An Introduction to ‘Slow Is the New Fast’: How Did I Get Here?
I am not a writer.
A little history
In 2010, I retired from a 37-year career in the information technology industry. For many years, I relied on the analytical side of my brain. While in retirement, I decided the time was right to exercise the more visual and perceptual side of my brain. Graphic design was a natural next step for me, so I began to do the creative work for the event business of my life partner, Steve.
Graphic design seemed to make sense, but I never envisioned myself as a creative writer after I retired from my computer career. My writing experience primarily consisted of developing contractual documents related to phone-system deployments.
A turning point
When Steve took his own life on March 15, 2015, my world changed dramatically. We were together for over 33 years. I took solace in writing about Steve and found purpose in trying to bring more awareness to suicide by telling Steve’s story.
About six months before Steve took his own life, he was suffering from a panic attack in our living room. Seeing someone you love in such a state is devastating. I remember helplessly dropping to the floor while my body was wracked with sobs. Steve was in so much mental pain and our relationship and “fairy tale” life was falling apart. I clearly remember feeling something “snap” in the back of my head. It was not pain, but I recalled thinking to myself that this was an ominous occurrence that would impact my long-term health. I did not think about that moment again until I received my PD diagnosis seven months after Steve died. More than one neurologist has told me emotional trauma I suffered before and after Steve passed might have triggered the onset of my PD.
Why do I write?
While blogging about suicide and grieving, I have been encouraged by many to continue writing. Comments left on my blogs indicated that many no longer feel alone in what they felt after they have read my stories.
Now that I have PD, I hope to be a voice for people afflicted with this disease. One of my other goals will be to help others better understand what one who has the illness struggles with on a daily basis. While I will continue to write about Steve and suicide-related topics, I will now also share my PD journey in this column.
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