Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Beginning Again.

Hello everyone! I know it's been quite some time since I wrote last. I am happy to back and perhaps I can start this RAD blog with some epiphanies I have had along the way.

My journey with RAD and my life has taken so many horrible turns. Every day is still a struggle to remain afloat with so many challenges that lie ahead in the not so distant future. I have not been successful in life. It's still a challenge to try and relate to others. I have always been a very closed off, very quiet person. Trying to join the "human community" isn't something I have ever really considered.

I know now why I stopped writing my blogs. I remember trying to travel into the woods and do some backpacking one weekend. I sat in the blissful sunlight surrounded by flora, fauna and an endless expanse of dense woods. My home.

Oddly, I had another emotional experience that really challenged my thinking and my demeanour.

I looked out at this beautiful place and realized there was no one to share it with. I was alone in the woods with my music and it didn't make sense. The woods was just a desolate expanse of nothing. My life and memories are those woods. Beautiful, but terribly lonely. I didn't want to be there anymore. The woods represented everything that I have been battling for so long. Terrible loneliness. I sat on a log, thinking about my journey and how hard I have had to fight to get where I am today.

I packed up my gear and decided to hike out. I talked to my father about my new found experience in the woods and he was equally impressed with the conclusion that I had drawn from my experience that day.

When I began my very, very dangerous survival hiking I think it was a way to find my own autonomy, my own voice and to find my place in life. I had to create my own set of rules and standards. I had to begin all over again and experience life for me. I had to have something that was all mine, that NO ONE could take away from me.

It's still hard to look at all my mistakes (And there are alot of them) and I am beginning to learn how to apply them in positive ways as opposed to negative ways. I may be very poor and carless but I have something that I think is intrinsically more valuable:

Life experience

Today I am writing about starting over. This is to all the RAD Survivors and Sleepers that have woken up along with me to begin rebuilding their lives with newfound hindsight and experience.

What we have been through will always be with us. It shapes us. It changes our lives in profound ways. We see the world through a skewed perspective that many, many, many people don't and will never understand. We have the privilege of understanding the world and ourselves through personal struggle and strife.

For me, life is beginning all over again. I am learning how to wake up every morning, enjoy the sunset, drink some coffee and just experience life. I don't think that my life will ever be "normal" in the traditional sense. Too much has happened and too much time has gone by. I can, however learn to live life anew everyday.

Every RAD survivor can learn to begin to learn how to live life at it's very basic concepts. I think however, RAD simply has to run it's course in earnest and in it's entirety. Once the wreckage has settled, life begins again.

I am fond of saying that " The life that was handed to me wasn't fair, but tomorrow can be. " And RAD survivor will say the same thing once they are ready to live life again.

A friend of mine who lives in Russia talk daily and that's unusual for me. He's a young guy with a very bright future. He is going to become a doctor. I told him that I envy him and that I wished I was as smart as he is. Of course he shrugged this off and told me I was just as smart. He shared some of his own life experiences from his perspective, which was very comforting.

I am beginning life again and I believe that any RAD survivor ready to make the leap back into the human community has to come to grips with the acceptance of their where they are in life. We have to find the simple beauty of living life with the haunting reminders of what got us to this place and helping others find the better angels of their nature. We can do this not by comparing ourselves to others that couldn't possibly understand our experience, but by our own definition of what beauty is.

Just as the sun rises, leaves die, snow falls and life begins anew we can follow that same life pattern. Just as the seasons change, so can we. We can find beauty in our lives, no matter how terrible they may have been. Just as the woods has taught me that life is simply that and we must weather the hard seasons as best we know how.

As I have blogged and been transparent with my life, I have lost what I thought were good friends over stupid religious beliefs, professional contacts over ridiculous arguments and fellow survivors through embattled passions but I still stand stoic to helping anyone I can through my writing. That's all I have left of my life.

And that, it seems for right now, is just fine with me.

May the the changing seasons find you ALL in good health, hope and happiness.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

A message to my readers

Dear all,

I am sorry for the lack of updates. ALOT has been going on here and lots of it has been really, really tough. I will talk more about RAD, my battle with my recovery, possible lung cancer and more during the next week. I thank all of those who posted, asking where I was. Just alot of personal/mental stuff has been going on and it's been very difficult to cope with.

I leave everyone, right now, however with a quote. It's for all the moms, fathers, children, brothers and sisters that are battling R.A.D. with everything they have:

"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, we must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell and again touched, as surely they will be. By the better angels of our nature...."