Sunday, July 15, 2007



“Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.” Luke 6:26 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

These words are recorded in what is referred to as the Beatitudes which are part of the Sermon on the Plain given by Jesus. I have never had the problem of “all men speaking well of me”.

In fact, these days I am reminded of what a friend in south Florida once said to me. She said, “You are much better at these meetings since you went on your meds.” This lady is the heart and soul of a wonderful drop-in center mainly for artist in Broward County, FL and she was then and still is a true friend. She was telling me something I needed to hear. I am not always aware of how I come across to others.

Recently, something happened here in Burke County, NC that simply sent me over my tolerance limit. In short they picked folks up for involuntary commitment without anyplace for them to go. The first 48 hours of treatment was a deputy sheriff watching them. I called and wrote letters. I went to the next mental health meeting I knew of. I called this state’s federally funded Protection and Advocacy for Mentally Ill Individuals Program. Most of the people I came in contact with would not describe me as kind, loving or compassionate.

I may never be a good advocate, but I certainly am not when I am mad and I was mad. Not only was I mad, but I am right at the point of breaking into mania. I had to change medications last September and things have not leveled off for me since. Ask my wife.

My point here is that my illness does give me knowledge I can use in understanding what a system should look like, but it can also at times make me the worst advocate in the world. Picture this, I am trying to talk to folks who to me seem to be in slow motion and it seems like their minds are working in reverse rather than going forward.

There is a danger when an advocate wants to be loved by everybody and I have seen that many times over the years. I don’t have that problem. I don’t need the attention or praise of the people in power. I just need them to understand a simple fact and I am too manic to make my point well enough to get it across.

This is the fact I want known. If you are well enough then let the people in North Carolina know this is a truth. IF YOU ARE SICK ENOUGH THAT THE STATE CAN INVOLUNTARILY COMMIT YOU, THEN IT IS IMMORAL, UNETHICAL and UNJUST TO MAKE YOU WAIT HOURS FOR TREATMENT.

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