People that make you Feel Alone

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This week there has been a lot of press about Robin Williams and his unfortunate suicide.  It is very hard to hear about anybody taking their own life, but when one of the funniest men in my lifetime ends his life, it’s almost unimaginable to think about the pain this man must have been in.

Last year, someone sent me the quote I posted above and I’ve kept it and thought about it often.  I thought Robin was so right in what he said.  It’s much easier to be alone, than to feel alone when surrounded by people.  It seems weird to think that when there are other people around, you can feel lonelier than when you are actually alone, but it’s true.  I know the feeling and I think it’s because when I’m alone, I’m at peace and there are times when I’m surrounded by people but I feel turmoil.

I pick up on other people’s energy more than most and that’s why I don’t like to be around certain individuals.  Normally I am very chatty and inquisitive.  I can talk to almost anyone and make them feel at ease, except when I am around people that exude a certain type of energy… whether it’s an arrogance or a belittlement or rudeness.

It is quite clear that all living things have a life force, a life energy, that can be used to do work and make things happen. It is this creative energy that is very real, but can’t be seen.  It is obvious that Robin Williams had an abundance of creative energy.  It animated him and gave him so much life that when I watched him on television at times, it almost seemed like he was a cartoon character.

Robin was full of life, but I guess he also was full of the demons that occupy so many people’s brains.  How come some people can balance the good and the bad (because we all have that in our life) and some can’t.  What makes some of us rebound on a daily basis and others just retreat.

Yesterday,  it was revealed that Robin was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s and that he couldn’t face this newest illness.  My dad had Parkinson’s for the last 10 years of his life and it did make his life much hardier and less enjoyable, but he faced his demons daily and lived with his limits without complaining.

I am saddened that this great comedian, who seemingly had it all: money, glamour, stature, a loving family couldn’t see there was hope for him and that he had no other choice.  It makes me see how strong I am, because I suffer everyday, with no cure for my illness, yet the thought of ending my life has never once crossed my mind.  I am not passing judgement on anyone, it just pains me to think that this man felt he had nooptions.

 

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Freedom

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Freedom means different things to different people.  One of the actual definitions of freedom is “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint”.  Taking that definition literally, I guess one could say I am not free as I can’t act as I want without hindrance or restraint.  Maybe it’s not an external hindrance, but my body is not free.

Yesterday,  my body held out long enough so that I was able to get to the new Freedom Tower in downtown Manhattan.  It wasn’t easy to arrange this, but  but a friend drove me there and dropped me at the farthest point you were able to drive and I was able to walk the few hundred steps to actually touch the Memorial.  From my earlier posts, I mentioned I was down there that morning on 9/11 when the unimaginable happened.

It was very moving and quite overwhelming.  I haven’t been down to the Wall Street area since I was fired from my job and had to go on disability.  I don’t know which memories were stronger, but they were all mixed in my mind.  My previous life on Wall Street and the destruction of the World Trade Center.  Both are very emotional and overwhelming on their own, add to it my vulnerability of being limited in my movements and it was an intense 30 minutes.

I felt my body tense as we approached the Memorial and I was dropped off.  My eyes were darting to every side street and nearby store and my mind was wandering with what ifs..  What if my friend can’t park, what if I need help, what if I have to go to the bathroom before my friend returns.  But once I made it to the Memorial and touched the sides and heard the flowing water, all of my worries about my vulnerabilities switched to the people who lost their life that day.

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I wasn’t able to share the experience with my friend, as a parking spot was not easy to come by.  So I waited on the nearby benches to be picked up and sat with my memories and my thoughts.  I was disoriented and couldn’t figure out how the original WTC was where I was sitting.   Back in 1986, I worked in the WTC for a year and up until the week before the attack I passed through the concourse several times a week.  Just as many other people who worked downtown Manhattan did:  whether it was for shopping or banking or eating or just passing through.

Life as I knew it changed slightly that morning, as I didn’t lose a loved one.  I was left with a deep sorrow and definitely some emotional scars, but  After about 6 months or so, my life pretty much returned to normal.  My world ended in 2009.

We all have our life altering moments, some are widely publicized for the world to see and others are more personal. A terrorist didn’t take my life, but an illness did.  An illness that leaves millions of people suffering every day.

Happy Holidays!!

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This past week was a holy week for both the Christians and Jewish people.  While both holidays are connected, as the Last Supper is said to have taken place at Passover, the holidays are fundamentally different.

Someone once explained to me their belief is that  Easter seems to be a celebration through suffering whereas Passover is a celebration despite suffering.

Suffering is something people with chronic conditions know a lot about.  So while we all are celebrating the holidays this week, let’s hope that as our ancestors before us triumphed over suffering, we too will be able to move forward despite our limitations.

Happy holidays to all!!