Monday, October 12, 2009

I Can No Longer Live With Myself.......

It is normal for most of us to imagine, expect, desire, or strive for a future better than our present. That presupposes a dissatisfaction with the present and disregards the fact that when the future arrives it becomes the present. Not the present that we were unhappy with but a new unrewarding present.

I find myself in a quandary. I can no longer aspire to a brighter future. My illness guarantees many unpleasant moments, and indeed, the reasonable expectation of a total loss of physical dignity. This dilemma forces me to try and find the path to happiness in the now. Not tomorrow, or next month, or even after work, but NOW.


When I was first diagnosed I quickly planned a future that ended with my suicide at just the right moment to spare my family from the burdens my illness would surely bring and to allow myself the dignity of death on my own terms. The right moment would be when I felt I could no longer live with myself.

I obsessed about a way I could make an empirical decision as to when the moment was here. The scientist in me tried to identify the variables and quantify the measures with which I could identify my self worth. I even created a spreadsheet to record the areas of subjective variables I might use.

I stepped outside my situation and took a fresh look at my ideas from the end point backwards rather than from my then current point of view (present to future). The end would come when "I could no longer live with mySELF."

Here's the deal. Who is the "I" and who is the "Self" and how can one have authority over the other, indeed, the authority to destroy them both.


There is a man than has wandered a five mile radius of my office for at least 15 years pushing either a lawnmower or a bicycle. He argues with himself rather loudly and never makes eye contact with anyone.

I was stopped at a red light as he walked by this morning. His strides were long and angry and he seemed to shout at the small push mower as he crossed the street in front of me. I thought to myself that "I hope I never become like him." Then I realized I had actually spoken the words and I was, in fact, having a conversation with myself.

There is a much thinner line between him and me than I had imagined.


Input and suggestions are always appreciated.


  1. That is a really DEEP entry there CW!! I can only imagine what all goes thru your head... not to mention your body! It's about "me", "I", "Self"... but... you have family that loves you. You might want to talk to "them" (UN-emotionlessly)... and try "us" and "we"! The 'angry lawn mower man way' can't compete with a friend... a son... a wife (specially a "Superwoman")... a Higher Authority!
    Oh... and btw... Your Maker/Savior KNOWS the day, the hour, the moment, the second!

  2. I've been thinking about what to say for a while now, and I think the commenter above really says it well.
    Must turn the I to WE. Must, must, must. Life is always about the WE.
    If I was your kid/spouse/relative, I'd be super pissed if you did it any other way ;)

  3. Oh, that is a hard life you're in right now. Please stay alive for your loved ones, as long as you can handle the pain. I pray for you, I do.


  4. Bob,
    As you know, my mom had the disease. She went to heaven on September 20th, by the way. She was the "go to" person at her assisted care, at her nursing home, and at the hospital. People were drawn to her wit, the twinkle in her eye, and her dry sense of humor, which had us rolling daily. As I observed her, I noticed something about myself. I am not the one to decide what "quality" of life is. My mom was still touching people up until the last day of her life. You are doing the same thing here. Don't minimize all God has in store for you in this new journey. Some will be bad, but lots will be good. Keep Him in your thoughts and motives, and you won't ever be the guy pushing the bicycle/mower.

  5. TnQrus,
    You understand that I love my family and would do anything to protect them from harm. Any Harm!

    I hear you but, it is just so hard. I've never been one to talk about "feelings." It's difficult to start now.

    I'm talking years, not days.

    I'm so sorry about your Mom. You never mentioned her that you didn't talk about her good humor. I hope my family will remember me in a similar fashion. Thankfully, most of them don't read my blog.

  6. CW... 5 thoughts:
    1. What you're going thru with your family is not HARM... it's LIFE! Don't shut them out!
    2. You said awhile back that 'Superwoman' now reads your blog! Don't you think this 'harms' her to read this? TALK TO HER (before you CAN'T)... LET HER LOVE YOU THRU THIS!!
    3. Does your LIFE INSURANCE still take care of your family if YOU decide when to end it all? If not... that, my friend, would be terribly 'harmful'!! :(
    4. PRAY for WISDOM... PEACE!!
    5. Great Quote: LITTLE FAITH will bring your soul to heaven, but GREAT FAITH will bring heaven to your soul!

  7. Dear Bob,

    As one of your friends, I wish you would chose to stay around as long as possible, but that is a selfish wish. Ultimately, it will be your choice, your life, your timing. You were given free will to make these decisions. I know that if I were in your shoes I would hang in there as long as I could still find enjoyment, meaning, growth, humor that out weighed the negative aspects. And at some point I would know when it didn't and I would lovingly give myself permission to be done.

  8. TnQrus,
    Yes, S-woman does read my blog and, on many levels, I am using it to communicate things to her that would be more difficult in a face-to face. Even this post opened dialog between us about the "S-word." Mission Accomplished.

    Somehow I knew you'd understand. Thanks!

  9. Dear CW... As I said before, I can only IMAGINE what you're going thru! I'm so glad you have this site to give you the outlet and means of communication... with not only your family, but US!! You have a wonderful way of sharing your intermost feelings! Thank you for letting us, (strangers), have a glimpse into your ever-changing psychi. Please don't stop! :)

    P.S. what happened to your soothing 'water drop' sound effect? I loved it and oftened kept your page minimized so I could hear that sound! It also helped keep YOU on my mind!

  10. TnQRus,

    P.S. LOL - The sound was linked to my counter which had a dolphin jumping in and out of the water, thus the splashing sound. I was afraid it would drive people nuts so I disabled it.

  11. I didn't make a spread sheet or anything; however, I have decided that when the sensation of being trapped in my own body is to much to bear, I will strap antlers to my helmet wear brown and white, and have my friends push me out into the woods on my bike during hunting season. Much to my surprise, I haven't had too many volunteers. =)

    I love your story about the lawnmower man.

  12. Hey there Bob. I wish I could say something, anything that would help. But I can't. I can't imagine what it's like being afflicted with your disease. I can't imagine for one fucking second everything that must go through your mind. Your posts give me a glimpse, but I'm positive that's all it is...a glimpse.

    I wish I could meet you, shake your good hand,and sit with you awhile. Don't know what I'd say. Yes I do. I do know what I'd say...I would say, Hey Bob. It's a beautiful day. You are here and I am here, alive. See you tomorrow my good man.

  13. Singletrack,
    The antler idea would definitely work here! Great option. :)

    My next post is going to be an eye opener. There is a tomorrow.


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