My diagnosis, illness, death and final blog post with pdxhrc

I’ve posted about this a few times last week but I feel I should say more about it, especially since I’ve decided to abruptly walk away from organizing with pdxhrc

The illness I have causes swelling of my brain and fluid in my skull. The effects are at times worse than others but include psychological effects such as depression and psychosis as well as memory problems and poor judgment. On the physical side of things my spine is being attacked resulting in scar tissue to take over my spinal column.

I am afraid I will do something to harm the collective. At times I don’t understand things exactly or get confused. It’s hard to explain. The psychosis stuff had gotten worse.

It abruptly began five years ago although it is something I was born with. Recently it became worse and started to include paranoia. Mostly if I take my meds it’s manageable but especially when I am stressed or upset things become more difficult. I constantly struggle remembering simple things. I almost never am able to get up, walk a dozen yards and remember why I am doing it. Until last week I thought I was just getting older and there must be a way I’ll learn to deal with it. I know now that isn’t the case. All of these things will continue to get worse, my spine will get more fucked up and painful, my body will keep attacking my brain until I am crippled, insane and have to be put in a home. Then I will die, my brain and brain stem won’t remain intact, killing me. I’m not sure how long but we’re not taking years. Although I do not intend to reach that point. That is my decision and only mine. I ask that it be respected. 

As I said I am leaving because I don’t want to cause any more damage than I may have already done. It would hurt us but more importantly it would harm the houseless people we’re here to help. That’s not fair to them and it would be selfish for me to do so. I have done a great deal of crying the last few days.

The time I have spent in this community organizing with HRC although short has been the best time of my life. I love you all and knowing I’ll likely forget you is a tragedy. The compassion for other people I see every day is inspiring and makes me hold on to some hope that we can change the world. The system will fall, we will rebuild the world and it will be a better place.

Some day children will learn about the revolution that began in 2020. They will learn about Portland and how we showed people they could come together and fight back, that they can change the world. Regardless of what happens to me I’m proud I was able to be a part of this with you all. Stay dangerous to whoever gets in the way of progress. Hold the line, work together and you can do anything. I love you all and thanks for being a part of my life.

Jean-Jacques Michell (aka Bernard)


PS. When I’m gone please donate to PDXHRC if you want to do something. Some comrades have one other request from me that they will share when the time is right. 

Published by Bernard

Member of the Houseless Radicals Collective of so-called Portland, OR. Anarchist, anti-fascist, houseless advocate, houseless by choice

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