The scar on my chest is seven inches long. At the top of my sternum, the incision site, it’s white and waxy, slowly fading on its journey south. But the last inch is a raised, red, rubbery knob of keloid tissue – a constant reminder, not that I need it.
It will be a year on Tuesday since I underwent open-heart surgery. I have not been quite the same person since; something for which I am mostly profoundly thankful, as much as I am to still be alive.
Mostly, I’m calmer. I had been warned of possible depression in the wake of the surgery. For years, especially in the last decade, I lived in a constant fritz of anxiety, having at least one very public meltdown. I have written openly about my mental health over the years.
These days, by comparison, I feel like a Zen master. Not that I’d recommend heart surgery as a solution to psychological trauma, but if nothing else it gave me a radical sense of perspective and gratitude, an attitude I wasn’t previously on familiar terms with.
Which means I can’t help but ask the question: to what degree was my psychological wellbeing affected by my literally broken heart?… Read more..