I think every human has a point wherein she or he will activate a “self-preservation mode” to save what dignity she or he has left. I am activating that “mode”, if I can call it such, now.
Many of you have known me prior to the incident on 23 June 2012. Since that date, I have progressed emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually for the worse. I am not the same Joshua you once knew. I have mentally unravelled to the point that some of you can no longer recognise me. In comparing myself now with who I was then, I was very stable, quite independent, more confident, more patient, and very articulate. As I can no longer rely on the skills that have carried me through, simple tasks have become challenging.
Despite my hopes, prayers, and dreams that I will recover from my illness, I have gradually come to realise that like a dream, who I was then is gone. Who I was then is now dead and I will progressively become worse. Any hope I have for justice and for healing is now lost – I cannot be helped. And I know some of the dreams I have (including some of the dreams I ramble about on Twitter) realistically can never be fulfilled. Gradually I will lose my wits and become more childlike, more dim, and more reliant on others.
Life has dealt me a heavy blow: I must accept my fate and bear it with dignity, bravery, and courage. I suppose that in accepting the God of Calvin I must not resist what has been done to me, but rather order myself lowly and humbly, surrendering and resigning myself to what I hope is God's mercy. If I must walk through hell on earth, I must do so with my head held high. I can choose to see myself as the victim and wallow in self-pity or choose to see myself as the victor. In choosing the latter, I must overcome my emotions and grit my teeth through what I know will be challenging for me in later years. I survived infancy beyond anyone's expectations, I have survived taunts in my adolescence, car accidents, slippery showers, food poisoning, a rape and an attempt on my life in my adult years, yet I am still here. And despite humiliation, insult, and injury, I have trudged on.
I hope that whilst there is time, that is, whilst I have my wits, I can live joyfully, seizing every moment before I descend further into mental darkness and physical illness. I know not whether my time with you will be long or short, but I pray God make it meaningful. But as time progresses, I will become become more eruptive in expressing my thoughts, less patient, unreasonable, less discriminating about the information I share, and more infantile. I know some of you will turn your backs on me. And I know it's not because you hate me, but rather you can't bear to see the gradual loss of the friend you once knew. Please remember the good times we shared. I hope when you think of me they will only be happy memories. But as I confront my future, I will do my best to affirm life and to maintain composure throughout. I have no strength to fight anymore.
I am what I am: I am the sum of my ancestors. As life continues in revolution, I can only persist with head unbowed save only to the One before whom all must bow and obey. Sometimes we pay a heavy price for who we are. But difficult as it may seem when beset by so much traumatic change, I can only extend grace, compassion, and forgiveness. I must faithfully carry on with pride, dignity, and integrity.
Because I know who I am and I know what my duty is. God help me, because I can place my trust in no other.
But if I have only one regret, it is solely that I did not live life to the fullest prior to that fateful day in the summer of 2012. I could have done so much good with my life. Indeed, I could have accomplished great things. Alas, it was not meant to be.
Have thine own way, Lord, have thine own way. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.