Woke up thinking, fuck it was a circus in this room last night. Nurses and patients attending each other the only thing missing was the fucking dancing bear.
Then I laughed and laughed. I knew I was going to be ok. I AM OK. Since this stroke I haven’t described events in terms of metaphor like that.
Essentially I use my mind to create images. With words. Since having a stroke I stopped that.
This is neat. I didn’t know that. I was too close to the process to see it.
The benefit of being ill, I was once told, the purpose of it, they said, was to do reflection and examine your life.
This is patently religious horseshit of course. And dangerous. What happens if you lose your purpose? You’re fucked. They (various clergy) want your purpose to be to feed them the blood and energy of your life. Leeches ain’t in it, as my favourite writer Patrick O’Brian used to say. Vampires or more likely, the walking dead in the robes of sanctimonious claptrap. I wonder what claptrap is?
noun noun: claptrap; noun: clap-trap 1. absurd or nonsensical ideas.)
The purpose of life is satisfaction. If you don’t want to think about stuff you don’t have to. You have free will and the power of choice. We all do. If one strategy for satisfaction is closed to me, I simply choose another rabbit hole.
After all, shltty things happen to nice people (like me 😁) and nice things happen to shltty people, and I had better accept the sheer randomness of that, simply because it’s in my best interests. I am able to cope with the unknown future post stroke because we all have skills, great skills, with dealing with the unknown. We. Can’t. Predict. The. Future. Yet here we all are, coping.
My fellow patient doesn’t know this. I long to tell him. He smokes constantly, therapists refuse treatment, they say he reeks of tobacco. He puts 5 packs of sugar in his coffee of comfort. All due to the mistaken belief that he can’t handle the unknown when he is handling it. Based on hard evidence.
Of course what we are talking about here, when we talk about the future, is death. That’s our future. So if there is something after we die, tbe evidence is, we will cope with it just fine. Imperfectly and that’s just fine. If there is nothing down that rabbit hole of potential satisfaction then worrying about nothing seems a tad irrational.
I spoke to a social worker who wanted to know how I coped. She was afraid that I was in ‘survival mode’ and there will be some kind of crash. REBT teaches when something shltty happens, do everything you can to deal with it, then ignore it. Seek something more satisfactory.
So, seeking worry seems like an odd choice. In fact, worry is always a choice and self defeating. I know, it took 10 years of therapy to unlearn it, learned at my seriously mentally ill mothers knee. Concern, on the other hand, is a choice and self helping. Motivating. I am VERY concerned about my life right now, And I am trusting professionals to give me professional advice. Everything from how to take a leak standing up (Thanks Richard) to where I am going to live and pay for it. Basically I am so busy being concerned and dealing with my concerns I don’t have time to worry. Actually none of us do.
But the bright spot in all this is the return of my sense of metaphorical sometimes caustic but always empathetic humour.
If it were the 18th century I would say I balanced the humours.