In the darkness the trees are full of starlight (henwy) wrote,
In the darkness the trees are full of starlight

The shut-in shuffle

It's been no surprise that I've become more isolated over the past several years. Viewed from a longitudinal point of view, it's a clear decline. When I first got back here from Chicago, I made a real effort to try to cobble together a life but things really went south with the whole disability situation. Even as that was a problem, I still tried to maintain a social life, meeting new people and finding new interests like board gaming. As things have gotten worse on the medical front, it's clear that I've also let the social side slide. In the beginning, I would always make sure to go to the various gamedays or other get-togethers once a week but it's gotten to the point where it's probably been around a year since I've gone to a single one. I still try to make the occasional parties at the Bills and local conventions but even that has become iffy. The fact is that the cost of going out continues to rise and it's a cost paid in pain, discomfort, and other issues related to my condition. While the blog was on hiatus, I dragged myself out to Ubercon, which was being held locally, and it was all I could do to function. I was having some additional blood sugar issues at the time and ended up having an incident where I felt and looked like death to such a degree that the staff put me into the hands of their on-staff nurse/EMT. I was woozy, sweating profusely, and just feeling completely out of it. Even the slightest activity exhausted me and I felt like I was going to keel over at any moment.

The reason I'm relating that now is that Dreamation is right around the corner. I've never skipped a single Double Exposure gaming con since discovering them upon arriving back in Jersey several years ago. I've always been a part of the BG staff, helping out where I could and for the first time I'm a little concerned that I might not be able to follow through even if I wanted to. For one thing, since the con moved a couple years ago, it's no longer local and is now around a 45 minute drive north. I'm no longer in a position where I feel like I can handle a daily commute back and forth, which means that I have to depend on crash space at the con. That brings its own headaches since they usually stuff 4-5 people to a room and I have sort of specialized needs that makes those situations awkward at times. Naturally, I'd rather not have to discuss any of it and try to coast by as I can, but it adds an extra layer of problems. My goal has always been to not have to discuss my medical issues with people if I can help it due to the stigma I've run into, but these sort of situations put a strain on everything.

The fact is that I've learned that people simply will not understand. A run-in with Steve Buonocore a couple of years ago taught me that in burning bush fashion. He has a gameday he would host at this place that I used to attend until I was told that he, or some of his other guests, found facets of my condition offensive. It was a gut wrenching experience and absolutely destroyed me at the time. It hardly makes it any better to know that it's a medical issue, ultimately beyond my control though which I've tried to mitigate and treat as best I can. People who don't experience it for themselves will just never understand, and there's no reason for them to. Any person might intellectually understand that the leper can't help what they've become but it doesn't mean that you want to have one over spending time with you. In the end, if you want to trace what's really changed in my life over these past couple of years, that was the fork in the road. I'm sure it doesn't help that overall, my condition has probably deteriorated over time and I can only imagine what the response would be now. It's just like Stephen Donaldson's Thomas Covenenat books. 'Leper, outcast, unclean.'

Hell, I never expected this entry to be such a emo dump when I started it and maybe it's a good thing that no one really reads this. It certainly won't hurt to get some of it down on 'paper' though it's unlikely to actually do anything which actually helps. You can't go crying about the cards that you get dealt and all you can do is try to bear with it as best you can. I've always said that I never expected anything better from the world and I would be a sorry hypocrite now to wish for anything different.
Tags: disability, double exposure, stronghold, ubercon

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