The Adventures of Kidney Boy

A Journal About Living With End Stage Renal Disease. Dialysis. Transplants. Love. Family. Friends. The Unsung Donor. This is my life, from the end of a needle to the bottom of a pill bottle.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ten Years After.

Ten years ago.

Ten years ago... I was a boy.  Probably thought I was a man.  I definitely didn't know what the hell I was going to do with my life.

Ten years ago... I was feeling funny.

I'd always felt odd.  Oh, no, not just in that mental "I'm different!" way that everyone screams to themselves when they're locked away in their own brain - wondering if everyone can hear the thoughts that might creep out of their ears, unspoken yet heard - and judged.... the stares, the looks, the whispers the laughs.

Yeah.  This is how I was starting to feel ten years ago.   I was feeling.... crazy.

Boy my mind felt it, but so did my body.  I had trouble sleeping.  I always did, though - I had sleep apnea.  I slept with a CPAP for the last four years... everyone called it my "Darth Vader Mask".  I'd always been overweight... I ate crap, like a typical college student.  I'd drink every once in a while, but that had been making me feel even worse in the last six months.  I used to casually drink the same beer all night, pretending that it was a different drink every time someone saw me.

I couldn't concentrate in school.  I'd been back in school for over a year now, after a lapse in enrollment where I basically floundered around, wondering what the hell I was doing on the planet.  I worked odd jobs.  I played in a rock band.  I mostly just wasted time.  Waiting.  Waiting for something.   So being in school again at least felt like some kind of direction.

But classes - I just couldn't make it to them.  Or concentrate in them.  Some days I'd show up, and feel like I learned something or participated in a meaningful way, other days, I felt like a husk in a chair.

I was getting paranoid.  Like I was some kind of neglegent drug addict.  Only... I wasn't doing any drugs.  I wasn't doing anything.... my friends seemed to be judging me... or I thought they were.  Life seemed so dark.  I felt like I was just an eating, craping, and sleeping machine.  A living biological failure, doomed to wander through a black and gray world until my biological processes stopped.  What was going on?  Where was the world I loved?  The world I used to cherish - and celebrate... my body hurt.... and suddenly, I got a weird pain in my bladder and in my back when I peed sometimes?  Was this my punishment for eating too much crap and drinking too much when I was younger?  I didn't indulge any more than any of my other friends... and they were fine, living away their lives with the same reckless abandon we all did.... I just couldn't.

People tried to talk to me.  I didn't hear them.  Useless bags of flesh yapping their jaws at me - telling me things I already knew.  Things I knew and didn't want to hear again.  I wanted them to go away.  I wanted me to go away.

Ten years ago, I was going mad.  I was losing it.  My mind had finally frayed - all the years of stress I put it through with my neurosis and over-thinking.  All the pain I caused it with bad decisions.  All the late nights, lying in bed, having panic attacks on life.

My brain, my precious mind, had given up on me.  Just like everyone else.  Everyone else had already written me off.  I was lazy.  Indigent.  Incompetent. Morose. Labeled.  Packed away, written off.  "He's twenty four, he knows better."

All I had was my mind.  It always loved me, even though I was a mess.  But now, it too had packed up it's bags and left the Steve train.

I was alone.  So utterly alone.  I'd always been alone - even in a crowd of people.  Even surrounded by friends.  Even when enjoying life, oh - I was so utterly alone.  Something.  Was. Always.  Wrong.

I would end it.  I would let go.  I'd drift through this as long as I could.  Then something would come and take me.  I could feel it.  It didn't even matter.

Ten years ago. I think I died.

Ten years ago.  A decade.  A decade has passed me by.  And though, in almost two months from around now in 2002, I was taken to an ER, and immediately placed on dialysis - saving me, and changing my life forever, I definitely think something died in me that fall/winter of 2002.

I was twenty four.

The arrow of time has kicked me along to thirty-four, and what a different life I've lived in the ensuing 10 years.  What an amazing and different life.

Sometimes you have to die to be reborn better.  Stronger.  Happier.

But it doesn't mean that sometimes I don't mourn the life I lost 10 years ago.  Now I just cherish that I'm basically still a baby, learning a great new life after only 10 years.

I hope I'm around for this ride a lot longer.