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Living with Schizoaffective Disorder

Christmas with Euterpe

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you invited me in..."
-- Matthew 25:35 (NIV)

Mike apologizes for writing naught but Walls Of Text that he may mercilessly spam you lot with them yet somehow never finding it within himself to write a Christmas Letter before today.

It's ten till two in the morning as he writes this particular Wall Of Text. His new Squeeze "Sarah" - not her real name - is sleeping off her Evening Shot of Black Tar Heroin on the table next to him.

From time to time Mike watches Sarah carefully so as to ensure she's still breathing. Late this afternoon, Sarah explained to Mike how to discern whether she's passed out or just sleeping: if she's in an uncomfortable position, she's passed out. If he cannot rouse her, he should call 9-1-1.

Sarah and Mike have bonded over their common interests in Literature, Industrial Photography and staying awake at all hours of the day and night.

Sarah does not yet know that Mike is going to give her a kitten - perhaps a litter-pair - but not until well after Christmas that we may adopt the unfortunate from an animal shelter. That will temporarily stay the requirement for window screens, as Mike is far too lazy to ride the bus to his storage locker and back so as to obtain his measuring tape.

Mike's as-yet undiagnosed and increasingly frequent and serious Neurological Disorder is hypothesized to be Pernicious Anemia, a once-fatal autoimmune condition that disrupts the secretion of an enzyme called "Intrinsic Factor" from the lining of the stomach. Intrinsic Factor is a key component of the chemical pathway that enables the absorption of Methylcobalamin (Vitamin B12) by the small intestine.

We both hope and pray that it really is Pernicious Anemia. While Mike's great-grandfather died of it, it is easily, inexpensively and effectively treated today with Vitamin B12 Injections.

Whatever Mike's eventual diagnosis, his Neurological symptoms such as Broca's - or Expressive - Aphasia in his writing and in his speech disrupts his Contract Computer Programming work and forced the cancellation of his planned Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign and so halted his plans to take his Global Employer Index website to the next level.

But we take great comfort from noted Neurologist Oliver Sacks having written in "Musicophilia" that in all forms of non-fatal brain disorders, our musical faculties are the very last to go.

Mike now focuses on his singing - including daily Vocal Exercises such as singing scales accompanied by his electric keyboard - and his piano playing as well. Having seen Lady Gaga's and Bradley Cooper's brilliant remake of A Star Is Born enabled Mike to realize that when playing the guitar, he is far more natural playing Finger Style than playing chords with a pick.

But enough about Mike. What of Sarah?

Despite her parents having kicked her out, they still buy her bus passes and phone cards, which enable Sarah to score in Downtown Portland as well as to blow strange and uncaring men in South-East Portland that she may pay for her next Shot.

Mike will be fifty-four on February 24th. See that grey in Mike's beard? That means Mike invented the Internet! Sarah is twenty-eight but Mike has not yet asked when we will celebrate her birthday. She's been hooked for ten solid years.

Sarah is uncommonly articulate and extremely well-read as a result of her studies at a private girl's high school which focussed on the Liberal Arts. She read all the Russian literary classics but "could not get into Crime and Punishment".

We both share the same Muse, that being Euterpe, the Muse of music and lyric poetry. (There is no Muse specifically of writing. Homer's "Illiad" and "Odyssey" are epic poems, not prose; Homer's Muse is Calliope.)

We have not discussed little ones yet as it is far too early in our relationship. That Mike waited so long to discuss intimacy with Sarah is because he is courting her as the woman he hopes to marry and not just one more woman he hopes to lay.

Doubtlessly you will be saddened by the news that Mike and Bonita divorced - amicably - in 2008. Mike continues to wish Bonita well; she supports her "Art With A Capital 'A'" - abstract video - with hand-designed "I Love Beagles" T-Shirts that she sells from her website.

Mike's older sister Bonnie Jean Crawford-Evans continues her work at the Idaho State Library in Moscow, while his brother-in-law Stanley devotes his time to Small Business Computer Consulting in the Palouse Empire. Stan often helps Mike out with Domain Name Registration as Mike is as yet unable to earn enough tips from singing on the street to pay for registration himself.

For many years, Mike has experienced daily bouts of fatigue that he now figures are likely due to anemia. As he feels one such bout coming on right, he will close this letter with a hearty "Happy Kwanzaa!" He'd wish you a "Happy New Year", but we are both complete tee-totalers!

Mike and Sarah's address for at least the next few months is:

650 NW Irving St
Portland, OR 97209-1272
USA

Mike's mobile number is +1 (971) 386-3996. Sarah prefers to reserve her phone for her connections.

We always welcome visitors into our home, but as we live in a one-bedroom we respectfully request that you stay in one of Vancouver's many fine hotels or motels.

One Last Word:

As every mammal is a Pack Animal, the very greatest give than any mammal can give any other mammal is their attention. Please celebrate your own culture or faith's holiday at a Soup Kitchen, Homeless Shelter or Rescue Mission.

Merrily,

Mike & Sarah

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