Contact

ALS Worldwide welcomes any questions or comments you might have.  We provide free, personalized and confidential support services to anyone in the ALS community—whether you are a patient or a loved one, friend, health care professional or caregiver of someone diagnosed.

Get help now! Fill out the Online Profile Form or if you would prefer to talk with someone by email or phone first, please contact us at [email protected] or 1-608-663-0920.

For all other inquiries, please use the email form to the right and we will respond promptly to your request.Thank you.

ALS Worldwide
5808 Dawley Drive
Fitchburg, WI 53711‑7209

ALS Worldwide
January 03, 2018

Best Year of My Life

Christian with his extended family

A year has come to its end. Another year. A crazy year. Hell, what a year!

It would be easy and not untrue at all to write about all the loss, the pain, the sadness and the struggle, because it was obviously there in abundance. From misdiagnosis via the psychiatric ward to the diagnosis of a terminal disease. The loss of the ability to walk and use my hands and arms properly. The slow but undeniable diminishing of my breathing and as of late even my speech. Moving from the apartment where three of my four children were born. Selling my sound studio. And these were only the biggies.

I acknowledge all of that. In fact I bow to it. Bow to all the shit.

Because it has taught me. and it has opened me in a way only suffering can open you to reality, truth and beauty.

If we allow ourselves, or more precisely, if conditions allow us to give up all stories for a brief moment, we can catch a glimpse of the deathless. We cannot die cause WE never existed as a stable entity. We are but an incredibly beautiful and complicated flow and mix of experiences, subject to an infinite number of external conditions that are out of our reach.

With these glimpses, freedom and peace can begin.

We cannot live a life without stories. We are hardwired this way. But we can gain some insight into the story-making factory called our mind. We can learn the ways in which views and stories imprison us and keep us away from the ultimate realization that we are not separate, but an integral part of life-cosmos-everything.

With this insight, compassion can grow.

After a challenging year with ALS, I humbly ask myself, if I have to create stories, how can I tell my story so it can benefit others? How can it not be a story about 'poor me' and 'victimhood' but one about the mystery and beauty of this life?

My story carries at any given moment the potential for LOVE. (and i do not mean romantic love)

This past year was a year of love. Of solidarity. Of family. Of friendship. Of kindness. Of integrity.

I want to thank everyone for their incredible amount of help. This has been one of the best years of my life.

This is the story I choose to tell.
Christian Conrad
December 30, 2017

 

Visit Work and Love to read more of Christian's writings