New Year, new (well rebuilt) me, and moving forward…

It’s been said many time, by many people; I need to get out of my head, stop focusing on something that has dominated my life for the past two years, and let the people in the medical profession do their job. Well that’s easier said than done… This brave new world; in this one I refuse to be a stranger in a strange land. Why? Because, things are already strange on a daily basis; however I can say categorically that everything is improving. Though most days I don’t even notice, I work through the neurological pain; the anxiety that is associated with it, some days I lose that battle; but overall it’s improving and I am able to enjoy moments with friends, and puppers as this new repurposed version of me.

Dr. Google is not yet a thing of the past, I’m still trying to figure out what is the cause of the weird sensations; these things that have no rhyme or reason to them, and should not be a thing, yet for some reason are. He (or is it she or they or it?) does not play as large of a role in my life as it did before; in part thanks to friends constantly reminding me not to Google, or asking if I am. If caught sheepishly denying it, or using dog as a scapegoat as he has some fun things that have arisen in recent history.

So this New Year; it doesn’t have a plan, nor have I decided what its theme is. I have decided though that this year, I am not going to make promises to myself, this way I can ensure that I don’t disappoint and as a result hopefully not backtrack on my of the progress made. If I was to put a label on it, maybe reinvention, or out of the rabbit hole; if it was to be themed, I would have to go with cruising down the yellow brick highway, or the end of the never ending winter (for those that are reading impaired, or haven’t seen the movies based off the classic books the references are the Wizard of Oz and The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe).

The rebuilt me; is still in the works but I am putting more faith and trust in my massive medical team. I’m alive, to be honest I wasn’t sure I would be; the past few years have been rough, that’s an understatement; they have been a nightmare. One that luckily I don’t remember huge chunks of, other than what’s been logged in the journals I’ve kept to help with my timeline, and in the not to distant past to be less reliant on those around me. The primary focus of those logs being symptoms, and an loop that ended and began trying to remember one day, a day that I have a picture that is based off of what others have told me. What is real or has been fabricated, I may never know; that being said, I’m leaving that day in the past where it belongs, something I should have done many moons ago.

Moving forward; now that’s always been a challenge for me. I’m not one to let go of things, I do just the opposite in fact; I cling to them, reliving, and replaying the mental tapes over and over; like I did with Pete’s Dragon as a child, until my mother got rid of it because she couldn’t handle hearing Candle on the Water one more time.

I’ve relived the past few years over and over in my head trying to find the mistake, figure out where I went wrong, as if I could go back and fix it somehow. The reality is there was no mistake. If I had to go back and do it all again; I wouldn’t change a thing. I would do it all the exact same way, it’s made me who I am today; a person that despite all odds, is still here standing tall, imperfections and flaws just adding to my own unique flavor. The truth doesn’t take two spoons of sugar to help it go down; I am tenacious, I am driven, and I am strong.

As we move forward this new year; reflect back, but don’t get stuck there. Learn from the past, yours and others so that the same mistakes aren’t aren’t work to fix the issues, and be part of the solution, not the problem. Be patient with those who try your last nerve, understand that that system is broken and that no amount of stupidity could begin to understand its flaws or how it “works.” And smile no matter how difficult it may be, it confuses people when you should be in tears, and that makes it worth it.

So for now a man and his dog sit on the light rail, ignoring the weird bodily functions, trying not to vomit. The man typing, the dog barking happily as people give him attention. Both smiling, even if it’s unsteady and at times a mask. Pondering what the next step is, and how to keep beating the odds. Till next time, this outlandish duo and the motley crew of ragtag mixed background mutts and street survivalists will comply with the transit security directive to silence the musings of the mutt, singing the songs of his people about how abused they are, and how they get no love or cookies.

A Man, A Dog & Their Road to Health | Sleepless inSouth Beacon Hill | Fierce Ramblings of an HIV+ gay male longing the day when the struggle ends & life begin.

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Joel Jared Ehmann

A Man, A Dog & Their Road to Health | Sleepless inSouth Beacon Hill | Fierce Ramblings of an HIV+ gay male longing the day when the struggle ends & life begin.