Nothing is more expensive than being poor. Those who engage in social medicine and social justice scholarship know this to be true. For many of us who grew up in those impoverished settings written about in journals, it is a lived experience that has made us crusaders for change. Perhaps what we know most deeply is that poverty is a choice. It is not a choice of the impoverished but a choice made and perpetuated by a capitalist society interested in our bodies for as long as they can perform “essential services.”
Had you asked me a month ago, I would have told you that I had been depressed for a few years. Which, of course, was true. With the occasional reprieve offered by a "good" day or week, depression has been a constant companion. But it's only recently, as I come to strange degree of comfort, do I finally recognize that I have been in an exhausted, joyless shell for more than half a decade. And, for the first time since then, I can honestly say that I feel wide awake.
It's Saturday morning here in the Merlin house. My sisters are watching cartoons, my dog is playing with the family's German shepherd, and I'm drinking a cup of coffee I didn't have to pay for. Living here is easy and familiar.