Monday, February 09, 2015


I knew I had to let those last two posts stand for a while, without speaking over the top of them, so I did. Then I thought the usual recap/new years post would be a good way back in. Now it's February.

Swift acclimatisation is no longer one of my skills. The past year felt like the whirlwind dance of the unbalanced; reacting, correcting, overcorrecting, reacting, reacting, reacting. Then blindsided. I think, maybe, possibly, now the fall has ended. The bounce, the settling of all my pieces as gravity has its way, and it will have its way. Things have stopped moving, but I don't yet have my bearings. Disorientated. Echoes of vertigo. Nothing is moving but the storm inside this teacup.

Developing chronic illness means your days become filled with demonstrations of all your limitations. As the levels of ability and functionality you took for granted are stripped away, so too does your world become smaller. Examples of what you cannot do are presented one after another after another. That is the effect – not side effect, the effect – of chronic illness.

It has been near impossible for me to keep this thought from tripping over the edge and into seeing my illness as proof of my own personal failings. For years I have struggled to accept the stiflingly close horizons of my illness. Being better than I was does not mean I am yet anywhere near acceptance.

Illness has robbed me of many memories, but not how it felt to take mobility and endurance and clarity for granted. My muscles and sinew remember. My brain remembers. I have not become smaller at all, but anything that could be called a resource has been drained. I could be full of health, but I am hollow.

And this fucking hashtag, it just threw all this in my face with all the subtlety of an asteroid. In the Pre-Hashtag Era, I thought I understood the pain of saying, "I cannot." It took a while to surface what with all the abuse and hate and attention, this tired old dilemma trying to be something new. It is not, in fact, a dilemma at all.

The part of me that always wanted to be a revolutionary or go on a great and epic quest for the fate of the world has been screaming, shrieking and shrill, that I must go! Get out there! I've made a difference and it isn't change but it's not nothing and this is an opportunity that you cannot engineer and will never happen again and just fucking pull yourself together and launch.

Because I'm a sucker and an idealist and an angry minority and I've had a taste of power, and the potential was-


-well. If you know it then you know it.

I could see change in that. Actual change. Infinitesimal, but change.

I want change. So bad. To bring it about with my own hands I wouldn't even stop to consider. Not a doubt. Not a moment.


I cannot.

I want to, and, I cannot. This is my reality, and there's no amount of "You just gotta believe!" that will alter anything. Even if I do not accept my illness, I have years of practice at recognising my limitations when I come charging up at them. None of us believe we will ever be that hero making all right with the world, but then, I don't know that many of us are presented with opportunities to do so either.

It was never going to happen, so I have lost nothing.

But now I know, and my daydreams aren't as extravagant as they used to be. This is a learning that hurts, and even as it hurts, still I look at that wilting opportunity and long for the what if...

Nothing has changed. I am still an undisciplined and intermittent writer on a part-time income due to chronic illness. This is still a personal blog. It started with inane trivialities of my life, evolved into a rather entertaining playground, and has lately been a sandbox for sorting out my thoughts. This visibility will no doubt cause its nature to evolve again. There are no plans to open comments again, for starters. I've not the spoons to moderate, nor much desire to give the haters another channel.

Whatever I choose to do with this space, it is personal. It is for frivolity and whimsy as much as the weight of the world. I write for myself, and specifically regarding this blog, I do not wish to fall into the trap of writing for a perceived audience. I am a writer. This is writing. Nothing has changed. This is as it always was. My online activities may be more cautious, but only for my own sake. I must not become a persona. I must not perform for a perceived audience. Just think, and write.

Tessa, stop justifying yourself.

This is my space.

It is good to have it back.