I am no dancer. When I was eight I begged my parents to let me have ballet lessons like my younger sister. She was graceful and elegant and artistic. I was not. A year later my parents bribed me to stop ballet, offering me violin lessons instead. I must have been truly dreadful for them … Continue reading Dancing in the Dark
This is the equivalent of what The Guardian calls ‘The Long Read’. Apologies! I never intended to write a medical blog but so many people had so many questions about my recent diagnoses and how they came about that it seemed easiest to answer them all together in a narrative which makes some kind of … Continue reading I Told You My Neck Hurt!
‘I can only ever be resilient if I’m allowed to fall apart and not cope in the times when I can’t cope…most of the time I reckon we just need lots of hugs.’ Words of wisdom from my friend Tanya Marlow, a writer and fellow ME sufferer, in a Facebook comment, June 2019. You can … Continue reading Rising (I will go on)
Trigger warning: suicide This post is a description of past events and does not, in any way, describe my feelings at the time of writing or posting it. ****** Some days I think maybe I’ve got this living with chronic illness thing sorted. Other days, really not. Usually I have a good cry, pick myself … Continue reading Falling (I cannot go on)
1989 I am in a small town in Alsace for my year abroad. I started the year determined, once again, to ignore my symptoms and ‘act normal’ as advised by my dismissive college GP, hoping that this time – four years since I first got ill and still with no idea what is going on … Continue reading Sex, Whales, and a French Psychiatrist
This isn’t the post I was expecting to write. I’d started a different one and stalled. Then yesterday I read this very interesting article about disability theology and I immediately felt compelled to write about my own unhelpful experiences of healing prayer (there have also been many good ones). I fear it is maybe more … Continue reading Healing (?) Prayer
1987-2019For the next couple of years my health was deteriorating so rapidly that it was all I could do to just about keep going with my degree. By summer 1989 I had far more serious problems than not being able to play my violin: my parents had had to drive me back from France at … Continue reading Violin (Part Two)
Summer 1987 I am sitting on the flagstones outside a church in northern Italy, sobbing as if my heart were broken. I think maybe it is. Inside the church a chamber orchestra is playing Vivaldi and I cannot bear to listen. It is three months since I last played my violin. 1975 - 1987 About … Continue reading Violin (Part One)