“Where did this time go?” I asked myself in disbelief when I opened my dashboard again and read that it had been three months since my post “Diabetes” was published. I knew that it had been a while, but the extent of that period of time was obscured by daily events and musts. Many things happened of course, but also nothing particularly big occurred to keep me completely away from blogging. Tracking things back, it all started with the World Pancreatic Cancer Day and a very long translation I had to deliver in some reasonable time frame.
The World Pancreatic Cancer Day introduced me to the Twitter community I had evaded for so long, and suddenly I found myself in that vibrant wood of never ending tweets filled with hashtags and links, marked with a true ordeal to express myself in 140 characters. This trial overlapped with that difficult translation I was doing for days in a row, so Twitter was open in the background to keep my sanity in check in the much needed breaks. I don’t know if in the beginning I had some special hopes from this experience, but what I know is that most certainly I ended up quite disappointed. The constant flow of short tweets worsened my inability to focus on things, messed up my concentration, added unnecessary anxieties and left that bittersweet paradoxical impression that I was alone on a social network – nobody was reading my tweets as I was obviously just another anonymous newbie trying to figure out how things work.
3. WRITER’S BLOCK
There was another unusual consequence of formulating short thoughts only – whenever I contemplated on an idea for the blog there was a block, my mind was dominated by that horrible white page writers can stare at for hours with little to no success. It was as if I never liked to write as much as I did, as if I totally lost the ability to write, or as if I had nothing to say. As my translation progressed, this became more and more evident because at first I simply couldn’t wait to finish the translation and go back to blogging, only to end up utterly exhausted and with one desire only – to switch the computer off and deal with my own real world for a change.
The text I was translating was originally written in Turkish, converted to German and then loaded into some computer translation software (Google translate or similar) to get an English version! Now I was supposed to turn this broken and at times totally incomprehensible English into some decent and normal Serbian, wondering most of the time what on Earth the writer really wanted to say. I think that my head still aches two months later, so you can imagine why I longed to run away from the screen and keyboard and take a break.
December slowly progressed towards the New Year’s holidays, which in my heart awoke even those deepest pains associated with the death of my father that managed somehow to subside over time. Holidays are to be celebrated with your family and loved ones, but the chair where my dad used to sit for as long as I’ve known the world around me remained dreadfully empty. This is not the worst, the worst comes with the final realization that his place will stay empty forever, that he’ll never occupy any other chair in this world any more or propose any other toast with that bright smile on his face I’ll never see again. Holidays in this Western civilization are also the time of the year when people buy presents big and small, the time for giving and making others happy. Me and my mom barely covered the basics, presents couldn’t be considered. I remember how warm were dad’s midnight greetings and how happily he looked under the tree to search for his presents and wait to see how we liked his presents. No tree this year, no presents, lots of tears. I began to hate holidays.
6. LESSONS ON HOW TO STOP GRIEVING
I was also given a “lesson” on how to better process my loss and harshly criticized by someone who never arranged a burial or had anybody, let alone a close person or a loved one die on his hands, which cast another shadow on already gloomy holidays.
7. BUS ACCIDENT
Two days before the New Year’s eve I was on a bus that slid off the road and ended up severely inclined to the right. The doors had to be forced open so that we could all be pulled out uphill to the safe ground.
8. 2016 – The ILLNESS YEAR
The year 2016 started. On the morning of January 1st I opened my eyes and instantly realized that I couldn’t – swallow. I could, but the pain was terrible. Ok, I caught some virus, that was evident. What I didn’t know was that the flu would turn into pneumonia, that I would break the same tooth twice on 2 separate pieces of bone hidden in meat for holidays, that I would have to have it pulled out while still with fever after very strong prolonged pains due to dentists not working for holidays and that my gums would get inflamed beyond belief… and the worst of all, that my lungs and coughing wouldn’t heal till the middle of February. If I knew all this, I think that I would choose not to wake up until January 1st 2017.
I sent out some job applications, but I didn’t get even just a short automatic courtesy reply that my applications weren’t taken into consideration.
10. LACK OF GOOD LUCK / HOPE
It seems that wherever I turn there are just closed doors around me, and that I keep banging my head against walls that are closing in on me. I do think that I used to have luck in this life, especially in my school years, but I also think that there must be a certain variable amount of good luck in our lives that comes with an expiration date. Mine seems to have expired, several years ago. Good things ended and life got severely restricted when agoraphobia hit me in 2007 like never before. I still think that my life ended right there in the street on one sunny April day, a street that I finally crossed on the 7th or 8th attempt in total panic, feeling as if I would lose my mind once and for all. On many occasions I believed that it would have been much better if I hadn’t survived crossing that street, at least I would have died without ever getting to know the depths of despair in the unjust fight for sanity, peace of mind, and finally even life of the person who was always there for me with true and unconditional love only a devoted parent can have for his / her child. My dad’s fight is over, my fights continue every day and as whatever I do nothing works, it really feels that life has given up on me. It’s as if there are no more tasks for me to perform on this planet, as if I’m no longer needed. If there is a bigger plan we know nothing about and if things should be exactly as they are even though we don’t understand why, then it seems that my mission is over. I have no other explanation for this life without life which consists of memories and painful and empty present days. I try hard to survive them, one after another, but it’s far from easy. It’s not a rant of a spoiled childish person and I don’t long for anything big, my dreams don’t go farther than a honest work for 100 dollars a month. I don’t dream of yachts, houses or exotic islands, I dream of a day in which somebody would come to keep me company and be my friend while we get on a city bus and go to a park without any fear or panic. I would like to buy a pair of jeans and a jacket, I haven’t done so in 10 years. At first I had means but I couldn’t get out of house, now I get out of house with tons of struggles but I don’t have means. It’s an unjust world, on one side you have people who don’t have what to eat and cover many miles to fetch water every day, those who survive on less than 50 dollars per month, those who struggle with illnesses and have no either material or realistic means to cure themselves… and on the other side, you have those who have everything, whose lives consist of constant fulfillment of their wildest dreams. I feel I still have things to offer, in spite of my panic disorder and pretty realistic odds that I’ll end up having cancer as well sooner or later, but somehow what I have to offer or say is not needed. Market dictates differently and it seems that I missed my trains.
11. FIGHTING AGAINST WINDMILLS… OR THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING
I’m still going on, in spite of everything, in spite of knowing that there is just tumbling downhill in front of me, that if I stay here long enough I’ll lose my dogs, mom and eventually a house as well if I don’t manage to earn something. I try not to think about it and live one day at a time, that’s what’s defined as “sane”, while sane and logical would be to be scared to death of such life perspective. People just tell you – oh something good will happen, you’ll see. THINK POSITIVELY. If you ask them what exactly to think to make such horrid life scenario positive and what’s the recipe for success, they have no idea, but they still repeat – think positively. Or something like this – keep your goals within objective limits. If you know how to shrink mine further down, speak freely, I’m all ears. Also if you know how to make good things happen just like that on their own, don’t hesitate to write.
Thanks for listening… and let’s “think positively” for the rest of this already pretty hard year. Be well and take care.