No Prizes for Surviving

Processing 3’s final video is proving to be more difficult than I anticipated. My primary reaction is pure rage. I’ve spent a lot of time over the past week arguing with 3, mentally screaming at him. “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME??? TIRED?!?! THAT’S YOU’RE BIG PROBLEM? You’re tired of fucking up? STOP FUCKING UP!!!! You think it’s getting to be too much, whatever this arbitrary “it” is? Deal with it, you selfish, arrogant jackass. We all deal with shit. We all fuck up. You don’t get to RUIN OUR FUCKING LIVES just because YOU are TIRED!!!!!!!!!”

[Author’s note: I am fully aware that depression and suicide do not operate within the bounds of rational thought. 3 didn’t shoot himself just because he was “tired.” That being said, I am having a mad week and my brother is dead and I’ll yell at him if I damn well feel like it.]

It really has been a mad kind of week. I didn’t really understand that until yesterday, when I went to the end-of-the-year luncheon for my academic department. It turns out that there were awards being given out at said luncheon. I did not get any of these awards, and this truly insignificant fact made me irrationally upset. Seriously? I just completed a dissertation defense on top of all my usual, reliable work, all while mourning a dead brother, and you can’t give me one of your vaguely-defined little shout-outs? I did not bother to stay for the luncheon as soon as I read the program. I went and got myself coffee instead.

That’s the thing. There are no awards for surviving. Nobody hands our participation ribbons in real life, which is somewhat sad. Does anyone have any idea of all the shit everyone goes through in real life? Talking to one of my colleagues yesterday, I learned that she is dealing with numerous simultaneous difficulties: the death of a coworker, her mother’s illness, and planning for her daughter’s wedding. This woman deserves an award. My friend Char is literally saving children’s lives as a doctor on the pediatrics ward, often faced with painful reminders of her own less-than-ideal childhood. Char clearly deserves a “Best Transformation of Horrible Experience into World-Changing Compassion” award. M is raising a gorgeous son alone while her (in my entirely un-humble opinion) useless dickwad of a husband is overseas, making her the frontrunner for the “Moms Are Superheroes” award.

Yet none of these awards exist. We just keep swimming. You see, 3? Everyone is tired. Everyone deals with shit. You don’t get to check out because you’re “tired” and you’re sad that nobody is patting you on the back for getting through another day. Asshole. Fuck you and your infantile, narcissistic outlook on life. People deal with worse things than impounded cars every day, and they do it with smiles on their faces.

Today is my official graduation day. I’m not attending any of the ceremonies, but I get to officially call myself “doctor” now. Woo.

3 thoughts on “No Prizes for Surviving

  1. azsweetwater2011 says:

    I would like to take this moment to recognize 3’s sisters as a survivor…. in the face of adversity you have stood strong you have remained a pillar to those around you. I would like to award You the I will deal with “it” no matter what “it” is award…… I I’m sorry again that you lost your brother….. by the way congratulations on the doctor thing…

  2. […] seeing 3′s final video, I was emotionally unbalanced for quite a few days afterwards. Seeing the image of his headstone is having a similar effect, only […]

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