My childhood was in the 70’s, sorrounded by doctors, lots of medical tests (some of them really painful), medical treatments and plenty of visits to hospitals; it was hard, especially for my parents, who suffered every wrong diagnosis. As a matter of fact, the final diagnosis came very recently after almost a quarter of a century (hardly a year ago I finally knew my dystonia was based on a gene called dyt1 and, consequently, it was hereditary).
That ‘brain deficiency’ (as a neurologist named it), which was degenerating into a progressive lack of ability, was just caused by some chemical disfunctions, and didn’t affect to my intellectual capacity, even much higher than the average according to some psychological studies. Nevertheless, nothing to take into account: I only look up to generosity as a universal value to consider. I learned this from my grandmother, completely illiterate but the most irreproachable person I ever met.
From then on, my life was synonymous with renunciation to plenty of things. I especially remember how painful having to stop guitar lessons when I was twelve was. It was just the beginning of a new and uncertain scenery with lots of opportunities for me… although just like an spectator. I suppose I renounced to my first love as well.
Therefore, I became withdrawn for a decade, while I only kept the indispensable social relationships to survive. Without any brother or sister, and any feeling like making friends, I just leaned on some hobbies that finally became my salvation, the same somehow I have never left: music, chess, scientific literature… Meanwhile, the disease moved forward and my body started to suffer from the effects.
Ten years went by very slowly. But one day, I decided (I’d like to suppose that I did) to get out of the safety cave I had built for myself. I know pretty well many other people under similar circumstances have been living plunged into chronic depressions, even having suicide thoughts. I’d also like to think that my situation moved fortunately on a new stage of my life, much more mature and based on its new starting point philosophy: self-acceptance.
No doubt, I bet very clearly on something: those who really loved me would do knowing me and my whole circumstances full well; they would even help me as much as they could. Once again generosity was the most important key, and my closest circle seldom left me to my fate. I could surely say things didn’t go so bad.
I also concluded that analyzing too much, thinking about things once and again, was in my case just a waste of time. Nowadays I feel I can be even more categorical: Indeed, the essential of life consists of spending much more energy on doing than on thinking.
This way life finally gave me a lot of chances in studies, work, relationships, love… From this starting point I keep on somehow living my life as I usually like to say: showing the maximum ‘sportsmanship’.
I must say I do not undergo any kind of medical treatment – it doesn’t mean I’m against them –. However, I set my own therapy based upon physical exercise (especially going cycling, or what my son prefers to do) and intellectual hobbies as well. I also try to pay attention to many issues, as many as possible (doing, doing and doing… what psychologists –not me – would call ‘occupational therapy’). Of course there I have music, of course, chess (less than before), scientific literature… my old and usual supports.
Having learned Biochemistry and also a Master in Information & Knowledge Management, I just aspire to provide my family and friends with a decent environment but also to share with the whole world those things of mine which can be useful, being as humble as possible and not a model of anything at all.
To sum up, I think I would like to transmit this message from the bottom of my heart: I feel that limitations are not that strong if you definitely desire to build.