Sometimes, when I read back the words I have written in the past, both recent and distant, I often find myself surprised at just exactly, what I have managed to put into words. I can only guess that it is like everything else about myself, I have little faith in my ability, in this case, the ability to get across the true feelings and emotions, of what it means to be ill. Emotions have never been my strong point, yes, I feel them, just as you do, but I haven’t always been the best at showing them, and absolutly rubbish, when it comes to talking about them. What shocks me, is somehow I can put them into words, words that hold their power, even long after I’ve forgotten ever writing them. I’m not saying that I am a great writer, no, not even I can that be conceited, something all of us suffer from at times, it’s more along the lines that I am shocked at my ability to even make myself cry, both out of pleasure and from all too often, almost visible pain. It was in childhood that I learned to hide the extremes of emotion, then slowly, also the everyday ones. Emotions weren’t to be seen, only blind obedience, contrition and feigned happiness when tears felt more appropriate. I used to spend hours in front of my mirror working on that perfectly blank and serene expression, which somehow always failed when it was most needed. By adulthood, I had my emotions so well under control, that even I thought myself, cold at times. I suppose my habit of writing at speed and without great thought, just letting the words flow, means I tap into the true me, the one that was always there. In a way, I think it could be a good exercise for anyone to try. Trust me, the real you will appear right there before your own eyes, but remember, you can’t plan a single word of it, just the first line of each paraghraph, then let your mind run.
It is one of those wonderfully warped things about my illness, that tears now accompany almost anything. Let my brain sense even the tiniest speck of stress, and my eyes start to leak in a way that is impossible to stop or conceal. Chronic illness is probably one of the most warped things that can happen to anyone. Not even the cruelest mind in existence, could have come up with a better way of stripping away every learned behaviour, ever speck of self-control, to produce a more intense lesson in self. We all like to think that we know ourselves, you don’t, unless, you too are living with one or more of these monsters. They make you expose so many differing aspects of our personality, from our strengths to our greatest weaknesses, that self discovery is impossible to avoid. I never thought of myself as strong. I had had too many things happen to me, where others had taken control of me, when in my book, a strong person would have stopped them, and escaped their influence, that clearly, I wasn’t strong. So much had happened to me in the first half of my life, that proved to me, that everything they told me I was, had to be right. That is the problem with controlling people, they slowly chip away at you, diminishing every aspect of you, and you are left, a shadow of yourself, and so scared of that shadow, you even try to hide that. Like many, I thought that chronic illness would be the same. The images we are fed of frail people, no longer in control of their own lives, seemed all too familiar to me. It seemed so ironic, that I had spent so many years rebuilding myself, only for my health to turn on me, and I was once more facing domination.
I can’t find, or explain, what happened inside of me. I had spent so many years defending myself, and so many more putting right all the wrongs, that something, somewhere took the decision, that this time, it wasn’t going to be the victim. The other day on twitter, I replied to a tweet by saying something along the lines of, “PRMS wasn’t the end, in fact, it was the beginning of me”. I say along the lines of, as I can’t remember the exact words, but I remember the earth cracking truth I felt inside, as I read it back, before I clicked send. As I have said many times, words tumble off the ends of my fingers, direct from some odd point in my brain, that I don’t control. They just appear. The basic me, has always been there, I’m not saying that I became a totally new person, but that tweet was totally true. For the first time in my life, I was facing something that wasn’t going to deceitfully take over my life, this time, I was forewarned. Everything that I had inside me, all that rebuilding, starting over and over, had given me a grounding, for what was to be my future. But the final difference, took time to appear, and that, was this. All those things that I wasn’t “allowed” to let out, could pour out of me, clearly, without being shrouded in any way. Writing was my final salvation, my opertunity to learn to truly be me.
What you read here, isn’t just a description of my life, or just my health, what you read here, is me. The total me, the me, that I might even go as far, as saying, I don’t think even Adam is always aware of, well not until he too, reads it. Probably even more surprisingly, it’s also a me, that I’m not always aware of either. I’m not cold, I never have been, I just learned to appear that way. I’ve always cared passionately about everything and everyone. In an odd way, I am actually glad that I became ill, because, it has taught me so much about myself, about my life, my strengths, and weaknesses, and most weren’t what I thought. Best of all, there all here to remind me, whenever I forget, life long training doesn’t disappear over night. Being ill, could be one of the most positive things that could have happened to me, as a person. It’s a truly hard way to learn, but I’m glad that I have had the oppertunity to, as otherwise, I might have missed it all.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 03/01/2014 – Step by step
And normality returns, well I like to think it does. With Adam now back at work and the house no longer filled with foods that no matter how tempting they are, really aren’t good for anyone, there is a feeling of……