Happy-go-fuck yourself. 

More thoughts from the not-so-nice sides of Ed Randazzo 

Living with Cerebral Palsy affords many positives—for me. The parking situation alone is worth the price of admission. Bullies tend to steer clear as well. The list is endless. 

The negatives are not what you think they are, however. 

Words like "Inspirational" and "brave" make me nuts. Of course, I possess these qualities. But I do not exist in these terms so that you can feel better about who you are. I live my life just as everyone else does—as it shows up. 

There's this unspoken idea that I live a "happy-go-lucky" life. That is not true, folks. I did not ask for this pressure. Please stop asking me to carry around this expectation so you can be comfortable with my disability. 

I will not be a token piece of pornography for your telethon or provide my image for your motivational poster. 

I've recently come to terms with the fact that I am not, nor was I ever, a happy guy. 

I am a realist taking life on as it comes in second by second, embracing it all and navigating the ups and the downs the best I can. (I give it the old college try in most cases.) 

Have I experienced happiness? Yes! My cup runneth over; I am grateful. Does this equal "happy"? For me, it does not. 

My struggle with the dark and all that comes with it is equally bountiful. I thrive here! 

As Tom Waits once said, "I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things." 

[Side note—Have you heard MY first record?

Praise (Chocolate) Jesus! I'm here for it! 

Don't get me wrong. Growing up and living as an adopted, differently abled, and gay man is and has been a thrill! I mean, what a resume, am I right? 

That said, my experience is no more difficult and trying as the next guy. I am not special. The world owes me absolutely nothing. I've navigated landmines, outright trauma, and every single emotion imaginable uniquely. But we are ALL unique! We are each one of a kind. 

I am severely introverted and need a lot of space to recharge. 

I am a lot, and I have the potential to be a real asshole. 

Next! Most of my hurdles? —me in my damned way! Oh well! I deal. 

I don't need a lot. If I invite you aboard my iceberg, I love you and want you here with me. 

If I need your help, I'll ask for it. (No—no, I won't.) 

My point? —we're all brave. We all have inspirational qualities. We all struggle. 

I like to praise all that happens in the darkness as well. Having balance in life is not taboo. 

Positivity does not equal happiness, but with both this and a bit of gratitude in our toolbelts, we can handle life as it happens second by unpredictably breathtaking second! 

Photograph from anti.com