Friday, April 12, 2013

We are all limited

It's funny how life always seems to remind me that while my challenges are physical in nature, other people have other issues to overcome. I guess it's true that we are all limited in some ways and who is to say what is better? Consider this scene from a few months ago: I was worried that one of my neighbors  stays at his apartment, by himself and nothing but his faithful crossword puzzle to keep him company. I may have been stepping over an invisible line, but I figured, your early 20's is way too young to feel so old and burnt out. Everybody needs a little music and some company I figured, so I invited him to join us for karaoke. And he seemed excited to leave his little seclusion.  What can I say, I have a lot of friends and I make them easy, so yes- I like to be surrounded by friendly faces and I love it when I an get everyone to come together and have a fun time. There's only so much you can do to make everybody comfortable at a noisy bar and with everybody I know pulling me in all different directions it's even harder to pay attention to one single person. He chose to sit by himself far from everyone I knew, and by the time I returned from the restroom he was about to get up and leave. When I asked him what happened he explained that the set up of the room didn't make him feel included. I thought about it some more when I wrote my previous text.  You don't have to have a disability to feel excluded sometimes. Yes, you could say, it's a bar, everybody makes their own fun. He should have just pulled his chair closer and jump into the conversation at any point. But something about him, his personality, the way he was prevented him from being able to, not because he didn't want to.  A different friend has panic attacks often so strong they're's unable to function. And it's not something you can rationalize or easily explain. It's not about anything real or specific but it is real to them. And if you met it would not be something  you can easily reconcile with a fun and engaging personality.  Yet there were times the family had to step in and take my friend home. With me, you can see it. You know what I have. And it made me think about the one truly responsible agent. Our brain. Isn't it a bizarre instrument? It makes us who we are. Allows us to be, to create to think, but then it puts limitation on us. My brain makes me witty, and what I consider myself to be motivated, intelligent and fun but it prevents me from walking. My disability is not psychological in nature, but just like the issues some of my friends have it is rooted in the brain. It enables me in some ways, disables me in others. And I can't help thinking that everybody has something within them that prevents them from being exactly how they like to see themselves, in some cases it's just more visible than others.

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