Letters to Myself – 2 of 5

March 2004

Hey J,

Still can’t sleep? I know, it sucks.  You have trouble thinking and feel exhausted all day, then as soon as your head hits the pillow, your brain won’t shut up.  I hate to tell you this, but that doesn’t completely go away, and it’s just as frustrating now.  I don’t want to make you out to be a junkie-in-training, but let me just say this one word: Gravol.

Sorry, I don’t think there are drugs powerful enough to help with the other issues.   No offence taken here, man, it is pure fucking hell right now, I know.  That’s the only way to describe it.  Hey, I have gone through everything EXACTLY as you have, and I still don’t know what to say to you now.  I know you’re not looking for a quick answer to everything, just the tiniest bit of relief.  I hear you but you’ll spend countless more nights awake in bed, trying to make the slightest shred of sense out of it.  There is no way around it.  I wish there was too,  but you have to go through it, and I mean right through the middle – where it’s the most torturous, dark, silent, and lonely.

I’m not going to tell you to be thankful for trials and suffering.  I’m not going to tell you God has a plan.  I’m not even going to tell you to pray about it because, as you know, platitudes like that come off sounding like thoughtless bullshit at a time like this.  But I will tell you two things.

First, and I want to validate this for you because you won’t hear it very often, is that what you have ahead of you isn’t easy.  It’s hard – like you said, fucking hard.  This is the most physically gruelling, psychologically punishing, and emotionally tormenting thing you’ll ever face and it would ruin some people.  No one can do this part for you,  so don’t let them tell you how to do it.  If you find anyone or anything, including your own expectations, pressuring you or thinking you could be doing a better job, to hell with them.  Really.  Trust your mind, if not your brain, your instincts, and what you know to be true.  Yes, this is a lonely trip for the next while and it’s all uphill, but there’s no other way.

Second, and you already know this, but I want to confirm it from eight years away, and that is that you make it out.

Just like you figured you would.

We were right.

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About jaybrandsma

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2 Responses to Letters to Myself – 2 of 5

  1. Naomi Unrau says:

    I feel like I’ve just “walked on holy ground.”

  2. Ugh, I keep hoping this latest bout of sleep issues will pass for you…I feel for ya Phil!!

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