I am tired of surviving

(Written for my friend Cindi)

“I am tired of surviving*”, she said 

after I had just told  her that that was what I admired most about her.

It has been a rough year for her, much rougher than mine.

“I  stopped taking my meds because of all the side affects”, she said,

And that’s when the shit hit the fan and I came down with everything

Culminating is a blockage in my colon from anxiety, stress and depression.

They decided they would not, should not, operate, so

You don’t want to know what they did,

But it involved stomach pumps, enemas, and medicines to soften.

After the colonoscopy the next year that caused a tear in my spleen requiring a

Spleenectomy, they had to cut me open after all.

I was sick all  the time and barely eating,

I was down to smoking only nine cigarettes a day.

Marijuana helped with the pain and the anxiety.

But I would have psychotic breaks,

Where I was walking down the alley swearing,

“Goddam, motherfucker, ass hole..”

There was no one there, but I  was swearing at someone.

I couldn’t stop myself.

I feel so lonely, so unloved and unable to love.

Whenever I get close to someone I drive them off.

My girlfriend of two years has gone now. I really miss her.

I have nothing but negative thoughts about myself,

Suicide presents itself daily but I’m not doing that.

I fell off my backstoop on a wet slippery morning,

I flew out parallel to  the  ground and hit my head on the stoop,

I lay there thinking is this the way I’m going to die?

If so, I’m ready.

But I  didn’t die, I blacked out for awhile

Until I could get myself up and into the  house to  a  bed.

Later I  would wonder if I had a concussion.

“Thanks for coming over today.  I’m sorry you’re smoking again.” she said.

These are my smokes, she said, I found the pack on the ground

and thought it was a present for me.

 Even after a year of turmoil I’m not. feeling any better.

where is my trophy; where is my award for surviving?

Now I have told my psychiatrist what pills I will take and

which I won’t.

I’m back on a good anti-psychotic, and not on an anti-anxiety pill unfortunately., 

and other ones without all those bad sideeffects.

But I’m terribly down on myself,

I can not see anything good in me.

I’m tired of surviving all this shit.

I just want a normal day.

PS my little service dog caught her toenail in a stair tread and she’s in misery.

I made a  plastic cone for her from a pizza Thing so she won’t keep chewing and licking    it.

I’m going to be 60 on my next birthday.

I live alone thanks to the generosity of a woman in the town.

Could you take me to  the beach on the back of your motorscooter someday,

I really need to get away.

– Small town boy

For an audio interview on StoryCorps with Cindi go to:


* Cindi called me today to illucidate on what she was tired of surviving: surgeries.

-Seven major surgeries since November 2010

– collar bone amputation,

– broken collar bone,

(both replaced by metal)

– one seizure

– two subdural hematomas

– two craniotomies 

– my whole left frontal quadrant

– two thumb surgeries 

– two trigger thumb surgeries

(There’s two  of everything!)

There’s all these surgeries. That’s what I mean about being a survivor. Since January 2011, I have ben in nothing but surgery, surgery, surgery.

– broken wrist, 2011

– another broken toe.

I’m tired of being broken; tired of feeling broken.

– the mensulary rods in and out of my arm twice.

If I say all this then people will know who I am; I’m in a quandry; if I were  writing this I wouldn’t white was it.

(Updated 8-112015. lloyd McAnelly)


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