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News for May 2009

The Five Things that have Touched My Life the Most

The reconnecting with old friends from college has made me start thinking about the things in my life that have had a profound impact on my life over the years. These are the things that touch you deeply in life, the things you remember for the rest of your life, the things that when you are feeling down and out that you look to help you get through those times. Many times the things are small things. The kind of things like a few words to let you know someone is there for you, that they care, etc. Other times it is a small gesture or a gift that means more than the person giving it realizes. The list really goes on and on.

Here is my list in no special order.

1. Two years ago, a friend of mine gave me a flower she made out of ribbon. It was shortly after my ex-wife and I had separated (at my request) and was around this time of year. I don’t think she could ever have imagined just how much that one simple thing would touch me and how deeply it would. Two years later I still have that flower at my desk a work. Times that I start getting stressed or depressed I look at it and it helps me more than anyone can ever realize. Of all the things I own, of all the gifts I have ever been given – big and small- it is my single most prized possession. The only way anyone will ever get it away from me is to pry it out of my cold dead hands. My guess is that it means more to me than it was ever meant too. I can’t tell you how many times I have cried and teared up over this simple gesture over the last two years.

2. Last year I was having some hard times. I was feeling invisible and like no one noticed me in life. This quote from the show House sums it up perfectly:

House episode 201
“Dr. Cameron: When a good person dies, there should be an impact on the world. Somebody should notice. Somebody should be upset.”

This is exactly what I wrote, minus a profaniy edit, in my journal at the time…

Well I do know one thing…no one will notice my death when the time comes. no one will notice or give a f***….

My friend vanya read that entry not long after. She had just three simple words for me: “I’ll notice” …when I read those three words I just broke down into tears. Those three little words meant everything to me. I do not think any three words have ever had such an amazing impact on my life. Even now remembering those words and that night, I cry all over again.

3. When I reconnected with my friend Joann, I found out that after all these years, she still has a picture I took of her. I never even imagined that she would still have it. It is hard to explain why, but it just makes me smile and touches me. I guess it is because I never did expect her to keep it.

4. OK, every now and then, the things that touch us are larger events, and that is what this one is. Back in college, I was being rather, well stupid. I was downstairs playing video games and had not taken my medicine for my seizures. Low and behold I started getting all the tell tale signs I was about to have one. Two thoughts crossed my mind. The first, ohhhh f***. The second was that I had to get upstairs because I knew my friend Steph was up there. I also knew that she was studying to be or was an EMT (I forget which – old age) and that if anyone in that building knew what to do and would not freak out that it would be her. Just as I got outside the radio station door where she was, I went down. Thankfully, she was still there. She looked after me until the ambulance came and made sure I was going to be ok. I think that it is obvious why that one has such an impact lol.

5. Well this last one I am going to keep somewhat general because to pick anyone person or event out of the group would be to do injustice to the others. These all relate to my current job. These people have given me a chance and believed in me when even I did not. When I started, when was hired, I was a complete unknown. I had no experience in the field or the position. It was the first chance that anyone had ever given me professionally. Today, people continue to trust in me and to help me grow and learn. There are just too many people and too many events to list. When someone takes a chance on you, when they believe in you – it has a huge impact on you.

Edited: May 4th, 2009

May 2009 NEA-BPD Conference

Well as expected todays’ conference is great and emotional at times. This one focuses on co-morbidity with substance abuse. The part right before lunch has been the most emotionally charged – it was a person from NAMI, another mother of someone with BPD sharing her story and a woman who has has BPD and Substance Use Disorder (SUD) for many years telling her story.
She talked about how everytime she got in a relationship that was going well she would find a way to destroy it, how hard it was for her trust anyone, about her splitting, and how she always would test everyones love.

I am sure it took a lot of courage for the woman with BPD to get up in front of everyone, most of the people being mental health professionals or students, and tell her story. Her story and the mothers were heart wrenching, making me have to fight the tears. I know ahead of time that one thing or another will invoke an emotional response within me. The common thing both women talked about more than anything else wa4 how important having someone listen – truly listen – to you is, how much it helps to have people believe in you, people who accept you for you/don’t judge you and people who understand.

I will of course be posting more in-depth thoughts soon about this one and the treatment one from a few weeks back as well as digital copies of the conference manuals they give out.

Edited: May 1st, 2009


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