Sunday, July 05, 2009

Living with COPD

Life is such a joke sometimes that you have to laugh it off. One has to live and breathe and do everything in this short little time.

I was having an okay time in life, not too good and not too bad and then something happened and the plane went down and something broke inside me or maybe it was broken already and I just felt the broken edges trying to pierce my insides. May it be any reason, you or shall we call it love or happenstance or rose by any other name etc but I stopped living. It was like being suspended in time but with the time passing.

Seeing my x rays for the first time with those lungs like maps meant nothing to me until the doctor explained that mine are like that of a 40 year old smoker. Innocent that I was, I said, but I don't smoke. It's not smoking, it's something else. You have to be more careful than the rest. I didn't give a damn because I suppose when you're in your early 20s, everything is bullshit and you're so high on life and friends and university and colors and trees and driving fast and listening to all sorts of new music and experimenting with that music and trying to discover yourself and God and forgiving and forgetting that you just don't give a damn about a couple of badly scarred 40 year old lungs inside the body of a 20 year old.

I'd been away from the internet for long and away from everything and I started thinking, why has it stopped me from living life. Just because you weren't there, why did I stop breathing. I couldn't breathe anyway.

The realization hit me that it was almost (less than) a decade ago that I was given that black & white plastic picture of my tattery breathing sacks and I wondered if my lungs were 50 years old now. So I remembered that I started smoking to kill myself and I smoked on and off without any conviction of addiction (because other than you, I never got addicted to anyone or anything) and it hit me that now my lungs must be older than just 50.

A person like me is not scared of death, just what they're taking to the next world and what they're leaving in this one. I have known it for more than a year now that I don't have much time and I didn't want to give myself the false sympathy nor take it from anyone about 'making it' but something happened and I wanted to live!

I think it was the hope that you'll come back to me. I kept that flame alive in my scarred body parts. Young old body parts. I used to cry when someone young died. I never wanted anyone to cry when I was gone (the delusion that someone might remember me long enough... ah!).

Then the flame left and I thought what am I? Am I an empty shell? But I wasn't. I have too many scars, killing scars, pustulating scars, itching scars. I have things to show for my journey, shorter though it may be than others but what does it matter.

So at first I faked a laugh. It hurt my lungs. It really did. I coughed. It even made me huff and puff. I couldn't breathe or maybe I was used to the feeling of not breathing so much that I just didn't want to anymore.

But when I actually heard my laughter, I remembered how I used to laugh. Even I used to love my laughter. I, who never much loved anything about myself, used to love my laugh and enjoy it. I was encouraged and I laughed again and again and I smiled to myself. So what if you don't love me anymore and what if you wouldn't care if I died? You won't even know it until I was gone for many many months. Perhaps many many years.

That stopped the laughter but I wasn't going to give up. I wanted to capture that essence. The crazy essence. People still tell me I look like I'm 16. I heard it in the gym that I didn't look a day younger than 18. Someone didn't want to talk to me when I came back from England because they thought I was just 14. It used to make me feel worse not because it couldn't make me happy that everyone thought I was so young but that no one could see how old my heart and lungs had become and how I had let everything wither me so much.

No more. I realized that I don't want to be old. It's been my goal since I was a kid. To die young. I wanted to be the literal member of the 27 club. How Gothic! No more. I love nature. I miss it. I miss that I was lying among pines and listening to the sea.

I miss writing poetry that was based on other people's emotions. I miss writing at all. I miss looking and seeing. I miss talking to my friends. I'm afraid that I've lost them to this old young self. I miss drawing and painting and playing. I miss being quiet, calm and collected. I know that I might not regain any of that but I want to get that essence back. I know it's somewhere inside me, lost though it may be.

That essence is needed for the happy survival. To not pretend anymore. To not wait anymore for someone or something that won't ever arrive. To just be happy in the small things. To listen to my happy self. To leave the darkness behind or to meet it when the right time is there.

I still get sad. I weep more now but I don't hate myself for it. I let the sadness roll off me and like waves leaving me clean and pure. I cried that I was just an innocent. I wept that I was just a baby when I met you. I didn't know anything. Someone had been cruel to me when I was a child but I still didn't understand it. I forgive! I forgive!

I must learn to forgive myself too. The blood of the innocent is on my hands as much as anyone else. I suppose more so on mine than any others. I love myself too.

Now when I laugh, I mean it. It's not like the days haven't been tough but just to hear my lungs making an effort to do something nice is good. When I come home, I wash the stains of everyday. I don't let them ruin my being. I want that when I cease to be, I don't have to carry them beyond this world.

Scars are okay but stains are not.

Gut nicht!


Ana Tapadas said...

A vida é sempre um caminho que se faz caminhando. Pensá-la é sofrê-la muito. Há que viver cada dia, acolher cada gota de orvalho e aproveitar as coisas simples. O essencial raramente é o que supomos.

*do you put a google translater on yuor blog?

سطحية said...

you are not owning your life if you still think of that garbage who has left you. sorry, but I have to say this. YOU DO NOT OWN YOUR LIFE!! wake up! I used to be like this but not anymore. Why are you so weak? just forgot about the whole sh*t named "men".
Yes, laugh. Life is just so beautiful and you miss everything thinking of stupid things. Love yourself. BE SELFISH. NO ONE is gonna love you if you do not love yourself. Go to nature, take care of children, work hard to own your own house, read the books you like, write poems as you like, keep searching for God and just keep laughing..
sorry for being so harsh..

Girl Khan said...

No dear Sat-hi-ya (I hope I got it right), I don't care about him and he's neither garbage nor anything else but just a human being, very common and commonplace, like all others and like no other. I don't love him because he is great. I just love him because there was something of me that I thought was reflected in him. I think in the end, I was loving those glowing facets of myself but just didn't seem them as me.
Yes, I am weak but only human. I'm trying to be strong now and I don't mind if you're harsh. I didn't feel that you were. I loved your words.
I just don't want to be bitter anymore. I want to move over. Maybe I even have. It's a time in my life where I'm sure of so many things but not sure of myself. I'm taking baby steps to find out. Knowing that there's someone out there that cares makes it easy.

Girl Khan said...

Dear Ana, I'll put google translator on my blog in a while. I'm sorry that I couldn't get back to you earlier. I hope you're doing fine.
I wish we could understand each other easily. I want to know the real meaning of your words but all translators mix them up.