Epilogue four

I’ve been feeling down. I’ve been looking round the town for somebody just like me, but the only ones I see are the dummies in the windows
Family Tree – Belle & Sebastian

Specific relativity

It is difficult to get an objective sense of one’s own experience. I often find, as I recover from a period of being unwell, that I surprise myself with how good “good” can be.
“I must have been really ill – worse than I thought”, I declare, as the clouds scatter.

There is no objective measure. When the hospital give me (as they so often do) a form to fill in that asks me to rate my health from 1-10, or my pain, it is impossible to respond. I sometimes write “STUPID QUESTION” in frustrated scratchy caps across the page. I don’t know if that helps.

The last 6 months have been dire. I can hear my inner 6 year old asking which was worse – this time, or the first time. (I think all children start life with a desire to rank and classify everything, don’t they?) There’s no answer to that. It was, well, different.

So, I’ll still be moaning about my pain, for a good long time yet, and you’ll have no reference point, I’m afraid, to ascertain how bad it really is. Only Marisa, who has to listen to me sleep, will really know.

What on earth to learn from this? Only that I have to interrogate myself when the clouds gather. Sometimes (often) it is easiest, and wisest, to submit: the storm passes so much quicker if one is not busy battling it. But equally, it’s worth keeping an eye out for some semblance of objectivity. If I define April 2018 as a 10 (or at least, a 9.5) of displeasure, then it somewhat helps put things in context.