---About 4 or 5 years ago, I wrote an Article for ''Voices At Bay'' (a Michael Wise Publication.) It was called Homelessness vs. Houselessness. The point I was trying to make was that people seem to use the terms as being the same, while the two are very different. In our City, in particular, the term Homeless really speaks about those who are Houseless.
---Houseless means that we don't have a dwelling, a place to put our things, a place to sleep, hang our hat, get our mail, etc. Homeless can be a very different situation or ''condition.''. It can be a person who is not at Home, whether he has a House or not. There is a warm feel to the place we call our ''Home.''
---I am sure we have ALL experienced people who seem at Home, no matter where they are. They are generally comfortable with themselves and comfortable to be around. They are at ''Home'' with themselves.
---It comes down to ones acceptance of his circumstances and the situations he finds himself and, when we go a bit deeper, we can see that is the acceptance of ones ownself, or self-acceptance. After all, ''Home is where the Heart is.''
---I made the analogy that some people can be at ''Home'' in a ''Cardboard Box'', while there can exist a feeling of Homelessness living in a ''Mansion.'' Feeling at Home where you are at, is a very good way to feel. To be at your most comfortable self, no matter what the circumstance, beats having a seemingly nice circumstance, but it doesn't fit who you really are.. You can feel out of place in the best of places. Like being ''alone in a crowd.''---The hospital has become the House we live in and is Home to some. The same rules apply here as well. By this, I mean, the more accepting we are of our situation, improves the situation. Continually resisting doesn't seem to work. Know what battles to fight and know the ''best'' way to make the changes you see as necessary. Know ''when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em.''
---I, myself, spent over a week at UCSF, recently. It was all well and good, but when I was released and was brought up the driveway at LHH, I felt like I was coming ''Home.'' I felt more at peace, and there was a familiarity, even with residents I don't know very well, but see around. I found that somehow this ''House'' [LHH] had become my ''Home.'' I can't tell you when it exactly happened. I gave up the place where I had lived in SF, since 1982, about two years ago. The stroke I had June 2, 2002, changed all that.
---I am aware that there is a temporariness to the circumstance and situation, as ALL things, in time, have that quality. ''All Things do Pass.'' For now, this is the place I call ''Home'', and it seems like a good place to work on being at ''Home with Yourself.'' See you at the ''Candy'' Store or ''Truckin'' the hallways. Be Well and Happy Holidays.
(WRITTEN IN 2006)