Sixty

That’s what i turned today.

It was a great day.

The best birthday I’ve ever had — ever!

And I began thinking about a lot of stuff.  Stuff like life.  Where I’ve been.  Where I’m headed.  And I might say it’s been an interesting trip.  By no means easy.  There have been highs and there have been ravenous lows, where the body is consumed by psychological pain of such intensity, that all you want it to do is stop!  But it persists.  It is like having a demon at your side.  Sometimes, years.

At this stage, I have finally reached a plateau.  Things are by no means perfect.  There is still much conflict to overcome, but I feel I have grown because of it.  I don’t know how to say this and it might sound corny, but I feel as though I am held together by a spiritual energy I have worked very hard to achieve, against great odds.

I have the best group of friends one could possibly hope to have:  my support group.  That is what has held me together the past three years.  We have become attached to each other because of the common emotional experiences we share.  We know exactly what we’re going through.  It’s just that the rest of the world will never understand it, which makes it easy to stigmatize us.  So they do.  We face probably the greatest stigma because they consider us the loonies.  But what they fail to understand is that many of the so-called loonies are endless sources of creativity and understanding.  We have scientists, professors, psychologists, writers, painters, musicians, whiz kids, high school teachers, Muslims, Israelis, African Americans, Indians, Hispanics, Russians … the list just goes on and on. The only group that is unrepresented is doctors.  But we know they’re there too.  They just haven’t come out yet.

I often compare the psychiatric condition to the gay movement.  Both of us know what it’s like to be in the closet.  And I just hate closets!  But others are terrified of revealing their medical condition for fear of the stigma they must endure.  Such is ignorance.  But you know what I say to that?  FUCK THAT!  Look at me.  I look just like you.  But I am not anything like you.  I am different.  I may even be better than you.  Ultimately stronger than you.  And you’re trying to tell the world something is wrong with me?  Fuck that shit.

It’s been a glorious day today.  Andrew is snuggled on the couch next to me.  I have my blankie at the other corner and the remote and an ash tray and cigarettes.  Phone, of course.  Two good friends came by tonight.  Really laid back.  Just left.  Watched My Neighbor, Totoro.  One was the age of Andrew, the other, older, by about ten years, maybe?  (I don’t even know.  But those details don’t matter because we span generations)

Education is the key, of course.  You gotta get in there early and educate kids about the type of medical conditions we suffer from because chances are, many of them will also exhibit the same symptoms as us, and we need to have a knowledgeable society about these medical conditions, not superstitions.

This morning I was on the phone with Ted and we had a great conversation.  I miss him terribly. I’ve only seen him once this year.  And yet we are not that far away.  Only a 2 hour flight.  However, we are often immobilized by our illnesses, and reach into isolation, as though it gives us some sort of comfort.  Some people cut themselves to help deal with the psychological pain.  You’ll do anything to get it to go away.  Even kill yourself.

Now how many diseases can do that?

Ignorance is a dangerous occupation.  Yet it is everywhere.  Everywhere we look, we can spot Ignorance.  Today I feel blessed to have produced some sturdy children.  They’ve been through a lot and they’ve seen more than MOST people have.  And yet, they are ethically sound, artistic, creative, highly verbal, fluid, sensitive and empathetic.  What more could you ask for?

What a way to end a beautiful a day …

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