Thursday, September 29, 2005

Hares and Tortoises

‘I feel the need – the need for speed,’ said that great philosopher Tom Cruise. I can’t get any speed – physical or chemical (as if !) so I’ll replace it with the need to blog. So, as I'll explain, my life often proceeds at a vastly slower pace than I would ever have chosen.

I naively started this blog thinking I could avoid talking about my health condition. Ha! No dwelling – dwelling isn’t recommended! But blogging lends itself to the compromised. It’s an even playing field. And if I want to describe my days then, in the interest of accuracy and common-or-garden truth, there’s no escaping the fact that my days are affected by ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis). ME is an unfortunate acronym. People think you’re writing about yourself and using capitals for emphasis. Hey, it’s all about ME! Help ma boab. (Wonder what google translate would do with that one).

Anyway, I was perfectly healthy until aged 18 and overnight a virus changed my life. That’s all I’ll write for now. I’d rather look out to the autumn chestnut trees outside my window. My inner policeman is telling me not to dwell. To read some fiction or poetry instead. To re-pot a plant or make a sandwich. There are thousands of others too ill to do these things. I used to be one of them.

I remember as a teenager (pre illness) getting grumpy about something trivial and saying (nay, whining probably) ‘But it’s not fair.’ My mum came back with her ace card: ‘Life’s not fair.’ Instant deflation as the wind dropped from my sails. I knew she was right and I had stumbled over a fundamental truth - one I had previously avoided or been privileged enough to ignore.

But it’s good to have your eyes opened. Of course there’s an ‘ouch’- often a huge one. Instead of being shackled to the thought that life actually should be fair, is it not easier to be galvanised to start working with what you have? I’m not trying to do this evangelical, more-positive-than-thou stuff. No ‘light the joss sticks and assume the Lotus position’. For myself anyway, I’m just trying to work out where I go from here…..and then I’ll get a sandwich too.

-C

1 comment:

Ms Misanthropist said...

Being sick sucks. I've been battling an illness this year too and trying to work all the while. Positive thinking, meditation, wheatgrass juice and Lance Armstrong biographies might help some days but most days, a good whine feels about right.