29 November 2005
24 November 2005
A warm place to live.
Food on my table.
A hot shower.
A job that allows me to make enough money to have a few nice things.
A country that lets me speak my mind.
Two turntables and a microphone.
Five four-legged friends.
and of course: you.
22 November 2005
18 November 2005
All of this took place within a 1/4 mile of two shelters that I know about, and forty yards of the front door of a public library, any of these places would have been adequate for warming up, and the shelters would have provided a hot meal. I saw a police officer go up and speak to the lady, probably trying to encourage her to get to a shelter. Evidentily she chose to stay where she was.
This set off a rapid fire series of thoughts running through my head. I thought to my time of being "homeless", for me, my situation was "normalized", 20 years old, no job, no home, no support system, just a clueless part time college student. Even looking back at myself, I had to have had the world-wisdom of a seven year old, if that. I just had no clue, period. I don't know if it was so much of being emotionally stunted as just being unaware of how to get through life on my own. I am fairly certain no one could have convinced me that something was wrong, even though between Feb 84 & July 84 I went from 170 to 125 pounds.
The second major thing that ran through my mind was my recent thought that it was time to try to get along without my medicine. I take an antidepressant to help to curb my migraines, (according to my doctor) this medicine levels out the seratonin in my brain and keeps the migraines from getting out of control. It certainly seems to work, it doesn't eliminate migraines entirely, but I am not missing work like I used to, and it makes them more managable. Basically, my need to take medicine that alters my brain chemistry means that I am mentally ill. When I quit my medicine for a couple days last week, and I've been promptly rewarded with nasty headaches every day this week (until today).
To my mind there are three things that can lead a person to homelessness. It is or becomes "normalized" (i.e. there is nothing wrong), a person is suffering from a mental illness which interfers with their ability to take care of themselves, and/or a number of bad decisions leave the person with no safety net. Obviously, the closer you are to the edge financially, the fewer bad decisions you have to make, however I watched my father manage to go from upper middle-class, married, employed, business owner, and home owner to nothing in a couple of years, I don't even know the extent of the decisions that led him there.
The problem with helping people like this lady get off of the street is how to do it. If the problem is that she doesn't think there is a problem, how do you convince her that there is an issue? What if she likes her life? If she is in need of medication, should you force her to take a mind altering medication against her will? (that's a VERY slippery slope). If she is living on the streets and avoiding the shelters on a cold day, I am guessing that decision-making is probably an issue, but how do you get anyone to make good decisions... all the reading, praying, counselling, and life experience I have been through barely gets me by.
I try not avoid eye contact with people on the street. I consider it basic respect. In general I won't give them money, but I will talk to them, I think it keeps them involved with society in some small way... and it keeps me remembering where I have been and that they are people too... people who I wish would get to a shelter on a cold day.
15 November 2005
14 November 2005
I realize it might be kind of difficult to tell what you might be looking at here, so I'll explain. On the left side of the picture is my TV. On the right background of the picture is my table. In the foreground is a cat. In the middle of the picture, laying on the floor is the fake ficus tree that (normally) sits behind the TV... yes, I have lights on it. Cat... knocked over tree... cat... knocked over tree... I bet you get that picture.
09 November 2005
06 November 2005
Good job Steve!
Merinda got us organized, and it ended up with nine of us going to the last matinee on Saturday at 5:15. Eleven and a half hours later, the party broke up. In between then, we saw the movie, ate at Culvers, gathered at Troy & Merinda's, searched for something to do for :45 minues, watched dance instruction videos and practiced while Troy's played poker and Merinda slept, played Moods (Merinda & Becky's version), 'witnessed' a fight, played Trivial Pursuit (our own version), played even more Trivial pursuit, and went and ate at Alvarado's.
All those people just gathering and hanging out, it's no wonder I love my friends so much. Everyone is so easy going, so happy to have friends, and even the little bickering that goes on doesn't amount to much.
Congratulations to Vivian, who put me in my place last night at Alvarados. Good job, I deserved it.
03 November 2005
and here are some more pictures:
From Robin and
Mae's Blog (Scroll down)
Lori broke up with me on Wednesday night. I admit I am not very happy with it, not unhappy with her, but unhappy with the situation. Timing, as they say, is everything, and although she didn't exactly use those words or that phrase, basically that is the case. I am ready, and she is not. We talked and it is fairly clear that door is closed now, and that I am moving on, and she will be doing what she needs to do.
I feel as though I did (nearly) the best I could, and was respectful, kind, and loving. In other words, I treated her like I wanted her to treat me. So I am happy with myself, although, I can't really be sure if that makes it worse or better.
I know I am fond of saying "one of me, millions of ladies...", but in this case I had thought I lucked into a real gem. I am sad and frustrated and just feeling like it's not going to happen for me. *sigh* I am going to miss her bunches. Please no trite messages about how there is someone out there for me, I already know that.
P.S. to Jitterbugs: Lori says she is likely to continue dancing, please make her feel welcome, thanks in advance.