Deathbed Diary: On Neediness

Death and taxes are a fact of life. Unfortunately for more than 70,000 women (and men) in the U.S. between the ages of 20-39, they will add cancer to that list too, more specifically breast cancer. It’s a growing epidemic striking more women per year and at younger ages. In fact, every day, three women under the age of 40 die from this disease and after the age of 35, it becomes one of most common ways a woman will die. Under this shit-pile of facts is one woman’s story.

People have always liked me because I’m fun. I love to laugh and would like to think I was born with a rapier wit and an undeniable charisma. When I’m in a good mood and on a roll, nothing can stop me. However, as my joie de vivre depletes, I’ve found myself wondering, “What next?”

The cliché of my situation is to sink into irrelevancy and die, but what fun is that? Too bad I know I am no longer the person I once was and as I face the consequences of my syndrome, I see the distance between being normal and not becoming more vacuous and distant. It’s sad, as I know that no matter how deep I may want my relationships go, they can only go so far. No one is going to be fighting to wipe my ass or spend endless nights saving me from myself (not that I expect that of anyone, or even think such a thing is possible). As they say, everyone dies alone.

Once I start down that slippery slope of thinking of myself as a victim, it gets harder, if next to impossible, to slam on the brakes. Sure, I can keep increasing my mood meds to flatten me out, but it feels like a disservice, as I need to feel in order to be who I am — but when it’s hard to get through the day sometimes without wanting to blow out my brains, what’s the point?

Although I’ve approached my life like I’ve been conducting a series of science experiments, exploring all my “what if’s” and looking to turn my theories into fact, cancer presents too many dreadful questions that appear to only have dreadful answers. I’ve spent four years grasping onto normalcy like a security blanket, but my grip is loosening and even I am having a hard time believing in it. I want to be normal, to be treated the same as I always have been by the people I know and love. Yet, I also want everyone to swaddle me up and cradle me until I fill with all the genuine love of the universe. It’s like wanting the unicorn side to everyone, every time you see them. Impossible.

How I approach this disease is the cue others will follow — but when you don’t know up from down, the directions aren’t so easy to understand, let alone explain to others. As someone who doesn’t easily express her feelings, I also know I can’t expect to be surrounded by mind-readers. Looking okay and feeling the same don’t always coincide, and while people with good intentions fill my world, I’m not entitled to have them revolve around me. Sure, I might have the most dire problem in my circle of friends and family members, but it’s hardly the only one. So, while bitterness threatens to incinerate my mood, I still have the responsibility of being bearable.

I don’t want my demons to get the last word, but lately, it seems destined. I can’t even blame anyone for not wanting to put up with this either, as I’m sick of it myself. I’m not one for marathons and this long march towards death can only go on so long before I’ll chase everyone out of my life with these monstrous waves of neediness, anger and sorrow. Love and loyalty are subjective — they don’t always last as long as you need them to, or are as strong as you think, or are shown in the ways you expect. As far as how long anyone will want to be around a Debbie Downer with a vicious streak, I’ll have to wait and see. But fuck me, it’s hard to be good company when you’re dying.

The anonymous blogger behind Deathbed Diary is officially on Twitter. Follow her at @KillerTitz.