Monday, January 14, 2013
This Ambiguous Anniversary
My brother Pat died two years ago today. My blog is on fire. I miss him like it was just yesterday. I can't believe my writing is getting all this attention. He was too young when he let himself slip away from this earth. I am so proud of myself for expending tremendous emotional energy to write this blog. He said he was ready to join his wife's side in heaven. I am so proud of myself for sticking with my commitment to writing for my mental health. She died just a week before he found out he was dying of liver failure. Because the more I write about my own experiences with mental illness--and mental wellness--the better I feel. Pat wasn't done grieving his wife's death yet. I hope my stories inspire others to shrug off the stigma. The doctor asked Pat if he wanted a liver transplant. There is no shame in either dark pain or golden elation. He said no. But my confidence slips from time to time leaving me thinking, "What's the use?" How could we expect him to make the choice to stop drinking and take the doctor's offer of a second chance while he was grieving his wife's death? I've thought, "I'm not a real writer unless I'm published." So he left us two years ago tonight. But I am. I'm sad but I don't blame him. I'm self-published. I miss him. Writing is about reaching out, sharing feelings with others who feel them too. I love him. Each time I click that big orange Publish button on my blog, I feel like a real writer.