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This is going to be like a journal of some sorts and as the word goes, it is an expression of my various encounters and my continued triumph over the neurological disorder termed dystonia. For the benefit of the countless who are still ignorant, remember that the message is always in the details. DYSTONIA IS NOT A DISEASE, IT IS A degenerative DISORDER! And going by the dictionary definition, a disorder is a physical condition in which there is a disturbance of normal functioning while a disease is an impairment of health usually caused by a pathogen. Kindly desist from making some of us pull out our hair in frustration and it is worse when confused by a medical practitioner who ought to be in tune with dynamism that accompanies everything in life, careers and professions inclusive.
Which reminds me of a hilarious episode in a divorce proceedings which I am keenly following whenever possible. The parties in dispute are individuals just like you and I, and as the case where maturity usually precedes the natural bestial nature of man, the man has opted to seek redress and dissolution by going through the appropriate channels whilst the woman, a self acclaimed and proven pseudologist, (note that not every female is a lady) despite being an epitome of shamelessness and a walking catastrophe cannot but revert to being bestial irrespective of her ‘decent’ origins. Well that said for the two, the counsel representing the woman (again note that birds of similar plumage can only flock together) was so severely trounced by his counterpart – a younger attorney with decades separating them in terms of practice that it was actually bemusing to be reminded that stagnancy in life is worse than being dead.
No matter how hard truth seeks to be muffled, in the end, freedom and true liberation comes only from acceptance and acknowledgement of the truth. As we watch with bated breath, the health struggles of Mandiba, the legacies fought for and left behind can never be eroded. That the actions of a simple illiterate black lady who refused to submit to the oppressions of apartheid has become one of the most notable events in black Africa only drives home the point that in every one of us lies the resolve to make a difference in the world. If each one of us can tell ourselves that truth, then what a wonderful world we will live in. A simple black African-American Minister, just like anyone of us dreamers dared to be different and today, decades after his demise, his words still ring loud and true.
As I contemplate on the events going on in my life, and the seeming uncertainty of the future, I can still proclaim that there is hope as long as you can dare to grasp it. Angelina Jolie, in yet one of her sterling performances in “Changeling” ended the movie with these lines…….’now I have gotten something I have always looked for. HOPE’. What else do we live for but hope that there will be a better tomorrow? What else will make a previously healthy individual, now seemingly bested by dystonia, still able to make his voice heard and proclaim to as many that life is not determined by the state of your physical condition but by the strength of your spirit. And what determines the strength of your spirit, is the source of your strength. I know what my source is and I choose Him over and over again.
Little gestures of kindness, a friendly pat on the back, a friendly smile are inexpensive acts which cost us nothing but are received with much appreciation. I made a new friend in Zimbabwe and her husband is dystonic, and all she needed were just a few words and some empathy because whether we like it or not, irrespective of what we are going through, there is always strength to offer a helping hand. What helping hand have you offered in the past twenty-four hours? How many words have you directed towards someone on the other end of the divide? What act of kindness have you shown someone else apart from yourself in the past twenty-four hours? These are the very things by which our own lives will be measured at the end of all things because it is not so much as how much you intend to but what you really get done that matters.
One of my very good friends, Hody is finally getting married and I celebrate with her because hers is a story of choosing to triumph over life’s unfairness. In as much as she can look back at it all with a strength of spirit formed over the years, I can attest to this fact that we are the only ones who can change our lives however we should not be content with just our lives but endeavour to reach that one person who is also going through stuff. Hody, knowing you has been a privilege indeed and just like you always say, remember to do whatever makes you sleep at night especially as you wade the waters to begin a new life with your physician and teamie.
I am seeing a new Neurologist in a couple of days and as I anxiously prepare for that meeting, I know that my choices have already been made. For the rest of us out there, who are contemplating life’s sometimes aggravating tantrums, remember that the will to live is also a choice but the passion to dare to be different is a battle that will be continually fought and even now, you can determine to be the winner because the truth is that the victory has already been won, it is now up to you to cease that victory or continue to wallow in the squalor that life has tossed you into. Get out of the muck and live a life of purpose.
I leave you with the words of Johann Gottfried Von Herder, “Without inspiration, the best powers of the mind remain dormant. There is a fuel in us which needs to be ignited with sparks.” Do yourself a world of good and inspire yourself, utilize the best powers of your mind and dare to be you.