That Time My Heart Broke. Literally. – Part 1 (I Think I’m Getting Sick (You can skip this one.))

April 11, 2012

drawing of a human heart suffering from wolf parkinson white, with alternate pathway in yellow
(Photo credit WeilCornell.Org.)

I suppose it didn’t literally break, being that I was born with a heart problem… But I didn’t know about that heart problem until 2009.

I’m gonna try this new series, in which I eventually tell the whole story of getting sick and being in the hospital (or as I liked to call it, the hops).

The current plan is to do a post every Wednesday night. We’ll see if this turns out to be interesting. I’m learning about blogging, and taking it as it goes. Why not try this and see what happens?

Originally, when I started drafting these posts, I was talking through at least three of them (way too many) about June 25, 2009 – the day Michael Jackson died (and my birthday). That is the day my heart really broke.

(*Note: This post makes me sound pretty crazy and possibly too sad. The hospital stuff gets less emotional (usually). Expect this to (hopefully) be the only crazy, sad post. Feel free to skip this post that’s nuttily mainly about Michael Jackson, and go to part 2.)

I never met Michael Jackson. Yet, he had an incredibly profound impact on my life. Just one example is that I went to Berklee in large part because Quincy Jones (his producer) went there. (I know that’s maybe in the slightly nuts category, but that’s how it is.)

Michael Jackson changed my life. I. did. not. know. how to be a person once he was gone. (I’m still not positive I do.)

Michael Jackson with the sexy looking down, hand sort of in front of face pose from the In The Closet video
(Photo from Michael Jackson’s “In The Closet” shoot)

Not to sound like a complete downer, but on June 25, 2009, I was broken.

I tried to go for a run since that was the only way I knew how to deal with problems, but I broke down and sobbed for hours when “I Wanna Be Where You Are” came on my iPod (while Michael Jackson was on every TV, on every station playing in the gym).

I had the empty glass eyes when I went work, able to get my responsibilities done, but nothing more. When I was able to drag myself to school, I sat in the back of my classes, looking down. Sometimes I wondered what I was doing at Berklee.

Let’s get real. I would’ve worked with Michael Jackson someday. I would’ve done whatever was necessary to make it happen. I believe that. Now it literally cannot happen. There are so few things in this life that are actually completely impossible. Working with him is now one of those things.
[Edited to add: I did go on to work with his family.]

(I hope this is not the first post of this whole blog you’re reading. I promise you I don’t usually sound this crazy, nor this incredibly conceited. Or at least I believe/hope I don’t… I told you to maybe skip this one!)

So, in June/July 2009, I was basically an empty shell of a human being, questioning everything about my life, having no idea how I was going to survive. Within a few weeks of that fateful day, I tried – I tried so hard to put myself back together.

Michael Jackson was able to do anything. I should be able to as well. I tried to remember to eat. I tried to run. I’m strong. I know I’m strong, right?

So, I tried – I laced up my shoes, and gave it a go. My feet weighed 90,000 pounds. I was unbelievably tired all the time.

Homer Simpson running
Why is running so much harder than it used to be? (Photo credit: Fox/Matt Groening (from The Simpsons))

I knew I was upset, but it felt as though something physically was wrong too. I like to think I have wonderful willpower, and I was trying so hard to be a human being again, but I just could not do it.

I don’t even believe in “I can’t.” Anything is possible. But at that one moment in time, for the first time in my life, I thought there was something I could not do.

I went to see a doctor on July 29, 2009, a little over a month after Michael Jackson died.

“Please help. I’m drinking lots of water, and taking iron supplements. I fall asleep throughout the day. I try to run and can’t. What’s happening to me?”

“Give it time. I don’t think the problem’s physical.”

“It must be. I can feel that it’s not in my mind. My willpower is strong. My body is not.”

“Come back in a couple of months and let’s see what’s happening.”

We’ll see what’s happening in part 2, next week.

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?