The Small Things
One thing for sure is I have. story to tell. The question is how do I tell it. There are so many angles from which I could tell my story. Perhaps the most sad point of view from which I could tell it is through the lens of depression. Two distinct times in my life when I knew and felt the meaning of depression. The first time was when my grandmother died. She was the salt of the earth. Every time I would see her, I would run up to her and give her a gigantic hug. During the summers I would pitch a fuss to stay with her and if anyone gave her any drama (like my uncle), he would quickly find himself on my short list. I loved her beyond belief. When she transitioned, we were visiting her at the hospital. It wasn't until we were back home (about an hour away) that I was told she had passed. Needless to say the messenger made it to my short list. I mean, why not tell me sooner? A dark, deep depression ensued. I was no good.
The second time depression found its way into my life is through this ordeal with COVID-19. If you didn't read my first article about my health journey, you can read it by clicking here. It will help provide some context for this article. Most people might think the depression was a result of COVID-19 being so rough and traumatic. That would be a good guess. However, I already wrote about the fact that COVID-19 itself was not that bad, it was more of a mild cold/flu like illness. I often wonder if that is because I had built up a strong immune system by eating a Vegan, no salt, no dairy, no oil, and no sugar diet. I cannot be sure. The time following COVID-19, and all that it entailed, had me contemplating life and the relevancy of it. I was severely depressed. I would often talk to my close confidants about my desire to not live. I know this is not such a happy article.
However, as I go through this experience, I wanted to write about it. I want to write about it for a couple reasons: 1) I want to write about this because I want to chronicle my experience. I cannot afford to forget how I felt through this ordeal. I cannot afford to act like it was not monumental in my life. Writing it here is cathartic. Writing it here will allow me to forever remember, reflect, and continue to grow from it. Besides, in Revelation 12:11, the Bible says "they overcame him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony." This is my testimony. 2) The second reason I want to write about this is because I am certain someone out there is also going through a seemingly impossible situation. It might be helpful to see how someone else navigates a seemingly impossible situation.
The aftermath of having COVID-19, sent me into a deep, deep depression. Having to hear a doctor say, "You are in end-stage kidney failure," seems absolutely unreal. It cannot be possible. Prior to I have never even as much as had my tonsil taken out. Now, you're telling me my body is failing itself. That's not all. In addition to failing itself, there is some real pain, discomfort. My scrotum swells and doesn't allow me to walk, I am constantly out of breath due to the backed up fluid everywhere, my legs are so thick and stiff they don't bend regularly, and my feet swell like balloons. Doing everything that I once did with ease, like walking and talking became painful. The saddest thing is while all this is happening to me, it's not like life slows down. There aren't less events to attend, less people looking for you to hang out, or less activities for you to partake in. You just simply can't do the things that you used to do. Essentially, your quality of life is shaken (well, turned upside down). For me, the worst part has been the medicine. It literally makes me vomit. I went from zero pills to 30 pills almost over night. You would think the medicine would make you feel better, for me I felt horrible (all the time). I would get excruciating headaches. If you're anything like me, I would rather you chop off my pinky toe than to have a headache. Seriously, a headache can really put you ten-toes up. For me, all this culminated in my questioning what is the purpose of life. Why should I keep living? I was depressed.
If you're going through a similar situation, you should pause reading this and listen to Vashawn Mitchell's song, "Turning Around For Me." I would put this song on repeat and alone in my room, I would cry. I would cry because of the pain. I would cry because of the discomfort. I would cry because the emotional turmoil. And, I would cry because I knew it was (and still is) going to turn around for me. The song says, "I can see the breaking of day...and it won't always be like this. He will perfect that concerning me. And sooner or later, it will turn in my favor."
I was prompted to write this article, because today - just now - it isDecember 28, 2022 and the sun is shining (take a look at the picture below).
Here I am visiting my sister's house. I wake up and notice the sun is beaming through the window. This is very significant. You see, there is one other devastating fact that I have not written about. Due to kidney failure, I am SEVERELY anemic. It is so severe that while everyone around me is sweating, I am often times shivering from freezing. It is so severe that I have to go to the hospital every two-weeks for out-patient infusion. It is so severe that the cold hurts my bones. So, I was so grateful to find a spot in the house where the sun was glaring through the window. It feels so good. Here, I am drinking a glass of hot tea, eating some grapes, and enjoying the beautiful sunshine. I just had to pause and capture this moment. Therefore, today, now, I chose to appreciate the small things. I told my nephew to come here and snap this picture of me with my hot tea, my grapes, and my laptop. Today must be thankful Wednesday. Because I am so grateful.
(This is my nephew - and photographer for the above picture, AJ. He is one of the best nephews in the whole wide world).