The following is by a young man who suffers from humiliating, excruciatingly painful, medically incurable and untreatable afflictions. Though aged only 21 he has spent years longing for death. Until recently, a combination of shame and believing that no one would understand has kept him painfully lonely and prevented him from letting anyone know the extent of his suffering. Even now he prefers to be known by the pen name, "Elisha." He writes: