Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Why did I disappear?

Warning, this is a venting post.  If it rambles, please forgive me.  What triggered it?   Some of my old  acquaintances have been curious to know what happened to me and some are probably wondering why I have never really renewed my association.  In the latter case, it may be that I just haven't gotten around to it.  I have only stopped living like a hermit in the past three months.

In the past, I have been guilty of pushing friends away, especially when I was very ill (with my uncontrolled Wegener's and once with H1N1/asthma).  It was partly on purpose and partly subconscious.  Like an old wounded bear, I seek out somewhere quiet and isolated where I can heal up.  Just like that bear, if disturbed, I can be irritable.  Maintaining friendships takes a lot of work  and energy, energy that I just couldn't afford to devote at the time.  I even stopped contributing to a support group for my disease as the outcome of a few of it's members was depressing me.  Then, for several years during my convalescence, I selfishly kept to myself as I didn't want to hear about the outdoor adventures that my old companions were enjoying when I couldn't participate.  A better person would have been happy for them.

During my self-induced exile, I had several tenacious friends who refused to give up on me.  I would get phone calls, which I really appreciated, letters, emails, messages, and visits offering encouragement.  Several suggesting that they would come over and kick my butt if I didn't start doing more with them.  I even had one friend give me chores and projects to keep me less focused on myself.  I will be forever grateful to all those people who stuck with me through the bad times.  Thank you!

Sadly, I lost a few friends during those years as well.  I am sorry.  Most were my fault but a few had disappeared because they were not really friends in the first place. In a way, my isolation helped separate those who were true friends from those with whom I had superficial relationships with and never really realized it.  I have even had people I thought were my friends, send hateful emails or create posts online criticizing my lifestyle when I was at my lowest point.  After feeling devastated and depressed, I dropped a few people who had a negative influence on me.  I still do.  Life is too short, especially for me.

I will never be able to live the same life I had before I got sick however, I am healthy enough that I can now afford to spend time and energy on some of the activities I used to enjoy albeit somewhat limited..  I now understand that I don't really have control over who my true friends are...they chose me.  My revelation....like love, friendship is unconditional.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Hello...about me

My name is Stephen.  How do you do?

I am a happily married(25 years in May, thank you!) father of two teenagers.  I'm a middle aged person but feel like an old fart.  About six years ago, I was stricken with a terrible chronic auto-immune disease called Wegener's Granulomatosis (a form of vasculitis).  I don't want to dwell entirely on my health but it does and will play a role in my state of mind and the activities I enjoy

I work as a medical laboratory technologist in a very busy local hospital laboratory as a "core tech".  I am very proud of my profession and I love the impact that I have made in people's lives.

I love the outdoors, I love to travel, and I really enjoy taking pictures.

I started this blog because I feel that I may have some interesting thoughts and experiences to contribute as well as having a platform to vent on once in a while.