Monday, September 21, 2009

Why Me?

It's impossible not to ask this question. Why me? How could this happen to me? I've always felt compassion for those in my situation, and I wondered why they were the victims of such misfortune. I would tell myself to be grateful; that it could be me in their shoes just as easily as someone else. Still, I never dreamed it would actually happen.

Did I do something wrong to deserve this? I must have, right? How else can you explain it? I've always taken good care of myself. I eat healthy, hell, I was a college basketball player just over a year ago, for crying out loud. I was a good friend, a good brother and son, I worked hard. Then, all of a sudden I wake up in the middle of the night with a tumor that has about 40 cases a year and about a 20% survival rate. Where's the logic? What's the explanation? It doesn't seem fair.

I stopped asking these questions a long time ago because the reality is that it's not fair. It just isn't fair, and it doesn't matter how many times I ask the questions, there still won't be answers. In actuality, I knew that from the very beginning. I never really wondered about those things, though they crossed my mind, I mean, how couldn't they? But I knew that the answers didn't exist, just the same way that they didn't exist for all those other people I used to think about before me.

My parents, on the other hand, asked those questions over and over again. It kept them up at night, searching for some kind of explanation, why? I could have told them they were wasting their time and that it would only make things harder.

My mom invited the rabbi over to our house one night. I guess she hoped he might have answers. He offered support, naturally, but he didn't really have answers because once again, they don't exist. For me, the whole situation just tests my faith in you know who. The truth is, I've never been convinced in a higher power for this same reason. Bad things happen to good people inexplicably and there's just nothing anyone can do about it. Good people will continue to die too young, and bad people somehow live until they're old. In fact, my one question for the rabbi was if maybe God was mad at me because I didn't believe strongly enough. But, as all believers know, God forgives all sins and wouldn't punish me for that.

I've always prayed. I think that prayer can be a constructive and spiritual experience regardless of one's beliefs. I don't know who else I would be praying to, so I guess on some level I do believe. I will continue to pray now, considering I'll take all the help I can get.

Sometimes, my mom wakes up screaming in the middle of the night. Every time it happens, I think someone is in there trying to kill my parents or something and I wake up with my heart beating like crazy. Come to think of it, I have nightmares almost every time I fall asleep. Even if I'm just taking a nap, I'm narrowly escaping death or watching someone close to me perish. Seriously, I think I've watched everyone close to me in my life die in my dreams over the past month.

It doesn't take Freud to tell me that I'm scared. Of course I'm scared. I think about the worst that can happen, and it's damn hard to hold back tears.

If you want my opinion, the sooner you accept that all of those "why me" sort of questions have no answers, the better off you will be. You may never stop being scared, but understand that fear is only what we allow it to be. If we allow our fear to build inside our minds, it may consume us and prevent us from enjoying our lives as we were meant to enjoy them. As unclear as my future may be, I will face it with strength and dignity, and I will overcome any obstacle I have the ability to overcome. Fear can only hold me back.

I came across something I wrote a long time ago. Truthfully, I didn't even remember writing it but I think it's kind of appropriate so I'm going to leave you with it.

"It's hard to find progress in stability when we demand immediate results in our high-risk, fast-paced lifestyles; when stagnancy wears on us the way water seeps through a paper towel. But when little has been left untouched, unscathed by the burning search for answers that have not yet been found, we abandon sources of certain misfortune in favor of unproven ideals. We turn to one another, for hope and faith in a common dream of a better tomorrow must overcome even the darkest and most solitary despair."