I am struggling to write. I think this may be due to a phase of gradually working out ideas and thoughts related to something I found out about my disability, which changes the script quite dramatically. And possibly the future trajectory of how this goes. ‘This’ being the expectation and hope that something is stumbled upon with an easy answer. Take a pill, get better, go back to ‘normal’.
It has become increasingly clear that this is mostly fantasy. My body is rewriting normal for me. Normal is how the message is read and received and acted upon.
Its a strange phrase- ‘my body’. My book, my computer, my phone, my home. Things, which are closely linked to, almost extensions of the self but are distinctly separate from me. Used, occupied, but separate. I can switch off my computer, leave my home, throw my phone in a river in a melodramatic display of frustration and waste and still continue. ‘My body’- If my body is a possession then where resides myself? If my body is a home, where can this self go if it should become unfit for occupation? Nonsensical questions in the age of science, yet ingrained in language, in thought, the body is experienced as a separate entity from the self, sometimes loved, sometimes hated, as if it is truly an object and I am merely the current owner. I can, use my body to walk or make food, I can ‘sell my body’ according to the popular phrasing. A sex worker does not rent out her time or provide services, she ‘sells’ her body. Who then does it belong to when the transaction is done? I can occupy my body like a lodger or be absent from it in deep thought.
If the body is a tool, a home, what else can the body be? When a rash appears on the skin which does not fade when a glass is pressed to it, it is a messenger. Most people will recognise this as being an easily observable symptom of meningitis. The body did not develop this response in order to tell us what was wrong. We learned its language and so understand what this type of rash usually means. How else does the body speak? Can the language be subtle, individual, coded, complex whale-song beyond the selfs ability to translate?
When the body turns on itself, when antibodies destroy cells perceived as dangerous or alien, the body can be a battlefield. If the self is separate, who then is the commander of these armies?
These are difficult questions and not ones often addressed by modern medical science, which treats a limb or an organ, also detached from the self and sends it home with you to look after as best you can.
To understand being unwell, I first need to understand who is unwell. What is the me which is afflicted? What language is the question posed in and how can it be translated in order for the self to formulate an answer?
Somewhere in the internal noise of confusion there is a block, similar to the one I suffered for years while pouring my energy into a lifestyle which almost certainly contributed to becoming ill in the first place. Writing, more than any form of expression has always been intimately connected to my emotional and physical state for me, and so I am struggling to write, and this blog might be quieter while I explore the reasons for that. Or at least, less personal.
In other news– it appears to be nearly Halloween months eve months eve month, and so I am kicking off the season by dragging one of my significant others into watching a backlog of old school horror films with me. I may write a series of blog posts on them. What is a good day for horror? Weird Wednesdays or Terrifying Tuesdays?