chronic illness · mental health · writings

notes on blindness; thoughts on chronic illness & shifting perspectives

Sometimes I forget how to cry, how to feel, how to resonate with the deep emotions and feelings of those around me. And yet sometimes there is such intensity swelling up in the pit of my stomach, like a endless cavern that can never be filled, all at once rising to the surface and threatening to overflow. It is understandable how we learn as human beings to shut down and desperate still the intermittent feelings rising inside us, in attempt to block out the pain and try to somehow quell the imminent explosion.

Sometimes I need stories to remind me how to feel again, how to bring me back into the present, how to release my tension into breathing into the emotions once more, when I’ve become stagnant and stuck in my block outs, even if they were placed there to protect my sanity in the first place. Sometimes, I need pain to remind me that pain is in fact, inevitable in this life. Suffering is a compulsory part of being human, an integral component of this human experience. Regardless of how much we block it out, how much we stray away, how much we run from this reality, pain will ultimately, inevitably, find us, tap us on the shoulder and gently stroke our shivering arms. Sometimes, pain finds us in the sweet silence and drags us kicking and screaming back to the reality of chaos that we have spent so long attempting to avoid.

Listening to the heart breaking stories of others in the midst of their pain can only be described as a vital, deepening, longing sensation that digs so incredibly raw into my soul, one that cannot be ignored and often comes at a most poignant time. Perhaps to remind you, yes that you’re human. Yes, it invokes pain within you. But most importantly, that you care. 

People are incredibly resilient, they are ground-breaking, deeply resonant and mind-blowingly strong in the daily battles that they face, in all walks of life and the multitude of different journeys that each of us walk every waking hour of our time on this Earth.

The question is, perhaps no longer why, but now – what are you doing to do with it? This pain that we feel, this intensity that we experience, is overwhelming, and incredibly upsetting on the best of days, but the question perhaps is again, no longer why, no longer stuck in a fragrant stagnation of longing for a lost life, but perhaps to begin to take steps of looking forward, of moving towards the hope of a better and brighter life, hand in hand with our illness.

Every waking hour of my day is spent working around my condition, understanding how tired my body feels, how strong are my muscles working, how long can I go without feeling overwhelmed, overstimulated and without bringing on a panic attack?

It may not feel like it, but one might go so far as to say that this can seen as a gift, a wake up call, a gentle reminder that we, at the end of it all, are in fact, only human. We are not invincible, we are not made of iron, we are not bulletproof. But we are wonderfully made, and we are resilient, and so much stronger than we know. We may lapse into frustration, desperation and aching tears of loneliness wretch down our pale faces as we haven’t seen the sun in weeks from the intense pain of our joints resonating through our weakened, fragile bodies. But we must remember, we are stronger than we know.

One day at a time.

We are only human after all.

Notes on Blindness 2

If you can, watch this film. It is unbearably heart-wrenching, tremendously thought provoking and has been ever so slightly life changing to the way I perceive life, how to feel, how to shift and grow with the unexpectedly painful circumstances that we are going to experience in this lifetime, each with our own unique, individual battles that we must face.

Remember, above all, be kind to yourself. Be gentle, and take each step at a time.

Mell xx


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