I don’t want to write about Chronic Illness

Aren’t you tired of it? And yet, the dance goes on.

2 min readJul 21, 2021
‘The Shadow and the Self’ Gabriel Isak

I don’t want to write about chronic illness and this is what wants to be written, a story that is beyond me, about me and not about me.

Chronic illness, how I tire of those words, and tire of tired of tired.

There are things nobody tells you, or they do tell you and you don’t want to hear it, you can’t hear it yet.

Why am I doing this? Why haven’t I been working the last two years, why?

Start small. Step by step.

Remember this, you know this. Slow and steady. Things changed, body and mind and abilities changed, and they will change again. Your work is to show up. To be with what there is every day, in presence, in aliveness with what there is today.

It was such a mind-trip to receive disability, a year and a half ago. I had just turned twenty-seven. I didn’t think I would start to receive disability at twenty seven.

It was a gift to receive it, too.

and (….and, and, the thoughts are talking over each other, the selves in opposition).

It’s hard.

(I hate this phrase ‘it’s hard!’ …)

What I mean is:

The way I think now is different than it was. The way I write is different, too. The way I am is different,

(and change is the rule of life, and is there any objective way to judge subjective differences?)

It’s so dull, the phrase, the label of ‘chronic illness.’

I don’t want to write about chronic illness.

And it doesn’t matter if I want to or not, it comes into the writing, as it comes into everything — subtly, unpredictably, mockingly, ;alkhgd;hg-ly.

This is the true expression of my thoughts. sd;hgadgh a scattered smattering of keys hit arbitrarily.

I’m frustrated, or at least one version of my self is frustrated, feeling fdkjl;ghdjgh (…)

And I’m also everything else at once. I’m tired and energized, I’m in tension and at peace. I’m sitting in a beautiful place, my body is working and my mind too, this is a gift. I’m grateful, I hit at the keyboard and look around at the trees and sense my body and breath and feel gratitude.

There is more than one ‘I’

The separation of selves, this is one thing chronic illness brings to the light — ‘sick’ and the ‘healthy’ self, the shadows and the light, they co-exist always. It’s a dance. A clumsy dance, perhaps. A wild and moody dance with a scattering of notes a smattering of steps.

(it goes something like this: s;djkfhdjghdjh)

And (…and and and)

Does this count as writing about chronic illness?

No matter. Either way, it’s been twenty five minutes.