Why I do what I do. Part four.
There she was.
It was the pain really. That was the toughest part of the journey. Pain everywhere; every joint, every muscle, in my lungs, head, throat. A constant gnawing, grinding, bone crunching pain. I stopped mentioning it eventually. It so quickly became the norm:
‘I’m about 8.5 on the agony Richter scale today thank you for asking, and you?’
There were other things too. Constant infections, loss of voice, inability to think, I couldn’t stand noise of any kind or bright light, or company. I could go on but I’ll be here for a fortnight. Suffice to say I knew something was seriously broken, but I didn’t know what.
Life became closed. Like a redundant shop I had ceased trading.
It dawned on me that I defined myself entirely by what I did. (Don’t we all? It is after all the question we ask someone when we meet them.)
But what if all that’s gone? What if you don’t actually DO anything? If you are just existing and relying on others. If you have nothing. What then? Are you still valid?
Cue existential crisis of Armageddon proportions.
If I wasn’t going to be a world-changer, if I wasn’t going to function properly again, if my grandest achievement was going to be taking ten steps, then what was life really? Who was I? What did I have?
There it was.
The question that opened up an entirely new existence for me. An existence of silence and presence; a quiet, solitary place where a little voice I had done nothing but neglect could be heard:
‘You have me’, she said: ‘I’m still here.’
That psychic part of me, the one that used to get wheeled out at parties before being unceremoniously ignored again, finally had her chance to speak.