Upstream

Score: +3.5

Even though things are tough right now, I’m still keeping my optimism in full. I believe hard things are tests of our will to fight on and survive. I have failed these tests many times but vowed to improve. My positive attitude keeps me stable, and centers me even when things are out of control. There is happiness to be found even in the darkest of times. And even sadness or the ache of loss are a part of our human experience, and vital to who we are. We distinguish between pain and joy, and the contrast makes each one so much more real. We need to hurt, in order to appreciate laughing sometime later. 

Amanda is struggling. She’s not been into work in a while. Her symptoms are severe. She’s as depressed as I’ve ever seen her, and it concerns me. I don’t know that there’s much I can do to help, but I’ve offered my unending support and loyalty through her trials. I will be right there with her. I think things are still going to trend downward for a while until she can get in to see her psychiatrist. Treatment plan not working. Help. 

My dad is undergoing a SECOND spinal surgery tonight as a new MRI indicated his spinal cord was still being pinched. He lost feeling in his left hand during rehab earlier this week. I am going by to see him tomorrow morning during my lunch break. 

I’m hoping for the best, but things are tough right now. 

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Phoenix

My dad had emergency surgery on his spine, and is currently in the hospital recovering. He’s in a great deal of pain, but he may yet walk again. I’m hopeful rehab will improve things for him. 

That ER Doctor who deemed my dad inoperable and terminal is a real fuck. He scared us all out of our minds. I thought I would lose my dad any day. It was terrible going through that. I was tested, and it was difficult. 

Things seem to be headed back to normal. I hope. 

Eventually

Score: +2

There’s no set timetable for how long my dad has left. He says he wants to see the total solar eclipse in 2017, and I admire his optimism. I don’t know what to expect of the future. Anything is possible at this point. I’m on temporary leave at work. They are all wishing me the best in this difficult time. I can’t focus on much but the conflict between sadness and sanity. Our whole family is coming together tonight for dinner and it is going to be fun. We are a good little family. It’s hard to imagine it without the patriarch. He was our rock. When he goes, who will hold us all together? Who will I talk football with all winter long. Who will I go to for a pep talk when life gets me down? I’m going to miss him so much. I fall apart thinking about life with him gone. But I must be strong. For my family, so that they will trust that I am a rock too. For myself, because I believe in who I am more strongly now by being tested with great suffering. I look back at you from behind tired eyes, sometimes lost in the darkness of an uncertain future. 

Entrophy

Score: +1

My dad went into the ER last night as his spinal stenosis has advanced to the point of total loss of motor control. He went in and they did some CT scans and a specialist reviewed them. They gave my dad a terminal diagnosis with no chance to operate. His spine is being sawed in half. He could die at any time in his sleep. 

I was not anticipating so severe an outcome. Now my dad has a short time left to live. Should I abandon everything to be with him? I am still on the fence about how to proceed. The best I have to offer is compassion, and understanding for my mom and sister. They will be suffering, and we will need to hold each other up sometimes. My philosophy towards death is still unchanged, even now. Pain is still real, and my sadness over the loss of my dad is also real. How and when I chose to realize that is up to me. In my private moments, maybe with Amanda there to hold me, I will find myself understanding the sorrow of losing a father and a friend.

Tonight the loss is here, but so is joy, and happiness that he has brought into my life. So many good memories, my passion for music, my logic and reasoning. He has helped shape me into who I am. I am proud to be his son, and carry his name on into the future. 

Goodnight. 

Mood Album I – The Complicated Smush

This album encapsulates the most recent iteration of my ongoing struggle with letting go of the past and exploring the future. I try to come to terms with my pain then turn that energy into a new direction. Love is miraculous in that it takes different shapes depending on the nature of the relationship. The back end of the album spins off into its own new pleasant direction. Build and enjoy. 

  1. Pamela – Toto
  2. King of Pain – The Police
  3. Changes IV – Cat Stevens
  4. What It Takes – Aerosmith
  5. Cowboys And Angels – George Michael
  6. Your Wildest Dreams – The Moody Blues
  7. Only In Your Heart – America
  8. While My Heart Is Still Beating – Roxy Music
  9. The Way I Feel – Robert Plant
  10. Be With You – The Bangles
  11. Are We Ourselves? – The Fixx
  12. Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) – Eurythmics
  13. I Want You So Bad – Heart
  14. Waiting For A Girl Like You – Foreigner
  15. You Make My Dreams – Hall & Oates
  16. Just The Way You Are – Billy Joel
  17. Never Tear Us Apart – INXS 

Tonight’s Mood

Cowboys & Angels

George Michael


When your heart’s in someone else’s hands

Monkey see and monkey do

Their wish is your command

Not to blame

Everyone’s the same
All you do is love and love is all you do

I should know by now the way I fought for you

You’re not to blame, everyone’s the same
I know you think that you’re safe

Mister

Harmless deception

That keeps love at bay

It’s the ones who resist that we most want to kiss

Wouldn’t you say?
Cowboys and angels

They all have the time for you

Why should I imagine that I’d be a find for you

Why should I imagine

That I’d have something to say
But that scar on your face

That beautiful face of yours

In your heart there’s a trace

Of someone before
When your heart’s in someone else’s plans

Things you say and things you do

That they don’t understand

You’re not to blame

Always ends the same
You can call it love but I don’t think it’s true

You should know by now

I’m not the boy for you

You’re not to blame

Always ends the same
I know you think that you’re safe

Sister

Harmless affection that keeps things this way

It’s the ones who persist for the sake of a kiss

Who will pay and pay

Cowboys and angels

They all have the time for you

Why should I imagine that I was designed for you

Why should I believe

That you would stay
But that scar on your face

That beautiful face of yours

Don’t you think that I’d know

They’ve hurt you, before
Take this man to your place

Maybe his hands can help you forget

Please be stronger than your past

The future may still give you a chance

The future, the future, not the past
That scar on your face

That beautiful face of yours

Don’t you think that I know

They hurt you before

Step 1

Score: +3

I had an up day for the first time in a while. It felt good, but sapped the energy. Early bedtime for me. 

I started my exercises today, and I will continue to do so as the weeks go by. Hopefully this will help promote better health and stamina. I couldn’t do much today before I was kaput, but I will be able to do increasingly larger sessions as we move down the pattern. 

I woke up feeling rather zippy. I had the shakes all day as well. 

I haven’t really thought about Jax or bad stuff in general today. My mind was operating in a much more secure and stable environment. I felt functional out there, and that uplifted me. I hope this remarkable trend continues into tomorrow.