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Altered States

Being ill is like being in water. A shower, a bathtub, a swimming pool or the ocean, it’s a state of being which gets in the way of anything else you might want to do, Whatever ambitions, needs or desires you have are in a state of suspension, because whatever is going to happen next, you first need to get out of the water.


I got ill at the end of 2007. I was diagnosed with ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Encephalopathy) in the summer of 2009. Having ME is like being in the ocean. Every movement or action is weighed down by the pressure of being submerged in water. You move around, go through your day, submerged in water, but eventually you have to stop, to rest, because just walking across the room is a feat. Sometimes, you think you can see the promise of normalcy, land on the horizon, so you rally what strength you have and start swimming. But the land is actually far away, and before you make any significant progress, you break under the weight of the water. 

The analogy of treading…

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