You know that old song, Don’t Fence Me In? That’s the story of my life. I’ve always been an independent guy, doing my thing. When I was a kid I dreamed of being a cowboy, riding the range. I left home when I was 18, bought an unlimited monthly Greyhound bus pass and traveled around the country. I’ve been on my own ever since. I never married or had kids, because that’s the way I wanted it. No strings, doing what I wanted when I wanted.
Seven years ago, in 2012, that all blew up. I developed what they called a Functional Neurological Disorder. Big words, but what it meant for me was total dysfunction. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t even stand up. When I came to Richmond Center, I had to put my trust in them. Put myself in their hands. And the truth is, they were great. As soon I got there, one of the first things the social worker asked me was: “What are your goals?”
“Independence,” I answered. No surprise there. But her answer was.
“Excellent,” she said. “Let’s do it!”
The Richmond team went to work. I’m not going to say it was easy, but nothing worth doing is. I did rigorous physical and occupational therapy, while the doctors and nurses looked after my health. And today, I live at Richmond Center, upstairs, on my own: Independent. So maybe I won’t ever get to be a cowboy, but that doesn’t mean I can’t go my own way. Something else I learned here at Richmond Center: sometimes it doesn’t hurt to get a little help from your friends.
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