Eat Heavy by drp on flickrEat Heavy by drp on flickr

 

I am from New Jersey.  This is a givenl but it is a much more invasive condition than might initially be assumed.  It is chronic, it is systemic, and it is very hard to cure.  This is not genetic, it is environmentally caused and did I mention it is very hard to cure…it may be medication resistant. 

 

When I moved to Colorado, after three years out of the environmental contaminant, I was nearly cured but I moved back to the affected locale  before any chance for a cure was made permanent and the condition resurfaced quickly–followed by a brief severe allergic reaction at being exposed to the hazardous materials again (no, not the garbage, the temperament). 

 

Seriously, I got hives.  They said it was a “sudden allergy to penicillin” but I am certain that Jersey was the root cause. 

 

I am now in Florida, the Sunshine State and although by their nicknames–as NJ is the Garden State–they might seem like close cousins they are in fact…not.  I had a store clerk the other day tell me, “Welcome to Heaven.”  I cannot recall similar conversational kindness in the Garden State–unless of course there were manslaughter in the mix and sarcasm on the tongue. 

 

I am having to recalibrate my response to the world at large in a huge way.  It is taking a lot of concerted effort and a lot of environmental medicinal treatment.  The more smiles I get, the more at ease I am with facing the world with smiles.  The more cordial conversations I have begun with me without alterior, sinister motives or hands in my pockets searching for my wallet, the more trusting I am of the endeavor of cordial conversations.  I am having to relearn the finer points of being human, sad as that is. 

 

I realize that although I knew the therapy room was a place of safety and a haven for my clients in New Jersey, a place they could open up and be themselves without fear of aggressive reprisals, I had not realized that it had been one of my sole bastions for the same.  My clients were open and emotionally vulnerable in their sessions and it was a refreshing alternative to all of the evasive, suspicious, aggressive bombardment that the outside war zone that was the metropolitan area had to offer. 

 

Many will argue that I am being dramatic.  Those from the area–native carriers of the illness of Jersey-itis–of course will adamantly disagree…it is, unfortunately, part of the affliction.  Anyone not from the Metro area who has come from infection-free zones will probably agree, between panicked breaths into a brown paper bag.  

 

I remember feeling in a constant state of panic and a constant sense of being accosted during the months following my transition back into the Garden State from Colorado.  I remember moments of near tears on the Garden State Parkway wondering where my life had taken me and why so many people were so angry at the same time–usually either 8am or 5pm. 

 

Now, all this said, I love New Jersey and the metro area–it is a sincere love/hate relationship.  I am tied to my sickness but I know I would be healthier without it. 

 

I love:

 –All night diners (yes, this goes at the top of the list).

–Every kind of food from anywhere in the world cooked excellently.

–An eclectic collection of everyone from around the world all in one place.

–Every kind of museum, art gallery, Broadway show, and pretty much anything else you can imagine, including that kitschy Naked Cowboy in Times Square all about 15 minutes away. (Addendum: everything is about 2-10 miles away that you could ever desire but traffic and subways and everything else that makes it so congested so that 2 miles on a map will take you 30-50 minutes at least)

–My family and friends.

–Alot of memories.

 

But at this point in my life and my health (mental and physical) it felt necessary to exit the infection zone before my condition became permanent. 

 

So, slowly, very slowly, I am learning things like kindness and patience and looking at skylines for abnormally long periods of time.  I am working on appreciation and accepting the kindness of others, and learning the social protocols for reciprocation.  It is a slow learning curve, as I recall from Colorado, but very much worth the effort.  I look forward to following my condition until full remission is achieved.  I am optimistic about the outcome.

 

Namaste (“The light in me honors the light in you”). 

 

May I be the very best Floridian, very best yogini, very best human that Florida and my inner better self allows me to be.  I will update my status when I am fully infection free.  I cannot “fix” the nature or course of my medical conditions, a fact I struggle with every day, but if I can remedy a locationally induced mental affliction then that is a pretty good start…or so I figure.

 

** Evidence in this satiric diagnosis may have been slightly exaggerated for effect.**

  

  

Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

Mark Twain

Eros by drp on flickrEros by drp on flickr