In the early 2000s, I served a little congregation in Greenville. Then my bipolarity caught up with me. I was very sick, which to this day many people do not understand nor forgive. I spiraled downward until there was almost no place left to spiral. Baruch HaShem for miracles granted to the undeserving, a gifted psychiatrist and a wise therapist. In shul I ranted, then slid into the most morbid depression until I quit, then retired.
It has taken me years to overcome the ensuing depression of leaving my shul, my reputation, my influence, my regard, behind. The demons have yet to entirely depart me, nightmares, waking terrors, explosions of rage, weeping at unrequited guilt and sadness.
Then, two years ago, they found that I had MS. They then also removed a suspiciously diseased kidney. For six months now, my legs have been paralyzed. Eleven weeks in nursing homes. Great therapy daily at home, my wits are about me, but my cognition is impaired, and I have not yet recovered fully. Finally, last week, I was able to stand, but I cannot walk and probably never will. So, I live in the coolest super-charged hot-red motorized kiddie car . . . whee!
Still getting out somewhat, Linda driving an equipped juggernaut. She is a saint, an angel sent from heaven. She watches me like a hawk. She of course has her own heartaches from my infirmities, and I and our love ones strive to always be there for her with empathy and support.
SO, the only real problem is that I enjoy exotic foods and Linda is strictly a meat loaf and potatoes girl. So, li–da’avoni, my “eat to enjoy” times are limited.
Now signing off to have my paleolithic lunch of twigs and dandelions . . yummo!
Rabbi Marc Wilson writes from Greenville, SC.