Fighting for Our Lives

None of us have been in the same room as perfection and none of us ever will be. But I would like to think each of us has the capacity to fight for our lives. The question is, will we? Will I? Will you?

We all know people who, for reasons that can be hard to understand, won’t fight for their lives. People who leave their medical conditions unaddressed, or live with medical conditions they don’t know about because they don’t go to the doctor. I am one who is guilty of not going to the doctor enough. Remember, in this blog, I promise you honesty, not perfection.  Many of us know people who battle with substance-abuse addictions; sometimes they wear the face of booze, sometimes drugs, oftentimes both.

I have known and know people who are stopped by something or someone when it comes to declaring war against the forces that are intent on ending their lives. And if these forces can’t end life right away, they’ll damage the hell out of it in the meantime. These forces are relentless. They possess evil tenacity and zero conscience. They don’t give a rat’s ass if you are a nice person. They’re not going to leave you alone because you have a good job or nice car or because your family and friends love you.

But what stops so many of us from issuing this declaration of war against an addiction or the possibility or presence of deadly disease?

I think the answer is found in this observation. Somewhere along the line we lost sight of our value.

If we were raised in abusive households, we may never have experienced our value in the first place. If you are a member of a minority, it is not unlikely that you’ve been given the message that you are worth less than others. The reason I would urge all of you to declare war, not just against any force designed to end your life, but against influence of your history, your society or your present that stops you from seeing your value is because your value is really there. It has always been there.

Just because you can’t  experience yourself as being a worthwhile human being yet, doesn’t mean you are not a worthwhile human being. It means something or someone is stopping you from experiencing yourself accurately.

Who do you think deserves control over your experience of you? You or your history? You are something or someone in your present who gives you the message that you are worthless? I vote for you. After all, if I am right, and I am, that you truly are a valuable and extraordinary person, don’t you think you have a right to find out? I do.


Of all the holidays New Year’s means the most to me. No, I do not go to parties or loud gatherings. Not interested. But I do like it as a time of reflection. What has the concluding year, in this case, 2008, been like, and what do I hope for in the new year, 2009? Well, for starters, I don’t want 2009 to be anything like 2008. This year has been packed with bullshit and betrayals. On more than one occasion I have made the decision to let something slide, although I am carefully rethinking each and every one of those decisions.

As for New Year’s resolutions? For me, first and foremost, protect my sobriety. I will celebrate seven years of sobriety this July and I know, or have learned, that anything I put before my sobriety I will lose. Part of protecting my sobriety means growing my sobriety which, in my case, will mean taking better care of myself physically. I want to get back into a physical conditioning ritual. Moreover, I want to write, write, write. And, of course, continue the weekly workshops I facilitate for brain injury survivors, their loved ones and professionals in the field.

I will also do everything in my power to support a wonderful woman I was onced married to who now battles a medical condition that wants to, if not take her life, make her as miserable as possible. She has the heart of a warrior and my money is on her, but that does not mean I will not seek to move mountains for her. If giving up a limb would mean the demise of the medical condition she faces, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Faster even.

I can tell you this, knowing what she is facing makes me far less patient with the bullshit in life. It makes me wish it was 35 years ago, a time when I would have simply tracked down the cowards that betrayed me this year and simply, well, you know, at least smacked’m. Fortunately for them, and for me, I am sober, and, blessedly, non-violent.

And so, for now, I will get well, resume life, love those in my life with all my heart and all my might, and simply discard those that bring pain, dishonesty and bullshit into my life. Not a bad way of losing weight and increasing my spiritual fitness.

Anyway, stay safe all. Be well in this new year, remember to live.