A Self-inflicted Wound

This all started when I saw a computer warning that after March, Google is planning to sell info about what web sites we browse to interested companies. That, of course, is an invasion of privacy, but in this age of the internet, what do these powerful companies care about that? The warning – I do not remember where it came from – came with the option to clear our browser histories.
I have nothing to hide, but I do not want these electronic assholes snooping around what sites I choose to visit. And I really dread the prospect of endless ads for the mountain of medical stuff available for purchase. I listen to endless You Tube music, 60’s to opera, and I only can imagine what goes with that. So I did the right thing. Right? Wrong.
As a card carrying Luddite, I did not realize that doing away with my history meant being unable to get into my email, post blogs, and perform life’s little tasks when they require the computer to remember who I am. The hard lesson here is simple: never do anything on principle.
This is my long-winded way of saying that since I seem not +to exist, Journey Man does not know who I am. That’s nice. How quickly we forget. When I attempt to reply to a comment, I receive a demand for my name and email address and website information. I do not even know what that means. Please know I am not ignoring you. I am on strike, waiting for Brooke, Meredith’s colleague who regularly applies triage to my computer hemorrhages, to do it again.
So continue to talk amongst yourselves. You do well without me. This gives me a breather to wonder why I am writing another book with all the pain that is part of the package.

16 Responses to A Self-inflicted Wound

  1. Jan March 6, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

    Brooke to the rescue! We all could use some help now and then. (Especially the Luddite people).

    Okay, take your break, Richard—but know that you are missed, and we expect you to return when ready. (Yes, I said, “expect”). Because you “get it,” you are a fun writer, human, and inspire when we’re having crappy days or issues (even if you aren’t fully aware of that).

    I think that we can all likely relate in some way to the technology aversion. I use it—really like some of it; rather frustrated by some of it, too. (Spiders belong outside, not crawling the Web).

    I will be bold and offer that you are possibly writing another book, though pain be part of the package, to offer connection, encouragement, hope, and a means to relate, to us readers. Because the days of the loopy string of interoffice mail are over—and you can provide a connection that technology can’t, even amidst challenges. Because it will matter: inspire, maybe frustrate, challenge, be a cause us for us to think about our own beliefs and those of others.

    So now, what can we do to help YOU?

    • rm cohen March 6, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

      You are generous but give me too much credit. I feel my way along as we all do. I can think of others who inspire. They are better people than I.


  2. Jan March 6, 2015 at 4:39 pm #

    I’ve come to realize that I think we all inspire in our own ways, be they large or small (and it all matters). Likely not one better than another, just individually different.

    I’m struggling today, thinking that even “whatever status quo” may never come, a “hope” I’ve had for ten years. Likely because my personal status quo could mean no status quo attainable, ever—and currently I’m tired of trying, of spending time on this (but somewhat crabby from pain and pain-induced lack of sleep).

    Ah, nah. I will give myself two more days to be derailed (my way of being on strike perhaps) and then get back on track, whatever that may be. Brooke may pull you out of your technology funk; I have some health-related things in mind and a reminder that the sun is shining today–to soak in the joy that’s there.

    • Richard M. Cohen March 6, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

      Go for it. Smile and be happy. I do that. Once in a while.


  3. Jan March 6, 2015 at 11:33 pm #

    For my “blog buddies,” I’ll call you all…

    I get a lot of inspiration from everyday life. Tonight, it was from a story on Nightline, rather gripping in nature but not health related per se. People do go through a variety of very hard things, sadly. Thoughts imparted by a young man at the segment’s end I think also apply perspective to my health battles:

    * Accept, and move on (not always an easy thing but move somehow I must);
    * (Life’s challenges will) influence, not define (who I am. I hope to be better
    . as a result, not bitter.

    • Richard M. Cohen March 7, 2015 at 6:26 am #

      Move on? Yes. Accept? No.


  4. Jan March 7, 2015 at 6:05 am #

    My error–from Dateline NBC, not Nightline.

