Monthly Affirmation

may I be I is the only prayer - not may I be great or good or beautiful or wise or strong. ~e.e. cummings

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Well today was a day of revelations. I have been fighting a tooth issue for about 2-3 months now. Last week I think the remnants of a filling came off and I was in agony. This week I found a dentist. That is not easy, especially when you know he is going to set you right about what you should be doing.

However Dr. Givan is awesome. I was there for almost two hours and that was not in the waiting room. That was working with Debra and Dr. Givan. Interactively going through all the xrays, evaluating, establish relief (if only temporary) and setting boundaries of what I expected from him and him telling me how he would like to meet my expectations but what the best way was and with great debates over how to do it. That is what every dentist visit should be like. Regardless I came away with three pieces of knowledge.

  1. That there is not as much work that needs to be done in my mouth as I expected. 
  2. That I will have to go into oral surgery on the 7th of December to have the bad root canal and this problem tooth removed. 
  3. That I now know when I had my stroke. 

HUH. How did a dentist fill me in on that. Well if you remember I had a heart incident in the early morning hours of the 6th of March. However they could not find any reason for the high elevations in the cardiac enzymes that were the indicators that I had a heart attack. Dr. Givan had a pulmonary embolism and filled in a gap that up to now has been open. When he was having this the blood was backing up into his heart due to the blood flow issues in the arteries and they cause an increase in the cardiac enzymes that begin to panic. Thus they also thought he was having a heart attack when he was not.

In a leap of faith and knowledge I put that information with mine and believe now that the stroke in my thalamus occurred on the night of the 5th or morning of the 6th. For me that is a point of peace in not knowing what that time-line was from my TIA in the later part of February to the major stroke.

Thus I now have direction for the one part of my body that I have not been working on since the stroke like all the rest and I have a time-line puzzle piece.

But that was not the only revelation today.

This afternoon I had a situation arise that I believe I reacted strongly too and I could not figure out why. I bounced my initial reaction off of Tammy and then posted a single statement on my facebook page about silently simmering. That is what I was doing. A friend questioned me and I realized that I had not been doing anything about why I was in the state I was but more so not dealing with it and allowing it to brew.

So I stopped and thought. I thought about how there have been instances in the past three weeks of so that I have reacted strongly to something that has happened around me. Very unlike me. I am Mr Quiet Emotional Guy on the inside and Mr Stoic Outward Appearance guy on the outside.

That has changed. What has changed? How did this happen? Well I thought about the metaphor that I have been using in my life this last two months and realized that I know what changed.

9 years ago when I knew my marriage was failing and was in a situation where I knew I would have to live with my wife still due to monetary reasons I began to build a wall. People could never understand how I continued to live like I did while not showing emotion and well now I will tell you. I protected myself from myself by shutting down so many emotions. I cut them off from me and shielded my heart the most.

From time to time emotions would find a crack and I would realize how lonely I was but then would shut that off and say no. I will not be hurt again. I will not put myself in that situation again. It amazes me now to look back on this and realize the clinical edge that my mind took to everything. How I systematically shut down things that caused distress, quenched hope, discarded overtures from others, ignored any passions and became a hermit in my own body.

Tammy was a friend and girlfriend from High School who I had not seen in over 20 years. She found me on facebook on the 20th of February and her timing resonated with the reason for this meeting to happen. The stroke has fundamentally changed me and the reasons for living were apparent, but the reason for being was still cloaked from me. Over the course of the next few months Tammy and I talked about life and I know that I realized that this was one of the most intelligent women whom I have ever know and she pulled something out of me.

She pulled out that keystone block in that wall without every knowing it. She, by just being herself, made me realized that it was OK to let someone into the emotional me, the side of the soul that was hidden and that it was time to allow love back into my life. Tammy removed that wall and well this brings me back to the beginning of this revelation.

With this wall gone I react now like I have not in 9 years. It is like emotions are all new to me and things happen. These happenings create something that I am unfamiliar in dealing with and thus the old part of me has to go into self preservation mode and ignore it ... but the wonderful thing is that it cannot. There is no wall to barricade behind. I, with the help of Tammy, smashed that down. So I now have to deal with these new experiences and face them head on.

To me it is like another adventure in learning. I am repairing the mind, I am repairing the heart, I am repairing the soul, I am becoming him who should always have been but in the face of fear hid from the world.

Life is an adventure. Live it. Love it. Learn from it.


I love you for this adventure you have opened up and are exploring with me. Hold my hand baby it is going to be a fun fun ride.

~ Philip

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"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly." – Buddha