By Christopher Green
The comment was up for only a few hours so I doubt if many people were able to read this particular post. But after reading that post, I decided not to share the full contents or the person’s name because part of the comment was very personal and reached beyond the scope I have envisioned for this Blog.
It was not an attack. It was not vicious. It was simply not appropriate to the scope of this Blog.
Again, let me state unequivocally that if you are receiving an Email with a link to my blog and you do not wish to continue to receive them, please just drop me an Email and I will gladly remove you from the Email list. I constructed that list from Emails I have received and exchanged over the years. Please do not feel obligated to read my Blog. That was never my intent and I apologize if anyone feels offended in any way.
I decided to remove the comment not for what this person had to say about me because, after all, I ran for office and was able to develop a pretty tough skin. I know how to deal with the fact that some people, many people, are not going to like or even agree with my stands on issues or even the way I choose to approach and lead my life.
I can deal with that.
However, most people are not able to walk that line. People tend to personalize and then internalize and that is not my intent. There are literally millions of other forums were people engage in a dialogue format. The nature of this blog is not designed for this kind of interaction.
I am not saying the comment in question was aimed at me or my family, or was even mean spirited. I just want to point out that I am the subject of the blog. I am putting my thoughts and hopes, my feelings of desperation and elation and my fears and dreams out in a very public forum in a very personal way. It was my choice. People around me are not putting themselves as far out as I am so any posts that are not directly related to the subject at hand will not be approved for display.
Nevertheless, this particular comment made me think about what it is that I am doing. This comment made me look inside myself and reflect for a very long time over the past weekend.
Basically, this individual put forth that I was posting pitiful and sad stories about my life, that I was engaging in self-absorbed pity and then finished with advice by stating that “I should embrace the gifts in my life” and not focus so much on all the grief.
I get that. I really do. I will try to consider all that as I continue on my journey. But that does not mean I am going to change how I approach and ultimately deal with my illness.
For if I have learned anything in this long and often tedious process it is that being stoic 24/7 can brutalize even the strongest psyche.
I will never forget that what I have is life threatening and if I, emphasis on I, do not treat this as such, I feel I will be shirking my personal duty to be clear headed at all times. I am a realist and believe that in order to confront my condition full force, I have to strip much, but definitely not all, of the sentimentality that stands in my way.
And that includes dealing with stuff that some might consider sad and pitiful.
The very nature of going to war with a fatal disease is to do whatever it takes to squeeze as much out of life as you can. To do less would be a disservice to being human.
Sometimes I wish I could be more spiritual, believe that there is something greater than me out there guiding my life, fitting me into some grand cosmic and spiritual design. It would make it easier, I guess, to deal with all that is happening to and around me.
But unfortunately (fortunately), I do not believe in a father figure as god. I do not believe there is an all-powerful being up there somewhere that has set down a grand plan where all of our fates are determined ahead of time and that I should accept my lot in life.
I just cannot do that.
Perhaps more importantly, I would never belittle anyone’s approach to spirituality. It is a personal decision, an approach to life that is not mine. That does not make mine better or, more important, worse than anyone else’s.
If there is a Supreme Being, I like to vision this being in much the way many of America’s Founding Fathers believed. Some of them felt there was a creator who also gave us free will and then let us go about our way unfettered. To me that is a more plausible way to look at all things spiritual.
Given all of that, I do not absolve myself from culpability. I know that a good chunk of my health issues stem from behavior I embraced willingly. I have to deal with the simple fact that my actions, although did not cause my condition, surely aggravated and accelerated my present ill health.
People’s lives are messy. I guess that is ultimately the gist of all this.
People have different ways of dealing with all that messiness.
And so I deal with the mess that is my life by attempting chronicle it.
For me, realism is the key.
In the temporal world, I am out there with my game face on, usually in a good, smart cracking mood. It helps me to present as positive an outlook as I possibly can to the world at large. It makes most people forget that I have an air hose in my nostrils.
That is why I decided to start a blog. This is the place where I can let my hair down, so to speak, to spill my guts and not hide behind smiles and snark and sophomoric humor.
It is right there in my mission statement under the tab headed Who I Am and Why Am I Doing This…
“Like Mr. Pekar, I will share all the good and the bad stuff. All the mind numbing mundane of waiting for tests, waiting for doctors and waiting for it all to be over will be put up here for all to see.
I am not going to pull any punches.”
If sometimes it appears as if I am wallowing in self-pity, well, so be it. For many of us, self-pity is often an unfortunate by product of the whole illness and dying process.
Some would call it being human.
I just say that it is simply the reality of the situation.