This year I have been tested: Emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Last year, I faced death. My lungs were collapsing and a bullet from my younger years was being removed in 2017. My body was literally on it's death bed...so I thought. Funny, after you get done praising God and feeling safe- it happened. I found myself in my doctors office in tremendous pain. At first I thought it was side effects from the surgery or medicine. The doctors thought is was obesity on the joints, then arthritis, and then Muscular Dystrophy. Each time they would run more tests and diagnosis. I have faced death a few times. In high school, my best friend Willie Brown, Jr., committed suicide and for the next month I tried several times to join him. In college, my god brothers Ullyses and Chris literally held my wrist and throat to save my life. I died for 2 minutes according to the doctors. Finally as an adult, I went through flipping my truck and a rage that left me on the side of the road finally treated for depression. A drug in my brain was not being produced. Each time my body tried to kill me- it just pissed me off and made me stronger. But this time was different, at 36 literally two times the age of 18- that I thought I would not get to: due to surroundings, economics, and my life that I had created.
Here I was at 36- staring my doctor, a police officer, and a psychiatrist in the faces. I remember the doctor saying, "It will just be a few people joining us today." I remember hearing them speak and just looking at the table refusing to hear them. I remember going to spine clinics and specialists all across the country waiting for one to say something different. I remember my sister who is a nurse understanding and at the same time refusing to understand. I remember my parents just holding me in the parking lot of the top nerve specialists in the nation. Just holding me. Funny thing about dying, the closer you are to it - the more you realize how much you like living. So what is it? I know you are dying to know...get it the pun. It is a rare genetic nerve disorder. It is not contagious. You can't catch it. It won't affect/effect you no matter what. It is literally in laymen's term a disorder that wants to shut down my brain and nervous system. I still refuse to name it. I told myself if I made it to 37 I would just tell my fbf's and my friends. I am so thankful to my family, Andrea, Pastor Earle, Ashawntee, Hope, Tundrea, Willow, Jazz, Chill, Elvin, my line brothers and my softball girls. I honestly just couldn't take the damn sadness after my family found out the hard way at teh doctor's office and my line brothers found out when I called a meeting and watching friend after friend break or walk out. I just couldn't tell anybody else. Except the youth, they don't pity you. They get on your butt about what you are eating and if Coach rested on the bus to the game. As you see, the list is incredibly short, I never was much for goodbyes...and this isn't one by the way. I'm getting to that.
This is a declaration that I am still here. The doctors said, "Time's up- you won't see your 37th." Honestly, I've been afraid to sleep. I decided that I would stay up. I am honestly afraid if I go to sleep- maybe the doctors would be right. My faith in my Creator, God, the Universe is fluctuating and yet I know that the Magic that in woven into the fabric of my being keeps me connected to my God. My Creator created a being of just outright stubbornness. Today, I sent a note. At 3:00 P.M. CST my doctor will get it. It simply says. "I am still here." I have endured so much this year. So much loss- of love, relationship, friendships, money, jobs and my way of living. My body at times has been paralyzed and I just lay in bed crying. Sometimes, honestly- I wished for death at times thinking it would be easier but dying is not. Living is easier. Each moment you get a chance to breathe, correct, change, and create. I have learned how to control my happiness and how to demand my sanity. Recently, I went to a doctor that is encouraged with the way my body has taken to some drugs and that my nervous system is trying to actually repair itself. He says, "It's a miracle." I prefer "Fate." It is supposed to be this way. For the last 60 days, I have been purposely telling myself. You are healed. You can walk. You can breathe. You can remember. You will heal. It is my mantra each morning.
Why now? I got tired of lying. Anyone that has been in my life for the last decade knows that I am brutally honest and take pride in my truth. I had issues with that in my youth. As a man, I stand firm on those things. So yeah, I just got tired. I'm not okay. But I am perfectly fine. I am excited about teaching this year. I am excited about doing slam poetry. I am excited about working out. I am excited that once again my purpose is not done and this testimony is just now starting. What I have learned is that through these trials to celebrate now. We often wait until the storm is over. I celebrate now. To all others facing storms, I say endure- LIGHT will come. Fear not- Darkness always breaks. I do not know what is to come. I expect to have my body be in that 3.2% that bodies correct or it reduces to MS/MD/ severe Fibromyalgia or bust out yo- it was just a misread diagnosis. Either way I do not fear. The doctors will do there jobs. My body will make clear. I will still get angry when they take blood, MRIs, Spin me a round and ask me do I want to be a test rat for new drugs. I decline. I'm from Tuskegee. I've seen how that turns out. I trust ginger and roots and prayer and meditation and water. Anyway, this is a blog...but more- it is a note to myself for 2019. A moment to look back and remember the night I was afraid to go to sleep on my birthday. But honestly, I have been afraid to go to sleep for the last 6 months. Today, I'm just happy to be writing and working on lesson plans and watching my fingers and legs work. The beauty of feeling teardrops fall and knowing that for whatever reason your job on this Earth isn't complete yet. I have work to do and so do you. Keep pressing thinkers. There is work to do.
Happy Birthday to myself,
P.S. I am still here!