Happy Birthday, Andy

Yesterday was my younger brother Andy’s 26th birthday.  I did not forget about it.  I wanted to post last night.  However, my piece of shit internet would NOT work properly.  To say I was upset is an understatement.  One day, every year, is meant to be devoted to Andy through this blog.

On April 22nd, 2010, Andy committed suicide.  For those of you that already know this, this may be a painful rehash, but the new readers that I have gained are not aware, and it is important that they are.  There is too much of a stigma surrounded by suicide, and those that attempt it (and those that succeed).  It is something that bothers me very much, and when I remember Andy, I do not remember him with a halo over his head.  That would be entirely disingenuous.  Andy was a complex person.  A person who was good, and bad, just like any other person.

Andy was a paranoid schizophrenic, and an alcoholic, and bi polar.  He was also bright, happy, and funny when properly medicated, which was always a huge struggle.  Alcohol was his way of self medicating, which destroyed the effects of the drugs prescribed to help him, though often times the side effects of those medications, or their slow acting nature was too much for him to bear.  When he was drunk, he was mean, an unpredictable, and cruel.  And the reason I share is not because he was a bad person, but because he had three illnesses to bear.

Alcoholism is an illness, just like schizophrenia and bi polar disorder.  None of those things are his fault.  He needed treatment for his alcoholism, but he was never really ready to deal with it, for many factors we’ll never be privy to.  It is sad, and heartbreaking, but it was his choice to make.

Some people come into this world broken, and all the psychological spackle and behavioral drywall in the world cannot patch them up.  The foundation was never set properly for them, and they cannot support the weight of the world as others can.  That is not their fault.  And not everybody can get the help they need.  It doesn’t make them weak, or bad.  It makes them human.

Andy would have been 26 years old yesterday.  For his age, he was very young.  Very, very young.  But his psyche was old, and tired.  His heart was worn, his soul torn, and it seems he felt he just needed to sleep.

Never in my life will I blame him for that.  He had a disgustingly heavy burden to bear, and he bore it until his death.  Statistically, he beat the odds, and survived longer than most schizophrenics who are diagnosed as children.  He held on as long as he could.

I miss him every day, particularly when I find myself eating shredded cheese out of a bowl (Andy loved to eat shredded cheese just by itself).  But never will I call him weak or pathetic for what he did.  Never EVER in my life will I tolerate anybody else calling him weak, either.  It takes a great deal of strength to live as he lived, and to survive as he did, because regardless of how much Andy’s suicide hurt others, in my book, it is not about US, it is about HIM, and HIS suffering.

Life is about the whole person, the good and evil things they have done, and to remember them in any other way is disrespectful.  This doesn’t mean every terrible thing they have ever done should be the first thought in your mind, but it’s important to acknowledge the bad with the good, to be reminded that the person was just a person, like everybody else.  Fallible, troubled, and real.

If there is in fact something greater out there, something heavenly, I do hope you’ve enjoyed your birthday, brother.  We all love and miss you here.

Flail on,
– Classical Spazz

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~ by ClassicalSpazz on March 30, 2012.

4 Responses to “Happy Birthday, Andy”

  1. This is a beautiful tribute to your brother.

  2. Well done, Jackie! Psychological spackle and behavioral drywall really hit a chord with me. That’s what IEP’s feel like to me every day……….

    • I think we often try too hard to fix issues when what we really need to be doing is maintaining what we have.

      We can dry wall and spackle all we want, but we need to understand and accept that it is not only our job to maintain our patchwork, but to be prepared to fix it when pieces inevitably start falling apart again.

      Not everything can be (or is mean to be) fixed. We humans just seen to have a hard time accepting that flaws are what make things truly perfect.

  3. “psychological spackle and behavioral drywall”

    Brilliant.

    Happy Birthday, Andy.

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