanted.

Countless well meaning people have told me numbers of well meaning things in the past. The fool proof plan of it all, the reason it is, why he was the way he was and of course, how to fix him. As if he were a broken toy that just needed new batteries. As if somehow I hadn’t thought of the glaringly obvious notion that there might be something causing him to think this way. As if.

I feel like I have been in this spot enough to know, like being here should seem familiar. Like I should have all the answers to all the questions, and should be schooled enough to know if this is ‘normal.’ But instead I am left feeling absolutely nothing.

Which is perhaps the worst feeling of them all.

Knowing that someone who has been such a major part of your life for so long -is gone, is one thing. Understanding it is a completely different ball game.

I don’t know if its ok. I don’t know if it will ever be ok. I don’t even know if that will be ok.

It may have been what he wanted, to finally put an end to the endless running inside his mind, it may have been his way of finally getting a release after all these years. But with his release comes a wave of confusion. It uproots the entire base of life, and sends you into a tailspin of trying to grasp reality, while having nothing to hold onto.

I’m sorry it wasn’t enough. That there wasn’t enough that could be done to help.

The Irony of It

They say when you are dying, or someone is dying, that your life (or theirs, I suppose) flashes through your mind.  That you have all sorts of thoughts.  On what you did, should have done, could have done, would have done.  Maybe that’s true.  I don’t remember.  All I know that is today -there are no thoughts running through my head.  No memories.  No thoughts.  There is absolutely nothing.  My mind is completely empty.  So empty, in fact, that when I attempted to talk to someone today it came out in a mad jumble of nonsense that made NO sense, and made me sound like I was irritated with the person I was talking to.

I have mentally begged to stop every step of the way.  I didn’t want to get out of bed that Saturday morning.  I didn’t want to get in the car.  Didn’t want to get on the airplane.  I didn’t want to walk the halls of the hospital.  Every door in that seemingly endless row of doors that we passed, I gained a small fraction of hope that maybe, just maybe we would keep walking.  And we wouldn’t have to stop.  We would just keep going.  But just as I started to entertain these thoughts, the nurse stopped, opened the door -and led us in.  Shattering whatever hope remained.  No matter how foolish it may have been.

As if stopping, would somehow bring this all to a screeching halt.

It’s ironic, much of it.  Ironic that six years ago I was writing that it “Was Over.”  Ironic that I honestly believed that at the time, it was over.  The we had finally found that middle ground where things would probably suck at times -but we would make it out.  Ironic because out of all of them, I really believed he was the one that would be ok.  Ironic, I supposed -that I let myself believe these things.  Blind hope, I suppose.

The one question that has been haunting me I suppose, is wondering what was missed.  Obviously I suppose it was just being blinded by the false hope that reality was ok -when really, it wasn’t.  Choosing to believe that things were ok -when they weren’t.  Holding onto hope that this life really had something worth holding onto -when really, the only thing there is to hold onto is the reality that things will never be ok.

It’s ironic, I suppose -that the one place I have fought so hard to stay away from, is the one place that seems the most inviting and the most comforting.  Ironic that I tried.  That I thought this would work.  That it would be better.

I guess the only thing that really rings true, is this time, perhaps -it really is over.