I lived

According to a recent medical study, broken hearts can kill:

Confirming the wisdom of the poets and philosophers, doctors say the sudden death of a loved one really can cause a broken heart.

In fact, they have dubbed the condition "broken heart syndrome."

In a study published just in time for Valentine's Day, doctors reported how a tragic or shocking event can stun the heart and produce classic heart attack-like symptoms, including chest pain, shortness of breath and fluid in the lungs.

Unlike a heart attack, the condition is reversible.

Death, of course, is not reversible. Successive AIDS deaths (of my best friend, ex lover, nearly all of my extended circle of tenants in apartment buildings I had owned with lovers) caught up with me, and the whole thing finally came to a head in 1993. Foreclosures, bankruptcy, business failure, and a constant, all-encompassing desire to die.

It is no understatement to say that 1993 is a year for the most part I don't remember. It's horrifying to see proof that I was alive in the form of written documents, notes, photographs taken of me, and even art -- none of which evoke any memories whatsoever. I decided that year that I didn't want to live any more, but because I still had the responsibility of taking care of a lover who hadn't died yet, I'd wait for him to die before killing myself. Meanwhile, I drank all the time, except when I would sleep. On awakening, though, I needed a couple of shots of vodka with Rose's Lime Juice--just to wake up. (Not that I wanted to wake up, but it would just unfortunately happen.)

One of my best friends came to see me around Christmas of 1993, and concluded that I was "gone." He was right. I was gone; and I was tired of waiting. (I have a fuzzy memory of seeing him that Christmas, but that's it.)

Anyway, the above article reminded me of 1993. It's a painful subject, even now.

But yes, the doctors are right about the broken heart condition being reversible -- even in extreme cases like mine.

posted by Eric on 02.11.05 at 08:45 AM


I'm glad you lived.

I've been thinking this morning about Jeff Gannon, the former alledged possible military escort man-for-man guy. Personally, I think he's pretty loathesome. Plus, I can't figure out what he was doing wandering around Washington with a stack of CIA documents and how he managed to be the original reporter that broke the Rather forged memos thing.

But, it would be a real shame if the emotional pressures of the spotlight caused him harm or caused him to harm himself.

I bet he could use a friend right now.

bink   ·  February 11, 2005 12:06 PM

I've been reading your blog for quite awhile now. I've put you on my "daily briefing" list to read in the moring. You are a very interesting and thought provoking read. I, for one, am glad you're still around even though I've obviously never met you. I've been in that space, too. It took a devoted friend to fly in from Oregon to pull me off the couch and take me to the hospital when I would rather have layed there to waste away (I lost 80lbs in 5 months - down to 125lbs and I'm 6'2" tall).

It's not always easy to get that foot on the floor in the morning, but the family and friends I do have seem to be grateful that I'm around. Keep up the good work Eric. I did a photo search on you. You are quite the looker, too.


jamescalvin   ·  February 11, 2005 12:32 PM

Indeed. Quite the looker (a real MAN!) and quite the blogger you are. I'm most certainly glad you're decided to stick around or else I wouldn't be reading Classical Values today.

I can't think of anything more tragic than the death of a loved one. I wouldn't want to survive the death of a spouse. You lose the will to live, linger on for a while, slowly pine away. Most tragic. I remember a Greek myth in which Zeus rewarded an elderly couple for their hospitality by granting them their fondest wish: to die together. When the time came, they were both changed into trees, their branches entwined.

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