My name is Peter Webster. I’m going to be doing a monthly column here. I’ve been writing most of my life; a lot of my childhood involved being laid-up and having a fantasy life was a way to escape the incredible boredom of being bed-ridden. I spent a lot of time reading–this was during the ’40s and ’50s, before TV (BTv?)–and writing stories. I still read, yeah. Lots.
I have Type I OI (Osteogenesis Imperfecta–brittle bones). Type I is the relatively mild form of the disorder–maybe 40 or so major fractures, spread out over 60+ years.
I was pretty active most of my adult life–probably too active, because my body is pretty weird, with scars and lots of bone deformities. Years of pretending I had a normal body were hard on that body. I wasn’t the king of denial, but I was close to the throne. Eventually, my body started crumbling, as it were. It was obvious I couldn’t do a lot of physical stuff anymore. That was an emotional depth charge. I almost killed myself. I hit a hard bottom before I was able to surrender to reality.
My activities have changed. That’s made life easier. What really helped is this: I learned to treat myself like I tried treating other people and like I wanted them to treat me –most of the time, anyway. I try to behave toward myself with care and concern. It’s like love. Self-love–which has had a bad press. But the famous commandment is, “Love your neighbor like you love yourself.” There were years and years without that. Years of hard physical work and then self medicating to kill pain. Regretting that time would be easy, but pointless. What happened, happened. So, It was a learning experience–and an adventurous one, too. Other than a lot of pain…
That life brought me to where I am today. My life is good, and on my own terms–no one else’s. I’m poor and I am definitely not a good consumer–but I’m comfortable with my situation. Writing is satisfying to me, reading is great, and while I don’t do much physical stuff anymore, I’m involved with my community. Could be worse, yeah! And it’s all tied up with loving myself and my neighbors.
Let me knows what you think. Email me, firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject PETER. Don’t worry I’ll get it. Next month I’ m going to talk about perserverance.