Saturday, November 20, 2010

Social Withdrawal.............

As the holidays approach, a sense of dread has settled into my psyche.

Historically, Thanksgiving Day has been my favorite holiday. It came with no baggage. No obligatory gifts, no religious dictates, no fireworks, and no memorials. It was a day to count my blessings. A day to focus on the good in my life, eat lots of comfort food, and spend the afternoon with family. It was a day to be thankful for.

One of the symptoms of CBGD is "social withdrawal." To analyze the reasoning behind the symptom is difficult because there is always the possibility that any psychological symptom may be caused by the, very real, degeneration of my brain. I think not.

Having led a life rooted in athleticism, I find my seemingly sudden frailty to be humiliating.

Eating is a particularly embarrassing thing to have to do in front of people. While eating should be a mindless task, it has become a slow, laborious endeavour that becomes more difficult if I believe I am being watched.

Last year's Thanksgiving was eventful in that I passed the carving-of-the-turkey on to my son. I fear that another year from now might mean someone feeding me at the head of the table. I don't think I can do that.

So you see, "social withdrawal" has its roots in the loss of dignity that permeates this disease.

Too much pride may not be a good thing, but its loss is deadly.

Monday, November 1, 2010


My younger brother was in town from San Diego last week and on a cool drizzly day we decided to take in an afternoon movie. I checked the local multi-plex and picked the movie, "Hereafter." I assumed with the names Matt Damon, Clint Eastwood, and Steven Spielberg associated with a movie that had a considerable amount of action in the preview trailer, I was safe. I was wrong!

You see, I've reached a point where crying about MY condition has been locked in a box and shoved to the back of my closet. Way back! I fear I also locked away a bit of my sense of humor, my ability to appreciate simple wonders, and a bunch of my creativity. However, when presented with a situation that others might find sad, I might find deeply despairing. Debilitatingly so.

Considering my weakened ability to discern sad fiction from mournful reality, and the fact that I am in the throes of an "illness" that will kill me, why the hell would I pick a movie called "Hereafter." Believe it or not I find that morbidly hilarious!

The movie dealt with the existence of an afterlife and loved ones who have "passed on" watching over us. Luckily I had buttered popcorn necessitating extra napkins. I'm not sure if it was as much of a tear-jerker to my brother because the "man pact" requires that we not discuss such things.

It is tough to hide despair and still show joy.