Life, Death, and Better Days

Posted by at 5:13PM

Last week was not what I would call a good week. On Saturday morning (6/2), my brother-in-law had a heart attack. I was in a state of shock for most of the day. (The same sister lost her former husband from a similar, unexpected heart attack a few years ago.) While I was worring about that, I found out that a friend had written a draft of a suicide letter and had to have them put in a hospital. I spent six or seven hours in the Emergency room. I also found out that a friend’s grandparents passed away. A different friend lost a childhood friend.
While my personal life was on the brink of chaos, my academic life wasn’t exactly, shall we say, peachy. I found out that all the NMR instruments in the Bay Area which I need to run a last set of experiments were out of commission–all of them! The cells I needed for other experiments last week died so nothing I needed to work was working. Needless to say, I wasn’t in the most pleasant of moods–which rarely happens to me. A perfect time to make that five hour “pissed off” MP3 playlist.
After a rather hellish week, things are looking up. I had a wonderful Friday evening at Nola’s (wink wink), despite not being in a typical “going out” mood. I was able to catch my bearings on Saturday and let everything sink in. My brother-in-law is now out of the hospital and doing great. My friend, who has been suffering with depression for years, is finally getting the appropriate treatment. (Depression is a generally treatable sickness and nothing to be ashamed of. Get help if you need it!) My cells for this week are still alive. I may be able to get a trip out of town to do some NMR experiments (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, btw). I even got to finish the book for bookgroup Monday night and catch up on my New Yorker and New York Review of Books subscriptions that have piled up on me over the last month or so. I was able to get to the gym for the first time in weeks today. All in all, a much better weekend than last.
I was able to make it through my horrible week with great friends and family, but sometimes that’s not enough. If you are having a hard time dealing with life for whatever reason, seek professional health. Stanford is making a serious effort to deal with mental health problems and I’ve already seen the benefits of professional help with my friend. There is nothing wrong with needing a little help from someone who knows what they are doing.
Here’s to better days!

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5 Responses to “Life, Death, and Better Days”

  1. SarahV says:

    I feel you – I lost a family member last week. It’s hard to deal with real life when everyone else in the bubble is primarily concerned with what’s going to be on their final exams, ya know? Glad to hear you’re doing well.

  2. Jason says:

    Gilbert:You’ve handled things amazingly well given the circumstances. I think many people would just break down in the face of so much.
    Sarah V: I’m sorry – I imagine it would be tough to find relief when people are wrapped up with other things that they think are so important.
    Everyone: To better days indeed!

  3. binod says:

    Better days are always waiting after bad days.Really a nice post.
    Keep coming.
    Binod

  4. binod says:

    Better days are always waiting after bad days.Really a nice post.
    Keep coming.
    Binod

  5. Francisco says:

    Gilbert,
    I am pretty sure a series of unfortunate events like that can make anyone reach for professional help.
    I suffer from depression and anxiety myself so I perfeclty understand what it is to feel blue. I have found Yoga to be a great allied to help me be “normal.” Here is a little reading I found, may be it would help someone: http://cw11.empowereddoctor.com/story_1182.html
    Best of luck and keep your head up high!

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