Wednesday 19 July 2017
The words - 8th Blog Birthday
I've been blogging for eight years today.
I have shared 100s of 1,000s of words on this screen. I have 100s of 1,000s more in drafts. Half-formed thoughts, anger and sadness spewed onto the draft screen just to get them out. Disconnected words, floating on the screen trying to find a mate, or a 'the' or an 'and', but none are in sight. Happy words are there too, but they often seem harder. Harder to feel real and less treacle. So those posts tend to sit like a poorly written Hallmark card, waiting to share their joy with others. All the words waiting to be rounded up and directed. All the words that are no longer relevant. All the words that served a purpose. That are no longer needed, though I thank them for their service.
I go back and read earlier posts and wonder who wrote them. Who was that woman? The one that was both bursting with words and emotions. Who felt alone and scared until she found others in the same spot. Who used language that she would never now use. She knows better, she tries to do better. I read those posts and see a reflection of the newly diagnosed patients of today, and tomorrow. A desperation and relief. When you're drowning not waving, and you want one person somewhere to throw you a life preserver and bring you into the safety of your tribe.
I see a development in words and beliefs. The fickle nature of illness, of my reaction to it. Healthy reaction. Definitely unhealthy reaction. My reactions are better now. Or at least most of the time. There are times where I cock up. Again and again. Where all I want is to construct a pillow fort and hide away until the world passes. Where I hide from myself and the aspects I want to rip off and toss away. The parts that are tethered by bungee cord, bouncing back no matter how far I throw them.
I see the change in words. The flow that changed a couple of years ago when cognitive issues passed the brain fog stage to something more. Something that plagues me now as I write, or try to write. Or swear at the screen, my fingers, and my brain. What's that word? That word? You know the word? How do you describe the thing that's naught but a projection caught momentarily on billowing smoke. Hardly tangible to start with just a hint where you hope that that pieces will eventually reveal the gestalt. That hope has a poor hit rate. Maybe 2 out of 7. I walk away, come back, swear, and swear some more. At least that never fails. Swear words are carved in stone and fire from my finger tips and my tongue.
I move away from illness though in truth it never moves away from me. I've been carving out other parts of me and my world. It's slow work but I'm determined. I have written my experience with illness, with disability, with life for 8 years. It served and continues to serve it's purpose. But the frequent posting that was necessary at the beginning dwindles. I continue to write the words. About different things, thingies, thingamabobs. I write, but the pauses, the breaths are lengthened. The need isn't as strong now, although it may ramp up again. Never say never.
But the need to document my ups and downs change as I have changed. I look back and want to change words, I would write my experience differently if I was starting now. But my writing now is built on those old words. On those old thinking processes. On the therapy they provided. I want to rewrite the past, but the past is part of me, those words are part of me.
It's not only my needs and life that have changed. There are names that pop up in the comments again and again. So familiar. And then they are gone. Some who became well and moved on with life. Others who sadly are nolonger here. Regulars who disappeared but still pop in on occasion. Others who disappeared without a trace. I hope they are well and happy. I hope their disappearance meant joy and life. New batches of regulars arise and the community reshapes itself. Friends are made and laughs and commiseration are shared. People pop in and out of lives. Friends who serve a purpose, a need that sometimes we are unaware of at the time. Then they leave or we leave. You drift apart or have a big blow up. Words on a screen can be those friends as can those who read them. And just like a friend they can serve a purpose for reader and writer until they don't.
I sit here today in my pjs. The water I couldn't keep in my mouth as I tried to swallow a fist full of morning meds dampens my dressing gown. The old brain will start to kick in around 3pm if I'm lucky. That's it's usual time. The Winter sun is coming through the blinds leaving strips of sunshine on the brown carpet. Revealing the need for a long overdue vacuum. Freyja snuffles on her couch and a layer of dog hair and slobber covers my keys. Looking at the screen through one eye I pause and wait for the thought that was interrupted by a loud car outside to continue. Maybe it will or maybe it wont. Maybe it'll pop in again at 3pm or not. Maybe I'll scurry around looking for a pen in my bedroom as the thought finally finds it's way back at 11pm just as I think my brain has shut down and I can finally sleep. Maybe. Words are harder these days. But I'll keep trying.
The words have changed and so have I.
Though my tendency to ramble is definitely intact.
Eight years of good, bad, outright crap and the odd shining moment.
Happy 8th birthday little blog.
The line I wrote above about drowning and waving always makes me think of this old 80s song. I loved Boom Crash Opera back in the day. I still do.