31 March 2018

Can you feel the world pull apart,
the seams loosen?
What, tell me,
will keep it whole,
If not you? If not me?

Blas Falconer

The thing is, when you are caught in the loop like me, the loop of chronic illness, that never ending hamster wheel, you are generally expected to be either noble or depressed.

Noble in the sense of, look how she copes, look how she finds meaning in every day things, look how brave she is, but most of all, look at her sense of humour.
Depressed as in downtrodden, slow, sad, withdrawn, but most of all no fun to be around.
Mostly, you are expected to be both.

Things get even harder when you don't look ill. But that's for another day to discuss.
Oh, I could write a book about the supreme efforts of schievement and the wasted days of doing nothing at all.  It would read like an ancient lament. Or like one of these self improvement tomes, complete with a set of motivational calendar wisdom cards, a whale sound dvd and a wall chart of pilates exercises.

However. I mostly ride the waves of sarcasm and distraction. Pretend there is nothing to get hung about. Be fucking jolly. Don't dwell and for goodnesssake, don't be such a drip.


  1. And nothing to get hung about...

  2. "... Won't you keep us from all harm
    Wonderful redwood tree."

  3. I know exactly what you mean - when my husband died I felt like that - if I got through days without weeping I was seen as not caring, but if I snivelled for hours I was told (kindly) to get a grip and get on with it. You just have to do it your way!

  4. I mostly ride waves of sarcasm and distraction as well... the big world, my little world both have got me down. I'm not fucking jolly at all. I guess we have to keep on keepin' on.

  5. Let's be fucking jolly then. I'm game. What is traditional Easter food in Germany? It is ham here, but I'm not making a big dinner. Having the kids over for lunch with sandwiches and potato salad. An herbal wine cooler (white wine infused with lemon balm, then poured over ice with ginger ale). I bought store bought chocolate chip cookies and vanilla ice cream so they can make their own ice cream sandwiches for dessert. I'm done with cooking for this year. But after a few wine coolers I intend to be fucking jolly.

    1. Traditionally, at Easter the big thing here is the breakfast with sweet yeast bread often elaborately braided or shaped like a lamb and heavily decorated. Also, hard boiled painted eggs.

      After breakfast, you go Easter egg hunting in the garden or inside the house etc. and when that is over and everybody is munching chocolate, some go to church others eat more chocolate. Lunch is whatever. Throughout the day, more chocolate eggs and related sweets, also coffee and cake in the afternoons ('Kaffee und Kuchen' keeps German families alive), Easter cakes incl. carrot cake with a bunny on top, so nobody should be hungry for dinner.

      But just in case, this is usally a cold platter kind of thing. My mother would spend the best part of the afternoon decorating her cold sliced meats for this, with gherkins and pickled whatnots in between.

    2. Thanks for humoring me with this, Sabine. We are doing an egg hunt, too. And my sliced meat platter is in the spirit of your mother's. Just goes to show the German genes breed true when it comes to food and holidays. I hope you had many chocolate Easter candies and more than a few hearty laughs today.

    3. I defiantly baked a dozen hot crossed buns yesterday - an Irish tradition that nobody here values, German Easter bread is much more elaborate.
      And we had a bit of lamb for lunch. No chocolates as yet.

  6. pain, the invisible monster, can't be seen, only felt. fuck noble and depressed.

  7. Illness is impersonal, almost an abstraction, even if its effect are far from abstract. In some instances hatred has helped sustain those who are suffering but it seems unrewarding (almost childish) to hate a combination of bacteria, virus and/or some form of physiological shortcoming. When the English playwright Dennis Potter announced he had named his tumour Rupert (in sarcastic recognition of the media baron, Rupert Murdoch) he was just joking, there was no comfort in it for him.

    None of the outward displays (bravery, pluck, humour, etc) appeal to me, given I was the sufferer. It's purely theoretical but I can't see anything more useful or appropriate than withdrawal. This would be fairly simple for me since my social circle is not much larger than a dinner-plate but I'm immediately beset by exceptions. Suppose you were passing through and announced you'd like to visit. Never mind how impossible you might see this, I would be inclined to lower the drawbridge, betting on the likelihood of an hour's stimulating conversation. I'm a connoisseur of conversation and I'm well aware of how rare the true article is. We could discuss drips we've known. Flexible withdrawal then.

    I doubt this helps.

    1. Oh it does, especially since I am now contemplating whether you would like to discuss drips as in the various concoctions I have watched move slowly from a clear plastic bag into my veins or drips as what a right awfuld drip that Murdoch geezer is.

      And you are absolutely correct: withdrawal is actually fairly simple once your formerly extensive social cricle has started to whisper the words social and recluse behind your back.

  8. Hello, I have just discovered your blog recently and want to thank you for all that you share. I live with Redwood trees here in California and have one tattooed on my ankle. The spirit of the Redwood is so steadfast and peaceful. In reference to chronic illness, I have some undiagnosed SOMETHING that saps my energy and causes pain but I live with it. So all of your musings truly strike home. Candace