Death, Drugs, and Dumbed Down Optimism

*Intensely Negative Rant Incoming*

I’ve had a shit week. I’m just gonna say it. I try not to see things like that, and I am near religiously an optimist, but every now and then shit does hit the fan. This week was one of those weeks.

For the last 5 days, I have been experiencing the worst pain I have ever experienced in my entire, which has caused me to take two ER visits, one of which last night involved a CAT scan for extreme pain. Despite taking one of the most intense painkillers available by prescription, Hydrocodone (which is effectively low-grade Vicodin) the pain was so great I was screaming in pain. All of these ER visits began exactly 2 days after my mom had been laid off from her job, so the co-pay on these is a painful one, to say the least.

The painkillers, however, put you largely to sleep, so the last few days have been a cycle of either intense pain or fatigued sleeping, and whensoever I am not awake, I am usually being tormented. If I am not being tormented, I am usually out cold. To say the least, I’ve been trapped between a rock and a hard place.

This has all been happening during a week that was kicked off with the aforementioned firing of my mother, and also the diagnosis of terminal cancer for my grandfather who raised me at a young age. The initial diagnosis outlined 3 to 5 months until his passing, which gave me little concern to go see the man. Today, one week after the “rain check” of 3 to 5 months, my grandfather has passed. It was only by fluke that I managed to arrive at his deathbed, and I had stepped out just in time to miss his passing.

I am a religious optimist. I am not so much a religious optimist to discredit how awful this week has been. Positivity is great, I won’t deny that even today, I am greatly relieved that my grandfather is no longer suffering, and that that I have gotten the correct antibiotics, but even positivity can have limits of irrational zealotry.

I won’t try and hide my ranting in this post. I won’t try and water down my outrage for this last week. I have plenty of more weeks left to live on this earth, and I hope to do so well, but refusing to recognize something for what it is— which in this case is one bucket full of awful— is less optimism and more insanity.

Even now, there is an optimistic angle. My grandfather was genuinely suffering for many months before his death, and today represents his liberation from that pain and a relief for me and my family who had to witness his torment. A world where I can be asleep on painkillers is superior to a world where I have to spend all day in torment. I am not trying to dismantle optimism within reason, I am trying to dismantle optimism via forced ignorance and madness and as great as looking at the “good” in the world is, it should not be mistaken for refusing to see the “bad”.

Until next time,




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