Last Sunday, I decided to put the bottle down. I have been sober ever since. It’s only been a number of days, sure. But that is no easy task for a man who both loves the taste as well as its medicinal effect against the wounds that others cannot see. Not surprisingly, it’s been a dark week. I had a nightmare birthed from memory that was once reality. It shook me from sleep and tossed me from bed. A hell of a wake-up. I learned of another friend, another medic, passing away all too soon. As of yesterday, I learned that this tragic passing was by way of suicide. Another medic down… Another brother gone… This morning I woke-up to Facebook telling me to wish Colin Wilmot a happy birthday. I did, but he won’t be able to read the message; he’s dead. And tomorrow… tomorrow is Mother’s Day. I will wish my mum a happy Mother’s Day. I will. But she will not be able to hear it – because she’s dead too… A dark week. A dark week indeed.


I am not sure how to narrate this piece. I don’t know how to give it a beginning, a middle and an end. Because right now all that is happening within me is a vicious hurricane of brooding introspection. Thoughts atop of thoughts. A mind bleeding in pain. With this latest suicide, I can’t help but think of Greg; another medic, another friend to have been killed by the demons that plague the healer. And when I think of Greg’s suicide, I wander over to thoughts of my mother’s. Though they were never linked in life, they are in death. In juxtaposition, I am alive but linked heavily to death; by way of both profession and injury. Death is not a friend and yet I know him all too well. Intimately, in fact.


Don’t be concerned, I do not want to die. I do not believe in the afterlife enough to think that I would join them or see them again. Besides I seem them plenty… just not how I want to. No, I do not want to die – but fuck I could use a stiff drink. Like I said, it’s been a dark week. Almost feels as though I am drowning, which is ironic because all I want to do is drown the pain beneath a river of booze.


I have been walking so far and for so long today that my feet have now bled through to my socks. My thoughts bleed into me, and I bleed into my boots. I have been walking so as to stay away from the crooning call of a bar top. I think more accurately, I have been attempting to outpace my wounded mind – an impossible race to win really.


I am sad today. Breathing makes me ache. I am sober today. So, I feel everything, even numb…


Hearing of Dustin’s suicide; it’s heartbreaking. Knowing that tomorrow is dedicated to mother, equally as laborious. Wishing your dead friend and brother-in-arms a happy birthday after seeing his face ‘pop-up’ on your screen? Fucking agonizing. Feeling the pain of sobriety amongst all of this? Absolutely indescribable… There are no words.


Dustin, brother, I am sorry. I am sorry the pain was too much. Greg, I miss you, man. Mum… oh – mum…I miss you endlessly. Happy Mother’s Day, wherever you are.


This week’s been a dark week. Today is a dark day. But I’ll hold out hope that maybe next week will be a little brighter. A little less dark. Sober, or not…



Greg Turner – End of Watch January 26th, 2015
Pte. Colin Wilmot K.I.A Afghanistan July 6, 2008
Joan Heneghan “mum” 12/8/1948 to 11/6/2017


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