From Carnegie Hall to a Mental Hospital
Over the years I have met some of the most amazing people – ones that I would speak to in line waiting to go into a movie. Someone I would speak too at dinner or out on vacation. The young man who came in who was very confused and stayed to himself, had very little to say to the staff. But when he did, he was very polite. His medium length black hair hung in his eyes and his body frame was a small 19 year old.
There was something different about him – wearing flip flops and levi jeans I could not decide what it was that made me like this kid. It was not until the afternoon that he began talking, after the small amount of medication he was on began working for him.
He graduated early from high school with a 4.0 – and did not walk the graduation line because he was invited to play in Carnegie hall as the youngest person who had ever been invited to play with the orchestra. He went on to Europe for a two month tour playing and writing his own music. He had pictures brought in of his trip with his black suit and tie making him look much older than he was.
As this young man came out of his depression he said he wants to go back out on the tour that is coming up – as a young man going out alone with so much pressure so early he had a mental break down. He did not stay in the hospital long – nor has he been back. When he shows up in the newspaper I always smile at the success he is having and that I had the opportunity to meet him in person for a short period in his life.
As I shared that story with the class a co-worker who stood close by made me aware that a patient we had who had been a very talented bag pipe player had been killed in a car wreck. I paused for a moment thinking about this person I had met. He came in very manic, but a fun person to talk too. He said he knew he was getting sick but if he had a big contest to perform he did better without the medication. By the time he ended up in the hospital he had waited too long to restart his medication to get himself back under control. He had been accepted into nursing school with grades at the top of his class, life was going well for him before he was killed.
It is not for the broke, the poor, and homeless. Both of these musicians made me smile and had an adventurous life that most are not brave enough to live.
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