  5. MB March 7, 2015 at 9:08 am #

    I’m with you on not accepting this illness, Richard. I look at it more like acknowledging the fact that I lost some battles against MS when it attacked my ability to function normally. I still can’t separate acceptance from surrender and I’m not willing to do either. No way. The war is still being fought and I’m more more confident than ever of a victory since our side unveiled stem cell therapy as its new weapon. <>

    • MB March 7, 2015 at 9:11 am #

      *Insert your war cry of choice after “new weapon.”

    • Richard M. Cohen March 8, 2015 at 7:58 am #

      You know the Dylan Thomas poem, Do not go gentle…That is not about dying but about living. When you acceptm, you lower your weapon. No way.


  6. Jan March 7, 2015 at 10:11 am #

    I’m feeling a small novel coming on…

    Oh, you two, by “accept,” I think what I’m really meaning is a personal acceptance ala “The Serenity Prayer” in that yes, I will still fight as best as I can (the courage to change the things I can) but more of a healthy wisdom in choosing to deal with the realities (if forced to, and that can mean denial when appropriate, definitely not surrender–very different words to me) by knowing that I can still offer much to others amidst it all.

    (So, not a giving-up type of acceptance, by any means. I am a fighter in that regard. But perhaps a “training” of sorts of myself, for my own mental health, that could even grow my perspective and potentially rub off positively on others. Not easy to do, and I’m not there yet).

    And Richard, re, “…to wonder why I am writing another book with all the pain that is part of the package.” Not knowing the exact angle your book will take, do you mean (and I’ll use letters, easy to type in reply if you choose to):
    a. pain in having to revisit your own;
    b. pain as in your prior book in dealing with others’ pain;
    c. pain in not getting the answers we’d all really like;
    d. pain in putting more focus on it;
    e all of the above;
    f. pain in that you don’t know what the heck focus to take (I threw that one in for fun and to make sure you’re still not sleeping with my long reply);
    g, something else, what?

    I’ll keep reading but likely jump out of this thread to give others space to reply.

    • Richard M. Cohen March 8, 2015 at 8:07 am #

      Wring a book is pure pai, period, my personal Bataan Death March . OK. That is a little over the top. It is so difficult. This is my fourth last book.


  7. Eliz March 8, 2015 at 11:35 am #

    One of my best friends called the other day because she was frustrated. She said, “I’ve either called to vent to you how frustrated and angry I am, or to listen to you tell me how frustrated and angry you are so that I can feel better about what I’m going through.” I laughed so hard. I said, “Vent on sister! What’s going on?” It’s so good sometimes to take the focus from ourselves if only to give our weary minds a short break to reload. If there’s one thing I’ve learned is that this is a battle.

    My mother even on her worst days would not focus on herself, she would always ask how everyone else was and say she was ok. I worried that because of that she wasn’t taking care of her needs but maybe that’s exactly what she was doing.

  8. Grant March 8, 2015 at 3:04 pm #

    I’ve often wondered what would happen if I offered my MS for sale on Ebay. Not as a joke, but to see how it is perceived by others and as a kind of mental exercise. Forget Craigslist… it would just seem like some flea market junk and probably posted by some twenty-something burnout. But on Ebay it seems that it may have a more powerful effect by commoditizing the disease. People have tried to sell various body parts, things deemed officially evil or holy and even a ghost-in-a-bottle. So why not a disease you can’t really see but seriously affects many peoples’ lives? I have some ideas, but the experiment would be useless if unfairly influenced.

    • Joan Z March 8, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

      Grant, that is a GREAT idea. I’m sure there are some who would bid, not really understanding what they are getting! Does this make me cynical or a realist? Right now I’m just laughing at the idea. Thanks!

  9. Grant March 8, 2015 at 3:10 pm #

    Actually I think the word I wanted was ‘profound’ not ‘powerful.’

    Thanks, cognitive minefield!