A thank you to those who are here and those that stayed; an apology to those I lost.
The burden of disease.
The cost to society.
That is how my life is measured – in dollars and cents.
It plays out in the news and health policy with sensational headlines like: The High Price of Failing America’s Costliest Patients.
And every time I see such a headline, it makes me feel like I am a drain on society. I am a burden. My very existence costs society, a detriment to society by these measures.
Healthcare does not have a problem with silos.
In fact, there are no silos in healthcare; there are only boundaries.
If we truly want to change healthcare, we need to break boundaries.
“If you smile, I’ll send you to the dean’s office,” my high school philosophy teacher warned me.
It was an exercise, a test to see if I could go an entire day without smiling.
I failed and in front of my peers he picked a fight and sent me to the dean’s office. A first (and last) for someone who prided themselves on being the perfect student.
And that moment forever changed my life.
Once upon a time, I had a wonderful cadre of friends. I held game nights and wrote long letters. I sent cards for every holiday and stayed on friend’s couches when they were having a tough time. I strove to ensure that they knew how much I loved them.
Still, I lost many friends. Relationships failed over and over again because of my own actions driven my BPD symptoms. And any attempt I made to date ended in disaster.
I hurt anyone who got too close.
A few years ago, my doctor encouraged me to read The Catcher in the Rye. When I read it, he told me:
So many times, I saw you as Holden Caulfield. A really good person that, at times, refused to see the world for what it was despite how you were treated. How you care for your kids and wanting to stop them from suffering any of the ways you ever did. How much you care for those around you and your selfless acts towards everyone you come in contact with. It was really the image of the title of the book—I could see you as the catcher in the rye field trying to protect the innocence of your kids and at the same time, you, as one of the kids wishing someone had been there to prevent you from going (being taken) over the edge.
The words were quite kind and I carry them with me. But when I read The Catcher in the Rye, I was more drawn to what I call “the duck question” – which for me translates to “was it bad?”