Wednesday, 25 August 2010

A quote.

'It occurred to me that there was no difference between men, in intelligence or race, so profound as the difference between the sick and the well.'
-The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The thing with being ill, and I'm talking about any type of illness, not just mental, is that recovery tends to be gradual. And so you don't get to properly see, within yourself, a clear comparison between being ill and being well. I mean, I know you can look back and you can think about the days where you physically didn't have the energy to even lift your head; or the days where you became hysterical at the mere thought of leaving the house; or the days where you threw up every 20 minutes, from waking up until you passed out from exhaustion; or the nights spent in screaming agony, in the foetal position, on the bathroom floor... but it's still not the same. Memory distorts things and you start to doubt it, how could you have survived if it was as bad as you remember? No, let me rephrase that- memory holds fast, it blurs, but it holds. The mind starts to distort it; maybe it's too painful to think that it was real, it was all real, because if you've been there before there's more of a chance you'll end up there again, than there would be if you had never been ill.

That scares me, the things I have done to my body, the things the disease has done to my body, over the years could so easily all be repeated. I could wake up tomorrow with a very acute and desperate need to take, for example, another destructive cocktail of pills or to eat 12,000 empty calories. I feel like I'm on the knife edge right now, I'm balanced somewhere between sick and well. Theoretically, it could go either way. Or I could be on this knife edge forever, maybe this knife edge is as well as I'll ever be. For physical illness, I suppose the comparison isn't really important, it would be interesting, perhaps, to get it, but as a motivational tool it's insignificant. Mentally it's different, you need to know that there really is a difference between sick and well, it's worth the treatment possibly being worse than the disease. A day of health would be better than any prescription, seeing how quickly you get so ill again after, too.

I don't know, I think I was maybe lucky, I got to have a comparison, I got to see the difference between being sick and well in myself, I got an overnight health boost when I got tubed. I don't want to make it into something it wasn't, at the end of the day, being tube-fed was an awful, awful experience that came at the end of a series of terrible events. The first half of this year was not good for me. But I got the comparison. I suddenly got it, I got to see the profound difference and, in seeing that, I realised what I'd been missing and how ill I'd been all these years. When you have been so ill for over a decade, to suddenly be completely healthy, physically... wow. After being ill for that long you forget what well feels like completely, the bar lowers. But anyway, this is my focus, it's why I can now look forward; there really is no profound a difference. I wish I could have realised that in a less drastic way, I could have understood how much of a mess my body was in. But what happened, happened. It's gone, it's all gone now.


  1. wow.. this post hits home in several ways. I find myself oddly jealous that i didn't get that instant comparison of illness and being well. I'm definitely on the knife's edge and, truth be told, it fucking hurts. This post is.. good. I'm pleased to read the last paragraph. It fills me with hope :)

    love laura d-to the-allas

  2. Better the knife edge than the pit of blades that is the disorder itself, right? Although somestimes it seems less safe than the disorder, it's less predictable. I don't know about you, but right now I can't seem to move off this perch... but I think it's safe though, I think it's less precarious that it feels. I suppose it's all a choice and cliche or not, we just have to categorically choose life.