Many of the past blog entries I’ve posted were about identity. Rightly so, I am an adult man with Cerebral Palsy who has before recent times folded my own wishes into other people’s galaxies. I am overtly aware that the tones of my narratives have been desperate. So without anymore preface, I’ll peel the cynicism back and state the facts–at least what I can claim from my perch atop the tree of life.
When I was the old me, my calling card was recklessness. It was the lovely kind of recklessness. I was the octopus, placing all my appendages outwardly to capture connection. If I’m using this analogy right and octopi live in the water, I drank all the water-freshwater. And I, overwhelmed with feelers, struggled against the water.
I lived in the water. The water was killing me spiritually. And I was too blind to see the total picture. I took my feelers and only experienced a kind of half-life, radioactivity.
Being radioactive made me susceptible to desperation. I’d settle for awkward laughter at jokes that weren’t funny. I’d settle for drunken groups, Rue-21 skinnies way too tight over my rump. I’d settle for conversation where I shared a novella’s worth of content. I’d look desperately at my receiver waiting for the acknowledgement that the novella could sell. But I’d find toxic “oh yeahs” and weird pauses instead.
When we drink the water of “half-life”, acceptance is missing. When Cerebral Palsy lurks in the shadow of true acceptance, excuses are made. The polluters of the water are good at telling the narrative that’s most comfortable. There are polluters that wish for me to be the same octopus.
But I had to adapt to the salt. They said:
“I should thrive in the same water. I SHOULD put my feelers back in the same tank and simply accept that my disability resigns me to desperation.”
I should be desperate for the same trauma that I fought to rid myself of .
When you’re an over-achieving control freak, it’s easy to prey on the desperate person that is recovering from the murk of alien waters.
The “NEW” me craves space: space to make hard choices, space to find my own bliss, space to just be quiet, space to sink to the bottom.
Cerebral Palsy is a condition that might have a person of low estate feel reckless. If we, sufferers of Cerebral Palsy are not intentional, we will be insecure and defensive.
We will be like the old octopus, apt to live in the freshwater of insecurity. Yes. Octopi live in saltwater. As intelligent survivors, they must not dwell in the fresh hell of everyone else’s midsummer. Maybe, this is why they have eight brains.
My new mission is: to thrive in the regenerative clarity of salt.
No! Not sodium. Sodium deprives. A little salt restores. The human body cannot live without salt. When salt loses the agent that accounts for its saltiness, it’s usually because it was stored improperly, exposed to something that encouraged its instability.
The NEW me can’t thrive in a climate that isn’t dry. I am the SALT, not the SODIUM.
When I was all sodium, it was my style to vacillate. To helpless cling to the first stimulating force that walked into my path. That pattern left my vacuous and spent always searching for the next entity to glob onto.
I was… myself PALSY, paralyzing my own voice with the voices of others.
It was easy to believe I knew intimacy because I became like putty, accepting halfhearted overtures of selfishness as the balm to my loneliness. But I’m not demanding attention.
I’m patient enough to be pursued, to breathe on my own without oxygen. I’m aware enough to look past ignorant pleas for my naivety to return. You are free to get out of my field of vision if you’re desperate enough to not consider the ocean of my possibility.
It never occurs to the truly desperate that this octopus is JOYFUL, sinking to the bottom. I’m planning to find my own way when the dust settles. The earth can shake. The stars can fall out of balance. The house can burn.
I am a fixed constellation no longer teetering into the zone of sacrifice. The walls of Jericho will fall and I’ll march around by myself—for myself. I’m thankful for the grace that comes when chaos threatens. There is a new safety in my disability, a new thread sewing together the holes in my spaceship’s hull.
I am not desperate, not without a reservation. I’ve learned to cope with the threat. I never claimed perfection. I claimed TRANSFORMATION.