Doctor Who

22 Mar

Doctor Who has been on the air since the 1960s.  The main character is the Doctor, an alien.  The gimmick that keeps the show sustainable is that when the Doctor dies, he regenerates into a new body (and new actor).  The new actor plays the same character but not the same character.  With each regeneration the Doctor’s personality also changes.  He has the same memories, but he is a different person.

In a way we are all like that.  I share the same memories as the person I was in 1991 or 2002, but I am a very different person.  We are constantly changing and evolving with each life experience, every challenge, all the tragedies and triumphs, and by every person we’ve met.

In 1982, I wanted to be a mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper when I grew up.  In 1992, I wanted to be a cop.  In 2002, I was very much happy to be working as a legal secretary, and in 2012 I was planning on law school.

Once upon a time I was a republican, until I left home and saw the world.  I used to look down on the homeless, until I was homeless.  I used to be homophobic, and now I’m kinda gay.

Who I am today isn’t my final destination, and I can’t wait to see who I become in the future.

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Duck Tape

15 Mar

Robert E. Wronski, Jr.

In 2002, I was injured in the army.  I have progressive degenerative disk disease.  Basically, there is a crush disk in my neck that presses on a central nerve.  So I suffer from constant pain that gets worse over time (and I refuse to take narcotics because addiction), while also, sometimes parts of my body, such as my hands, my legs, my neck, just stop working for a moment.  So sometimes I just fall.  Sometimes coffee mugs just slip out of my hands, which forces me to have to hold drinks with two hands like a toddler.  And sometimes I have to sit with my head resting against something in order to keep my neck propped up.

So I get a disability from the VA for this injury, a whopping $273 a month.  I can’t work.  I do lots of volunteer work that actually uses my gifts and skills and…

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Duck Tape

15 Mar

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Duck Tape

15 Mar

In 2002, I was injured in the army.  I have progressive degenerative disk disease.  Basically, there is a crush disk in my neck that presses on a central nerve.  So I suffer from constant pain that gets worse over time (and I refuse to take narcotics because addiction), while also, sometimes parts of my body, such as my hands, my legs, my neck, just stop working for a moment.  So sometimes I just fall.  Sometimes coffee mugs just slip out of my hands, which forces me to have to hold drinks with two hands like a toddler.  And sometimes I have to sit with my head resting against something in order to keep my neck propped up.

So I get a disability from the VA for this injury, a whopping $273 a month.  I can’t work.  I do lots of volunteer work that actually uses my gifts and skills and education, but nobody seems to want to pay me for any of that.  So the only people who will hire me is for work that I can’t physically perform.  I can’t stand for very long periods of time.  And I also can’t sit for long periods of time.  By long periods of time, I mean 10 – 20 minutes.

So I’m forced to stay on disability because nobody will hire me for stuff I can do and I can’t physically stand the work I could be hired for.

This past month I finally got the VA, after 17 years, to send me to a specialist.  I actually had to not pay my rent because the VA made me pay for getting seen regarding an injury that was service connected.  Because fuck me.

And then the neurosurgeon, after seeing me, and reviewing my MRI and past history (and likely reviewing that I’m poor and have poor person’s insurance), decided that yes, my condition will continue to get worse.  The pain will get worse, and my body will continue to stop functioning, until I eventually become paralyzed.  And he told me that he’s not going to do anything to help me.  He said that there’s nothing that can be done.

So I used my rent money on medical care that resulted in nothing.  And maybe I’ll end up homeless now.

So I’m pretty devastated over hearing the professional opinion that there’s no hope.  Someone suggested I get a second opinion.  But I can’t afford a second opinion.  Let’s face it, if I had money, the first opinion would have been different.

On another note, my son turns 18 on Sunday.  He’s graduating from high school in June.  He lives out of state.  I don’t have the money to see him graduate, and it’s breaking my heart.  I don’t have the money because I wasted money on trying to not be in pain and to have a body that doesn’t fail me.

Since leaving the army 17 years ago, I’ve dealt with alcoholism, bi-polar disorder, and homelessness.  I’ve worked so hard to recover.   And despite all that hard work, I feel I’ve achieved so little, and now what little I’ve achieved as a foundation is now crumbling beneath me, and I’m barely keeping it together with duck tape.

Perfection

8 Mar

Robert E. Wronski, Jr.

The problem with seeking perfection is that it tends to be an all or nothing state of mind.  If I can’t do it better than everyone else, if I’m going to show a flaw, I don’t do it at all.  As a child, I tended to limit my activities with other kids because of my fear of not being as good as everyone else.  As an adult, I’ve quit jobs because I was basically firing myself before someone else could even if in reality my job was probably secure.

My sponsor taught me that humility was recognizing that I don’t live in extremes.  Sometimes I have to recognize that I may not be the best or the worst.  Sometimes I’m average, and that’s okay.  mediocrity can be acceptable and normal.

I have some amazing gifts.  There are things I excel at.  There’s always going to be someone better.

There are…

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Perfection

8 Mar

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Perfection

8 Mar

The problem with seeking perfection is that it tends to be an all or nothing state of mind.  If I can’t do it better than everyone else, if I’m going to show a flaw, I don’t do it at all.  As a child, I tended to limit my activities with other kids because of my fear of not being as good as everyone else.  As an adult, I’ve quit jobs because I was basically firing myself before someone else could even if in reality my job was probably secure.

My sponsor taught me that humility was recognizing that I don’t live in extremes.  Sometimes I have to recognize that I may not be the best or the worst.  Sometimes I’m average, and that’s okay.  mediocrity can be acceptable and normal.

I have some amazing gifts.  There are things I excel at.  There’s always going to be someone better.

There are things that I just suck at.  But that’s okay too.

But most things I can be okay with just being okay.  And if I want to be  better, then I can put some effort in.  If I don’t care, then I don’t need to care.

Progress not perfection is a freeing expression.  It negates the words of my parents, who discouraged me from trying to protect me from failure.  But not trying is the real failure.

It’s better to try and fail than to give in to fear.  And sometimes the satisfaction isn’t in the end result, but rather in the journey to learn and grow.