Hey,

I just started a new part-time job, working at a mental health center. I thought that was kind of a hoot, me the bipolar alcoholic, helping people with mental illness and addictions!

I went through training this week on the electronic medical record system, that is a computer program that stores what used to be called the patient's chart. At one point the instructor opened an actual patient's file to show how to navigate around it. I saw the patient's name, date of birth, medication list, the names of his psychiatrist and therapist, and then his diagnosis.

The diagnosis was just one word: PEDOPHILIA. I froze, felt like I had been punched in the stomach. My throat tightened, heart raced, face flushed. BUT....then it passed! I was okay. It was just a word. A terrible disgusting word, but just a word, and it didn't have any power over me. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath for a moment, then went on with the instruction without missing a beat.
I was okay! I WAS OKAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WAS OKAY!!!!!!!!!!!
_________________________
"But now old friends are acting strange,
they shake their heads, they say I've changed.
Something's lost but something's gained in living every day
....it's life's illusions I recall, I really don't know life at all. "
Joni Mitchell