My friend Bill and the Peaceful Pill
Here's a short article from my friend Bill O'Brien. Over the years, he has been a good friend, a mentor, and an inspiration. He goes to the gym five days per week, works as an accountant and tax adviser (his third or fourth career), writes and wins awards for short stories, regularly travels around the world, has a good bunch of friends, eats sensibly and still goes out to fine restaurants every week, has a strong sense of ethics and a spiritual basis, and much more. He is a good, human and imperfect example of an esteemed, long-lived, functional, fun person, as described in Grow Youthful.
A Message from Bill
David's secrets are a wonderful aid. The book gives clarity of mind (not to mention font and spacing). The pity for me is that it was not available sixty years ago, when I'd have had real advantage. Now, at eighty three, sexually active, very fit and looking twenty years younger, I'm not about to add to David's wisdom, and do not presume to. I drink more than I should. I'll not give advice, but I'd like to present factors that add closure to youthful aging.
I find that stress is a huge issue now in my living, and the older I get, the less I can cope with it. It is quite marked. I believe that it advances my aging process almost as much as tobacco. (I don't smoke - except after sex when I get hot enough to emit smoke). I've digressed, and will do so again. We all want quality of life. That more so as we age. When we do mature, no matter how young we present, there comes a time when we have to plan for an event that is certain to come. Not taxes!
You have seen or read of the shocking struggles endured by the aged. They have the problems of health diminution, cancer, incontinence, pain, inability to care for one's self and the failure of nursing homes to heed the plight of many. There is a strong and related matter for me of not wishing to transfer this worry of physical caring, to loved ones. Individually we have each solved the problems of growing youthful, and achieving fulfillment. I sincerely hope that you, the reader, reaches my age of enlightenment. You deserve it!
Now we also have another problem to solve. One of memory. That issue is succinct. In what cupboard and where, oh where, did I put that peaceful pill that will end all problems for me in a safe, quick and no-fuss, quiet way? A euthanasia pill that will make it easy for my loved ones, but more importantly, for me. I carefully put it away as insurance for a later event.
I've had a wonderful life, but there's a time to go, and that time should be of my choosing, without being strung out with pain and with no quality of life. It's much more important for me now, than growing youthful was, as a past priority.
Recommended reading, to assist with this part of living, is The Peaceful Pill Handbook by Australian authors, Drs Philip Nitschke and Fiona Stewart. Their website is a dream and is materially enhanced by the launch in Oct 08 (in London) of an eHandbook. It's a digital edition of the book, in a mastery of technology. On line videos are embedded. Have a look at the website. You'll live to be glad you did!
Perth, Western Australia. January 2009
PS As a matter of ethical full disclosure, I do admit to an association (thru Exit International) with the above authors, but that is not a financial one. In the same way, my association with David Miller is one of a long friendship.