Never underestimate how much of a difference you can make

This was a very sobering experience and came as quite the surprise. My last post asked my “friends” to help me with the most important decision in my life. I am alone here in London with no friends to talk to and I hoped that people who I felt had been close friends in the past would give me their advice. With the exception of a handful of people, frankly people who were not what I would call “close” friends, not one of the people I asked for help from responded, even those who knew me very well for years.

Yes, I left the Okanagan in 2007 to go to Panama, so it’s been seven years and I guess even your friends forget you after all those years, but I have kept in touch through Facebook and emails. The ironic part is that many of those same people have connected with me asking my advice. I chatted with them on Facebook or by phone and gave them all the time they needed, often several hours, but when the tables are turned and I ask for help, they’re nowhere to be found. Sad.

One of the factors in thinking about moving back to the Okanagan was to reconnect with what I thought were my many friends. I had such great memories of all the great times we had over the years and thought it would be great to share some new times together. Apparently I am incredibly naive and stupid.

Without hopefully being too dramatic there has been a fourth option that I didn’t mention in my original post. There have been times over the last few years, starting with being ripped off for everything I owned in Panama, really dark times when it all seemed to be too much to handle. Discovering that the girl I loved, the one I moved to London for, cheated on me with someone else she met on the internet, which broke my heart. Being forced to go to a shelter and lying in filth sweating in hundred degree heat trying to sleep. Getting kicked out of the shelters when the government screwed up. Sleeping on the floor of a colleague’s office. Finally getting a job at Home Depot and my own apartment, then having my hours cut back to a minimum and I couldn’t pay my rent. Going without my vital medications for six weeks and ending up in hospital, resulting in painful peripheral neuropathy that has ended any physical activity. Researching and applying to over a thousand companies for a job, with no response. The government denying my application for a disability pension because I missed the deadline for a Medical Report because I could not find a family doctor in London. Getting wrongfully dismissed from the worst job in my life at Stream and taking a year to get paid. Being turned down by three different Meet-Up groups with no explanation.

The worst time in all of this was when my diabetic specialist put me on Oxycontin, a narcotic, with no warning about the side effects. My life went from working long hours on the computer every day trying to get anything going, to lying on the couch all day, crying because I was so depressed. My seventh floor balcony looked awfully inviting many times. The struggles I had fought so valiantly, like the heartbreak of missing my kids, suddenly became overwhelming and I didn’t see the point in continuing to fight. I had lost my will to survive.

I was very fortunate that I did fight back a little and researched the Oxycontin, only to learn that one of the major side effects was thoughts of suicide. In all there were seven side effects and I had all of them. I called my family doctor for advice on how to wean myself off this dangerous drug and I got back to normal. I had come far too close to ending it all. Part of the reason I asked for advice from my “friends” was to avoid making another mistake.

The fact that so many “friends” didn’t think enough of me to give me just a few minutes out of their busy lives speaks volumes about who I thought I was to them. It has certainly given me a different perspective on my options.

I do again thank those who did take the time to try to help me.