Friday, September 23, 2011

Cuz I'm nuts like that!

This last month has been pretty intense for me. Last minute (because isn’t that always the case with me!?) I was asked if I could volunteer my time with this special needs summer camp. The person asking was a very good friend of mine, and the organization she was asking for, I could never say no to either. How could I say no to kids with cancer!? I think that would make me some kind of evil super villain! So despite being physically and emotionally exhausted, would three more weeks really kill me?

Short answer: ALMOST

This summer camp was for entire families to come and enjoy the outdoors and really bond with each other and people in similar situations. The big challenge in this setting is trying to include everybody in good old family fun without it being overly cheesy and completely awful for everybody involved. All the activities were chosen long and the whole staff was all set to go well before I was brought into the mix. What they needed from me is to be the big personality that tied it all together and brought some fun and excitement to situations that really needed it. In case you guys didn’t know, I am really good at that!

I felt a lot of pressure to make this experience special. I miss those summers where I looked forward to all the amazing experiences I was about to have and all the fun and exciting people I was going to meet. I mean to an extent, I still have those things to look forward to, but now there’s so much more that goes along with it! These days I need to worry about the big picture. Pacing, logistics, liability concerns, and a million other things that the 18 yr old me didn’t even know were actual worries. On top of all this, these kids were all fighting life threatening illness and it was up to me to make sure that they had fun.

I don’t know what to say about my 19 day ordeal. I did it. It was awful for me, but I did a fucking fantastic job! I went into this with a game plan. I was going to keep EVERYBODY at arms length and be the most awesome MC anybody has ever scene. Keeping people away was impossible! Everybody was just so special, unique and so unbelievably happy! I can’t even describe how amazingly amazing it was to just be allowed to be around these kids.

But then I would go back to my room at night and think to myself how some of these kids weren’t even going to survive the year, and I’d just break down and be an absolute mess. Now matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t stop thinking all these morbid thoughts, which was doing these kids such a huge injustice! These kids weren’t dying, they were living! I just couldn’t stop thinking about my brother and his death and it just made me so much more morbid than I had any right to be.

Trying to stay positive and happy when every fiber of your being is telling you to be the exact opposite is exhausting. All that faking has made me a million times more depressed than anything that is normal or natural. After I got home, I didn’t get out of bed for days. Then when I finally did, I didn’t leave the house for almost a week. I felt so lethargic and nothing I did really seemed to shake these awful feelings.

Then Brad came home. I don’t even know how to explain it. He just wrapped his arms around me and I felt all those negative feelings just dissolve. All he had to do was be there, and he made everything feel so much better. If this isn’t true love, then FUCK TRUE LOVE! I would take whatever this is any day of the week, EVERY day of the week.

5 comments:

Mike said...

Oh my Oprah, you are glutton for mental anguish. Why? But Brad is chill and sugar.

RGB said...

I swear I am not looking to be miserable. I just haven't found a way to say no to terminally ill children without looking like a complete asshole. But if anybody out there has discovered that secret, please pass it along because it would be extremely helpful to me!

Even though it was completely awful and I was an absolute emotional wreck, I honestly feel like this whole experience helped me through the grieving process. After everything that's happened I feel like I am actually done being sad, and I can even smile sometimes when I think about my brother because of how happy he made me whenever he was around.

Mind Of Mine said...

I get why you initially wanted to keep people at arms length, but even though it was heartbreaking for you, this experience has enriched your life, psyche in ways you probably haven't identified yet.

Anonymous said...

You are a really good person. I agree with MOM, You went through something profound and now you are changed forever. You just need some time to absorb it all.

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