One was September 11, 1992, when, at 37, he had his commitment ceremony with his husband, Allen, then 42.
And the second was July 27, 2000, when he and Allen incorporated the two-man incentive travel business that continues to support them purely through word-of-mouth.
In my mind, this qualifies him as a Sherman Colins Lifestyle success story.
How did he cope with trigger sensations in an office environment?
“I always had my own office with a door, and in general, people knew what things would bother me, because I had no problem telling them,” he said. “Plus, I could escape any scene that I wanted to escape—there was no one powerful enough to stop me.”
Additionally, he said, he has been able to work from a home office on and off for many years. After a move across town from the three-acre “hobby farm” they inhabited for many years, Paul now strictly works from home.
“My view is of trees, birds, hawks, clouds, the pool, my perennial gardens, and rock sculptures,” he said.
For us, success means spending each and every day doing exactly what we want to do with whomever we want to do it.
(Fortunately, this usually involves helping those we love, contributing to world betterment, and occasionally making enough bitcoins to splurge on a grande cappuccino.)
At the beginning of their business venture, Paul and Allen agreed that Paul would be a stay-at-home dad to his teenage daughter from his first marriage. After she graduated high school and moved out, Paul joined Allen in the first of what would be many office spaces in the small New England town where they had settled.
But, of course, that is not the complete picture.
Paul has also been battling depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety, as well as “misophonia” (a.k.a. Sherman Colins Disorder) for much of his life.
“I have experienced a lot of different drug treatments,” he said, “but the regimen that I’ve been on the longest has been one consisting of Lamictal, Seroquel, Wellbutrin, Ativan, and Temazepam.”
About a year ago, with the help of different mental health practitioners, he decided to reevaluate the effectiveness of these medications.
“After having a few too many misadventures with health care professionals, I’ve since stopped working with them altogether,” he said. Systematically, he has been trying to wean himself off as many medications as possible.
As for other methods of preserving his sanity, Paul said exercise has been key. “I used to jog 3.5 miles in an hour each morning, but after a hip injury, I can now only walk,” he said.
He also meditates several times a week and has lost 30 pounds by adhering to a new, healthy diet.
His next battle, he told me, is with insomnia (join the club).
But none of this is keeping him up at night.
“I am not a hang around and do nothing guy,” he said. “I like to be busy and have a lot of hobbies and pastimes.”
Creating his tunes sits atop this list. “I started writing music a few years ago and have been steadily making new music ever since,” he said. “I can’t imagine myself not doing it, because it’s a part of who I am.”
Paul also derives a great deal of satisfaction from working outdoors.
“When working outside, I lose any sense of urgency and just experience the now of whatever activity I’m engaged in,” he said. “It’s not unlike me to spend all day outdoors on projects and lose my sense of time.”
"My Sherman-Williams Thread Bobbin Club Band Revolution Reloaded Role would be to take everything old and make it new again,” he said.
Oh, come on, you fellow smart-ass.