Disease. In my life disease has been a condition I impose on myself. I have always been able to manage the germs and bacteria I encounter with ease. I do have allergies that corrupt my wellness. That being said I have had issues with my health that have been definitive. I have spent more than two years of my life doing nothing but recovery and rehabilitation. Additionally I have spent months unable to work, handicapped by debilitating pain. When I was still a teen I injured myself with methadrine and psychedelics. When I was in my late teens and twenties if I was not working I was drinking.
Living in the San Francisco Bay Area it was easy to get pure LSD in the late 1960’s and early 70’s. I took more of it than I should have. I was not interested in recreation but rather communion. In 1970 pharmaceutical grade methadrine was everywhere. I got strung out for three months. I ended up getting busted, thank God. I thought I was kicking it but was so high when I was arrested that it took three days before I came down. I found my bearing and walked away from it. I was not unscathed. When I was twenty-one I had to teach myself that two plus three was five. Quite a fall from being the top of my class in my high school college prep program. I still fantasize about recovering my math skills but I don’t know what I would do with them. It is like having a lost friend. Boozing and motorcycles damn near killed me a few times.
I walked away, literally walked away, from two motorcycle accidents that were very serious. As likely to kill me as not. I managed a compacted thoracic vertebrae in the first and a broken neck in the other. Those injuries eventually forced me to reconsider my lifestyle. At twenty-nine I was using booze to manage my pain. The combination proved disastrous. Once again thank God. Through all of this and still today God has been the dominate feature in my life. I expect to encounter God empirically and am confident in no other path.
I have found pain to be something quite fickle. It is so easily influenced by stress that it seems discretionary. I have learned a lot about myself by living with it.
The Mystic Tourist